Progress Report: Rosslyn's Hillside Park

Whereupon we check in on the progress of seemingly stalled sites, high-profile projects, neighborhood improvements and the like. Got a question about a particular building or half-finished sidewalk? Let us know.

What: Overhaul of a 1.33-acre wooded park in Rosslyn known to some as "billy goat park" for its steep slopes

Where: 1601 North Pierce St., Arlington, Va. 22209

Start date: Planning process began in January 2009

Since then: Neighbors and various stakeholder groups met with Arlington County's Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources in early 2009 to determine the best way to spend $500,000 set aside by the developer of an adjacent property for improvement of the park. Stakeholders wanted the entrances to the park to be more open and inviting, for the walkways on the park's steep slopes to be improved, and and for playground equipment to be installed, according to Lucia deCordre, urban design project manager for Rosslyn Renaissance.

Neighbors were also concerned that the trees in the park, which is a tiny wooded oasis between concrete and high-rise apartment buildings, not be disturbed. The potential for destruction of tree roots — as well as the substantial cost of the sidewalk — led the county to omit installation of a sidewalk on the Pierce Street side of the park from the overall plan. The plan for the park was approved and construction was expected to start in late 2009, according to Arlington County's website. Construction work actually began on the park this spring, and was expected to be complete this summer.

The latest: The contractor working on the project is behind schedule, according to Aaron Wohler from the parks department. A significant amount of the overgrowth around the park's entrances entrances (one at the corner of Pierce and 16th streets, and two on 16th Road) has been removed and concrete terraces have been installed. New picnic tables and chairs are on site but have not been installed.

Other metal work still needs to be completed, however. "Currently, we are waiting for the iron work/steel fabrication to be completed and installed," Wohler said. The contractor is aiming to have the work "substantially completed" by early September, Wohler adds.

Bottom line: There's no clear opening date for the park right now, but it will probably be sometime this fall. The county should know more about the opening date by the end of August, Wohler said.