Construction begins on improvements at the Senator Edward Kennedy gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery
6/22/2012 12:00:00 AM
A construction project to improve access to Senator Edward M. Kennedy gravesite is under way at Arlington National Cemetery. The project will connect Senator Kennedy’s gravesite to the gravesites of Robert F. Kennedy and John F. Kennedy with a granite path. Visitors currently have to exit the stepped path from the RFK gravesite to visit Senator Kennedy’s gravesite. The new path will be constructed in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act accessible design standards.

The project is expected to be completed this fall. During construction, Senator Kennedy’s gravesite has been temporarily moved to a new location on Sheridan Drive that is in close proximity to the JFK and RFK gravesites. The public will be able to visit all three gravesites during construction. One access point will be closed to Robert Kennedy’s gravesite – the stepped path from the RFK gravesite to Sheridan Drive. The Martz shuttle service to the Kennedy gravesites will not be affected.

“The design for Senator Kennedy’s gravesite will enhance the beauty of Arlington’s landscape,” said Kathryn A. Condon, executive director of the Army National Cemeteries Program. “This design will connect all three of the gravesites and make it easier for all of our visitors to access them,” she said.

The project is being underwritten by the Estate of Edward M. Kennedy. The estate worked with the Army National Cemeteries Program, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the State of Virginia Historic Preservation Office, and the National Capitol Planning Commission to finalize the design. The gravesite design has been under development since Senator Kennedy’s interment in 2009.

The following statement was released today by the family of Senator Edward M. Kennedy; Vicki Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy and Ted Kennedy Jr.

“We are pleased that completion of the Edward M. Kennedy gravesite is now underway. The final resting place for our beloved husband and father will retain the beauty and simplicity of the current site, while at the same time making it accessible to all visitors in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law that Senator Kennedy was so proud to have championed. The improvements will also connect the EMK gravesite to those of Senator Robert F. Kennedy and President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy and will provide access to those sites as well. We are deeply moved and honored by the many visitors who take time to pay their respects at the final resting places of our family members, and we hope these improvements will only enhance the visitors’ sense of peace, serenity and inspiration.” 

A link to artist renderings and photos of Senator Kennedy's temporary gravesite is available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/arlingtoncemetery/sets/72157630236593638/