D.C. officials broke ground this week on an extension of a trail that, when completed, will connect Union Station to Silver Spring.

Work will begin in earnest on a section of the Metropolitan Branch Trail that connects John McCormack Drive in Brookland to the Fort Totten Metro Station.

The $11 million project is expected to take about 18 months to complete, the city said.

City officials hope to eventually connect the completed trail to the Capital Crescent Trail and Anacostia Trails System, and integrate it into the East Coast Greenway.

“This extension is a tremendous example of how we are working together as a community to build a safer, stronger DC for pedestrians and cyclists,” DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement. “With this project, we’re closing key gaps in our network and providing a safe, off-street route for people traveling through the District.”