Posted tagged ‘Infrastructure’

Metro Planning to Install Raised Vent Shafts on New Hampshire Avenue

January 5, 2017
Metro plans to raise the

Metro plans to raise the vent shafts for the Georgia Avenue station currently protected by sandbags.

In mid-December I reached out to Metro and asked them to remove the sandbags that are located around the vent shaft grates by the CVS and former Sweet Mango on New Hampshire Avenue. The bags were originally placed around these grates around September 30, 2016, to prevent anticipated flooding from the remnant of Hurricane Irene, an event that turned out to be over rated. Over the months, some of the bags had begun to break and spill sand, creating a mess.

While WMATA originally agreed to remove the bags, they quickly followed up that there is a longer-term plan to raise the vent shafts at these two locations to prevent water intrusion and that the bags would be replaced with newer bags instead. I don’t have a date for the anticipated work, but will follow up when I do.

DC Water Projects in our Area

March 17, 2016

DC Water is busy with projects in our general area. Here are two that I think are noteworthy.

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Location of service line replacements, water main installation, and new hydrant replacements.

Just to the north of the neighborhood, DC Water is replacing existing 12-inch and smaller cast iron water mains in various locations. The efforts will help improve water quality and system reliability, increase water pressure in some area, and maintain adequate flows throughout the system. Constructions for this project is occurring on Rock Creek Church Road between Randolph Street and 5th Street, but will also include some work portions of 4th Street and Quincy Street.

The scope of work includes:

  • Installation of approximately 2,400 linear feet of 8-inch water mains;
  • Replacement of service lines (lead and/or other) in public space, as needed; and,
  • Replacement of fire hydrants and valves.

Expected completion date of this project is April 2016 (Read full news release here).

New hydrant(New hydrant located at Rock Creek Church Road and 5th Street, NW)

The other DC Water project is at Fairmont Street and Georgia Avenue, NW, which will involve the replacement of a 20-inch gate valve and a portion of the pipeline.

The project is scheduled to begin on March 21, 2016 and estimated to be completed by August 12, 2016. The project may involve lane closures and reduce area parking during some phases of construction.

(Read full news release here).

Limited Power Outage Scheduled for Tonight in Northern Park View

March 24, 2015

Pepco is doing some maintenance work in the northern part of the neighborhood and power will be off in the affected area tonight from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am.  The outage will impact customers on the 600 block of Rock Creek Church Rd., 600 block of Quebec Pl., 3600 block of Park. Pl., 3600 block of Warder St. NW, and the 700 block of Princeton Pl. NW. Residents living in this area should have already received a door hanger alerting them of the disruption (example below).

Pepco outage sign(Pepco notice from door hanger)

The scheduled outage tonight is so that Pepco can replace a module. As this is an overnight outage, residents on the relevant blocks should plan accordingly with regards to alarm clocks and devices that require charging.

Summary of DDOT’s Ward 1 Projects Meeting

October 28, 2014
DDOT's Interim Director, Matthew Brown, answering community questions.

DDOT’s Interim Director, Matthew Brown, answering community questions.

The District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) Ward 1 Projects Update meeting, held at the Columbia Heights Community Center on October 27, 2014, consisted of a broad rundown of the projects DDOT currently has in the pipeline for Ward 1. With DDOT’s Don Edwards acting as the facilitator, different DDOT staff members got up in turn to speak about their part of the presentation. Community questions were reserved for the end of the presentation.

The meeting began with an overview of the Transportation Development Process as a framework for the life cycle of a project. This was followed by an introduction to the goals and status of moveDC, DDOT’s long-term vision plan. The final moveDC document was released on October 21, and those wanting to review it can find both Part 1 and Part 2 available online.

For those interested in north-south transportation, DDOT stated that they are undertaking a transit priority planning study for 16th Street, which they hope to have under contract before the year is out, and which will take at least 12 months to complete after they are allowed to proceed.

The status of the north-south corridor street car wasn’t discussed in much depth either. It was noted that there were four possible north-south routes identified and that the next phase of the project is the environmental study. No reference was made with regards to funding. The main routes being considered in Ward 1 consist of Georgia Avenue vs. Sherman Avenue. One proposal has the route also on U Street to 14th Street.

The improvements to 15th Street will not only make the intersection with Forlida Avenue safer, but also include bioretention bumpouts and the creation of additional greenspace.

The improvements to 15th Street will not only make the intersection with Forlida Avenue safer, but also include bioretention bumpouts and the creation of additional greenspace.

Among the identified improvement projects that will be occurring soon in the Ward were:

  • The creation of dedicated bus lanes on Georgia Avenue between Barry Place and Florida Avenue;
  • Safety improvements on 15th Street, NW, in the vicinity of Florida Avenue, W Street, New Hampshire Avenue, and V Street;
  • Resurfacing and Streetscape improvements on 7th Street, NW, between N Street and Florida Avenue;
  • The reconstruction of U Street between Florida Avenue (west) and 14th Street, NW; and
  • The reconstruction of Florida Avenue between 9th/U Street and Barry Place, NW

During the discussion of traffic improvements one that will be of particular interest to residents on Monroe Street, NW, will be the addition of skip lines to the intersection of Monroe and 14th Street, NW. These are planned for the Spring of 2015 and intended to improve the interaction between the two-directional turn movements from Monroe Street — something residents on Monroe Street have been seeking for quite a while now.

The presentation on green infrastructure was interesting, where mention was made that more efforts are being made to create tree box spaces that will allow street trees more  room to grow by making larger earthen areas under adjoining sidewalks, giving street trees’ roots more room to grow.

I was both pleased and disappointed to learn that Ward 1 will only receive 300 new trees this planting season. This is because 97% of the known tree boxes are already planted. However, I pointed out during the later question and answer period that Park View has tree deserts that require long-term planning so that more tree areas can be considered during infrastructure improvement projects such as new sidewalks and bioretention bumpouts.

Tree planting map(Click on image to launch 2014/2015 tree planting map)

Lastly, in 2015, DDOT will continue their work of bringing sidewalks and crosswalks into ADA compliance. The majority of  the Ward 1 crosswalks that will be improved this fiscal year will be along 16th Street between Euclid Street and Spring Road, although I was happy to see that they will be redoing the crosswalk at New Hampshire Avenue and Rock Creek Church Road.

For a good sense of what was included in the meeting, I have scanned the presentation materials and made them assessable below.

DDOT 2014 Ward 1 Updates

Pepco Planning Harvard Substation Upgrade

October 20, 2014
Pepco Substation No. 13, at Harvard and Sherman Avenue, with 2914 Sherman in the background.

Pepco Substation No. 13, at Harvard and Sherman Avenue, with 2914 Sherman in the background.

Here’s some interesting news. Recently, Pepco purchased the property at 2914 Sherman Avenue, NW. This purchase is part of Pepco’s ongoing efforts to provide safe and reliable electric service to residents. As part of their efforts to do this, they identified the need to upgrade the Harvard Substation located at Sherman Avenue and Harvard Street, NW. This substation is an early substation in the Pepco system (it’s no. 13) and was built in five stages. The original 1907 building was designed by architect Frederick B. Pyle. This was followed by additions designed by Arthur B. Heaton in 1920 and 1921. Further additions were added in 1929 and finally in 1944.

According to an email from Pepco,”they have determined that the Harvard Substation needs to be upgraded for several important reasons, including the age of the existing infrastructure and capacity requirements, and to ensure [that they] continue to provide safe and reliable electric service to … customers. The equipment and building itself is aged and needs to be upgraded.  In addition, electrical demand in the area has increased and improvements are needed in order to meet forecasted loads.”

2914 Sherman Avenue will be razed as part of the substation project.

2914 Sherman Avenue will be razed as part of the substation project.

Upgrades to the Harvard Substation must be complete by 2021. To facilitate these upgrades, Pepco purchased the abutting property at 2914 Sherman Avenue. As recently as January 2013, there were plans to renovate the building into 20 market-rate condos. After the developer gutted the building, work seemed to grind to a halt.

Pepco plans to demolish the existing multi-unit building and use it temporarily to complete the renovations and upgrades to the substation. While the project details have not been finalized, Pepco anticipates that the substation improvements will likely proceed in five phases, which they have outlined below:

  • Establish a temporary substation. Before Pepco begins replacing existing infrastructure at the substation, they will first establish a temporary substation on the property adjacent to the substation.  They will need to create a temporary substation so that they can continue to provide electric service in the area while the existing substation is out of service.  Work to construct the temporary substation will likely start in 2018.
  • Transfer electric load to temporary substation site. Once Pepco has established the temporary site, they will transfer the load from the Harvard substation to the temporary substation.
  • Rebuild Harvard Substation. Pepco anticipates the rebuilding work at the Harvard Substation to begin immediately following the electric load transfer to the temporary substation. Plans for the rebuild have not been completed; however, Pepco intends to work with the community to ensure the design is harmonious with neighboring architectural themes and the property use is appropriate for continued operation.
  • Transfer electric load back to Harvard Substation. After the upgrades are completed, the electric load will be transferred back from the temporary substation and the Harvard Substation will resume providing electric service in 2021.
  • Disassemble the temporary substation. Following the load transfers, the temporary substation will be disassembled.

Pepco has determined that upgrading substation no. 13 is essential to maintain and improve the overall reliability and electric service for residents in the communities surrounding the substation.

I’ll share more information about this project as it moves forward and more information is known.

Sherman Avenue Reconstruction is Officially Over — Mayor Gray Ribbon Cutting Scheduled for Tomorrow

July 8, 2013

Sherman Ribbon cuttingThe reconstruction of Sherman Avenue is finally over. A ribbon cutting has been scheduled to celebrate its completion for Tuesday July 9th at 10:00 a.m. According to the flyer (click image to right), the ceremony will be held on the southeast corner of Sherman Avenue and Morton Street and will include Mayor Gray and members of DDOT.

Councilmember Graham originally announced the reworking of Sherman Avenue on October 8, 2010 with construction set to begin on October 18th of that year. During the ensuring two and a half years, the street has been resurfaced; new curbs, gutters, and storm drains have been installed; new streetlights have been installed; and a median with new trees, shrubs, and other plantings has been created. The sidewalk areas along the east and west side have also been re-worked to include more trees.

According to DDOT’s project Website, the project’s goals were to:

  • Make Sherman Avenue feel more residential rather than a commuter route by reducing vehicular lanes to one in each direction.
  • Improve pedestrian safety by widening the sidewalks to make them ADA compliant, and upgrading the wheelchair ramps and crosswalk markings.
  • Make Sherman Avenue more attractive by planting trees and shrubs along the corridor, upgrading street lights and upgrading traffic signals.

The $13 million project was funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The completed Sherman Avenue streetscape, looking north from Street.

The completed Sherman Avenue streetscape project, looking north from Columbia Road.

New Crosswalks Being Installed on Georgia Avenue

March 12, 2013
New crosswalks and surrounding sidewalks outside of Mothership, Georgia & Lamont.

New crosswalks and surrounding sidewalks outside of Mothership, Georgia & Lamont.

In walking along Georgia Avenue over the weekend, I was happily surprised to see that sidewalk repairs and new ADA compliant crosswalk improvements were in progress at the intersections of Park Road and Lamont Street. While I still don’t know where things currently stand with the Lower Georgia Avenue Great Streets project, this can’t be a bad sign.

Below are a few additional photos.

New crosswalk at Park Road and Georgia.

New crosswalk at Park Road and Georgia.

Sidewalk along Georgia Avenue marked for future new crosswalk.

Sidewalk along Georgia Avenue marked for future new crosswalk.


Correction: 700 b/o Park Road Getting New Curbing … and Sidewalks

September 28, 2011

Yesterday, I alerted the community that the curbing on the 700 b/o Park Road was being replaced. Well, turns out I was only partially correct. The City is also replacing sections of the sidewalk. I’ll have to keep an eye on this block to see just how extensive the improvements are.

700 b/o Park Road Getting New Curbing & Gutters

September 27, 2011

New curbing on Park Road near the Georgia Avenue intersection

Anytime I see infrastructure improvements in the neighborhood I’m generally happy. This applies equally to trees, renovated and/or restored buildings, or streetscape improvements. While the most obvious improvement to the streets around here are the section of Georgia Avenue north of Otis Place, NW, I discovered over the weekend that the 700 b/o Park Road is also getting some improvements.

The north side of Park Road is in the midst of having the curbing and gutters replaced for the entire block. Having walked that street for the last few years I can definitely say that it’s long overdue. The existing curbs are almost at street level and serve nearly no purpose — the most important purpose probably being guiding rainwater to the storm drains.

Still, it’s a little sad to see the old curbs go. They are made of stone and quite old as can be seen by their wear. It’s even possible that they are the original curbs … but if they are no longer able to fulfill their purpose then I guess it’s time for them to replaced. I would, however, like to know what makes the City decide to use granite vs. poured concrete. Is there an ordering system? Does it depend upon how a street is classified? I definitely need to find out.

Additional photos below.

Park Road Curb replacement in progress

Section of Park Road with original curbing


Sherman Ave. Reconstruction on Time and on Budget According to DDOT

February 2, 2011

Sherman Avenue, looking south from Euclid Street

According to information on the DDOT Web site, the reconstruction of Sherman Avenue is 100% on schedule, with 100% of the design work done and about 18% of construction accomplished. Work on the roadway is currently focused on the west side of the thoroughfare and mostly south of Girard.

The completed project will consist of new medians with trees, new roadway, upgraded sidewalk ramps and streetlights, and traffic signals from Florida Avenue to Park Road. An additional image is below.

New water main installation in progress


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