Beginning as soon as Monday, June 22, Virginia Avenue between 2nd Street and 3rd Street will be closed completely to traffic and parking, for the duration of the project. Fencing will be installed along the perimeter of the project site and a temporary sidewalk will ensure access is maintained for occupants of adjacent properties. This closure is necessary to complete utility relocations and other preparations in advance of early elements of construction of the first new tunnel, which will begin later this summer.
Pedestrians and drivers should expect to follow detours around the closed section of Virginia Avenue, primarily by using I Street S.E. or K Street S.E. for eastbound travel between 2nd and 3rd Streets. In addition, pedestrians will no longer be able to pass under I-695 to access Garfield Park north of the highway. The ad hoc recreation area under the freeway will only be accessible from Garfield Park on the north side.
Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians should use caution when traveling through this area and be prepared to follow temporary traffic controls. Additionally, motorists should anticipate moderate delays and are advised to plan for additional travel time or use alternate routes to bypass the construction area.
Beginning as early as Wednesday, June 17, the north lane of Virginia Avenue S.E. between 5th Street and 7th Street will be closed for additional work related to utility relocations and installation of temporary street lighting. The southern lane will remain open for normal eastbound traffic. This work is expected to continue for approximately two to three (2-3) weeks, into early July. In early July the south lanes will be closed for “support of excavation” work (drilling holes for steel pilling) as the first step in construction of the new tunnel. The south lanes will remain closed through the duration of the project.
Beginning as early as Monday, June 8, additional work related to utility relocations will require the intermittent closure of sections of the two southern lanes of Virginia Avenue between 6th Street and 7th Street, S.E. The northern lane will remain open for normal eastbound traffic. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians should use caution when traveling through this area and be prepared to follow temporary traffic controls. Additionally, motorists should anticipate moderate delays and are advised to plan for additional travel time or use alternate routes to bypass the construction area. This work is expected to continue through Friday, June 12.
The project team has determined that schedule changes allow the temporary removal of parking restrictions on seven (7) parking spaces on 5th Street near the intersection with Virginia Avenue. Signs will be re-installed when those spaces are needed, and neighbors should continue to comply with posted parking restrictions to avoid being ticketed or towed by the District of Columbia. We will continue to review the parking restrictions in place throughout the neighborhood to attempt to minimize the impact of the project on our neighbors.
Due to the work occurring near the project site, some of the parking spaces along Virginia Avenue, S.E., and on cross streets between 2nd and 11th Streets, are being reserved during work hours in accordance with DDOT-approved Maintenance of Traffic plans. CSX appreciates that this creates inconveniences for some of our neighbors and we are committed to keeping as much parking as possible available to neighbors.
We’ve been asked several questions about why parking spaces are reserved but then remain unoccupied during the work day. Those spaces are left vacant by design, either because of upcoming work or to ensure the free flow of traffic around work spaces and to accommodate the potential movements of ambulances, fire trucks and other emergency response vehicles. Fire trucks in particular require wide turning and maneuvering spaces, and leaving parking spaces unoccupied helps ensure that they will have the room they need in the event of an emergency.
Utility relocation work will soon begin at the intersection of 7th Street, S.E., and Virginia Avenue. Work will include surveying, removing pavement, trenching and other activities associated with utility relocations. Traffic lanes in this area will shift temporarily. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians should use caution when traveling through this area and be prepared to follow temporary traffic controls. Additionally, motorists should anticipate moderate delays and are advised to plan for additional travel time or use alternate routes to bypass the construction area. This work is expected to continue through September.
CSX today started the major construction phase of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Project. The support of excavation work now underway consists of drilling 42-inch holes for steel and concrete pilings that will support a temporary retaining wall necessary to construct the first new permanent tunnel elements. This work is taking place at the west end of the project site in public space near 2nd and H Streets, S.E.
Noting the activity, Chuck Gullakson, chief engineer on the project, said, “CSX remains committed to doing this project the right way – safely and with respect for our neighbors and the community around the project. Now that we’re underway, we plan to complete the project as expeditiously as we can safely do so, consistent with our commitments to minimizing the impact on the community through our extensive mitigation plans.”
Similar work will begin at the east end of the project site, near 11th and M Streets, S.E., within the next few weeks.
The Preservation Fund Payment Confirmation Letter is now available. http://bit.ly/1KoHUjQ
Thank you to everyone who attended Coffee with Chuck this morning. Chuck and the project team provided an update on the project, reviewed upcoming construction activities and answered questions. The presentation from this morning’s meeting is available here: http://bit.ly/1BcpKtt.
Upcoming Coffee with Chuck sessions will be held on Wednesday, June 17; Thursday, July, 23; and Wednesday, August 19. We’ll be sharing additional details in the coming weeks and months. We hope you can join us.
As part of CSX’s voluntarily commitment to hiring workers and select contractors consistent with the spirit of the District of Columbia’s First Source and Certified Business Enterprise programs, our design / build partner Clark / Parsons will host a booth at the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) 2015 Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) Summit on Thursday, May 21, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM at Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University. The booth will provide information about employment and subcontracting opportunities with the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Project. Other members of the project team will also be available to answer questions.
At the DBE Summit, participants will hear about upcoming DDOT projects and have the opportunity to network with DBE firms, other small businesses, prime contractors in heavy construction and civil engineering, and DDOT project managers. There are also four industry-related concurrent workshops on Construction, Architecture and Engineering Professional Services, DDOT Contract Basics, and Understanding the DDOT Organization.
To learn more information and register for the DBE Summit, please visit: http://bit.ly/1GjviIr.