Earlier this week Virginia Avenue S.E. between 4th and 5th Streets S.E. as well as the I Street S.E. connection to Virginia Avenue S.E. closed. Crews are installing fencing along the construction zone and public access to that area will be prohibited. These restrictions are necessary to ensure the public's safety during construction.
Beginning next week there will be increased preparatory construction activity inside the fenced area and a drill rig will be mobilized to start drilling for steel and concrete pilings. The drilling work is expected to start on or about the week of July 20.
The parking spaces along Virginia Avenue S.E., between 3rd and 4th Streets will be reserved during work hours, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., from Monday, July 13 to Friday, July 17. The parking restrictions are in place to allow for tree removal in the area and are in accordance with DDOT-approved Maintenance of Traffic plans.
As a reminder, the parking spaces on both sides of 5th Street S.E. are also reserved during work hours. The parking is needed due to the DDOT-approved Maintenance of Traffic plan which directs traffic away from the work zone, and provides needed clearances for emergency response vehicles that may need to travel through the area. Please observe the posted reserved parking signs.
CSX recognizes that this creates inconveniences for some of our neighbors. As a result we are continuously looking at ways to keep as much parking as possible available to the Project's neighbors.
We expect to close portions of Virginia Avenue S.E. between 8th and 9th Street S.E. starting on or about Monday, July 20. This closing will last for the duration of the project. Pedestrians and drivers should expect to follow detours around the closed section of Virginia Avenue S.E.
Virginia Avenue between 2nd Street and 3rd Street was closed completely to traffic and parking on Wednesday, June 24. This closure will last through the duration of the tunnel-reconstruction project. Extensive signage is in place to guide drivers around the Virginia Avenue closure at 2nd Street. The recommended alternative route for eastbound travel is east on I Street, south on 4th Street, east on K Street, north on 5th Street and then east on Virginia Avenue.
Our work on Virginia Avenue between 5th Street and 7th Street, S.E., was delayed. We now anticipate that, beginning Monday, June 29, temporary lane closures on eastbound Virginia Avenue between 5th and 7th Streets will occur each day between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. These temporary closings are necessary to allow for additional utility-relocation work and installation of temporary street lighting. This work is expected to continue for approximately two to three (2-3) weeks.
On or about Wednesday, July 1, we expect to completely close Virginia Avenue between 4th Street and 5th Street. This closing will last for the duration of the project. It is necessary for construction of the new tunnel. Pedestrians and drivers should expect to follow detours around the closed section of Virginia Avenue, primarily by using K Street S.E. for eastbound travel between 4th and 5th Streets.
We have heard concerns from several neighbors about CSX’s plans to restore the landscaping, including plantings by residents, in areas that will be disturbed by the construction process.
To clarify, CSX intends to restore the landscaping in the public space areas as they exist today regardless of who installed and maintains them, provided they do not conflict with any District specifications or regulations. This includes replacing landscaping beds, shrubs, flowers and other plants that may be disturbed during the course of construction. We are currently developing a plan to inventory the landscaping and plantings that will be impacted by the project, to ensure we are able to restore the plantings when the project is complete. We will share more information about this process when we have finalized our plan.
The one exception will be the mature trees that are removed. Unfortunately these are only replaceable with smaller trees, which will be done in compliance with the D.C. Urban Forestry Preservation Act and in coordination with Urban Forestry Administration.
This commitment is consistent with our restoration obligations under the FHWA Record of Decision for the project, which are described beginning on page 40 of the document (http://ow.ly/OPMzv).
As part of our commitment to inform the Virginia Avenue Tunnel community about the status of activities related to the reconstruction project, we’re now offering you the opportunity to sign-up for project updates via SMS (text) message to receive updates directly to your mobile phone.
To instantly sign up for updates, text “VATNEWS” to 95577.
(Please note that any costs associated with your phone’s data/SMS plan will apply to texts that you receive from CSX. Please contact your provider to confirm the terms of your service.)
The CSX VAT Community Mitigation Fund Committee and Near Southeast Community Partners announced that the proposed criteria for funding applications is available for public comments. The Committee, which is made up of volunteers who reside or work in ANC 6B and 6D, developed the proposed criteria with the goal of enhancing the community impacted by the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Project and offsetting temporary inconveniences caused by construction. The comment period closes June 30, 2015. To review the criteria and submit a comment, please visit: http://bit.ly/1H380bN.