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In its latest newsletter, the Capitol Riverfront BID reports that it has received a 2011 Public Art Building Community Grant to spruce up the underpass where New Jersey Avenue crosses under the Southeast Freeway. The installation is called "Water Pylons," and will "transform the underpass into a modern representation of water that announces New Jersey Avenue as a gateway to the Capitol Riverfront community."
The 18 freeway support columns will be painted with reflective paint in various shades of blue, and four LED lights will help to illuminate both the art and the underpass. The BID says that the "painted blue pylons will reference the neighborhood's waterfront in an abstract theme that is distinct and surprising, but not distracting to motorists or pedestrians."
There will be public meetings on the project this spring, with installation expected to be finished by September.
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Beth says: (1/10/11 3:31 PM)
Thanks for the update on this!

Any idea how much lighting there will be? I actually work at Farragut West on the Orange line, and when coming home I switch from the Orange line at L'Enfant and get off at Navy Yard because to get off at Capitol South means that I have to walk under the underpass in the dark. Creeps me out a little, though I notice police hanging out there often.

Once it gets light again I'll get off at Cap. South. It'll be nice to see how it looks this fall.


JD says: (1/10/11 3:40 PM)
Right now I know zilch other than what I wrote above--the BID didn't include any drawings or anything. Perhaps sometime before the public meetings they'll release something....


MJM says: (1/10/11 3:44 PM)
Beth - the only drawing of the underpass with the blue scheme was displayed at an ANC meeting about four months - the BID (if you e-mail them) might give ya a copy. Needless to say - it was very blue and wavy with things hanging from the underpass (but not wavy like the silver artwork located in Rosslyn that blows in the wind)


JD says: (1/11/11 10:11 AM)
I asked the BID, and they're refining the original design that was shown at the ANC meeting to meet budget and other restrictions, so the updated design will be available at the public meetings.



thedofc says: (1/11/11 2:10 PM)
speaking of budget, how much is this going to cost? It sounds expensive, although the underpass really could use the light and safety.


Rick says: (1/12/11 6:09 PM)
Doesn't sound like anything other than a moderately fancy coat of blue paint. Let's hope it looks better than it sounds. Now, what about all the other underpasses: 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, and 8th?


MJM says: (1/12/11 7:23 PM)
Unless you pay a BID property tax (like some of us who aren't exempt) I probably wouldn't worry about the cost but with $1.5M in revenue I'm sure the BID can float it. I think you will be super impressed with the wavy things hanging down from the over the overpass and blue LED lights. Just hope the extra lights don't keep the homeless guys living under NJ Ave up at night......

It would be nice if they could take down that fence and thin that jungle on the west side of NJ Ave, grade it out to street level and make it more open or something like a semi-park or some more inviting that it is now. That would help give a better impression of the hood.


John says: (1/12/11 8:53 PM)
Who owns the land to the east of the axiom where they just put the parking lot? Are there any plans for what might go there?


JD says: (1/13/11 1:15 AM)
You mean that little lot on the corner of New Jersey and I? It's owned by a long-time landowner, he just owns that sliver (27,000 sq ft) where the lot is. The rest of the land between there and the Axiom, along with all of the land behind, is owned by CSX. No plans have ever been announced for any of those locations.

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