Since January, 2003
 (a random before-and-after moment)
December 16, 2004
June 2, 2014
2nd (East) at M, Looking North-Northeast (see more)

I'm not going to wait to post until I read the whole thing (448 pages!), so here it is.
But I glanced at the Executive Summary, and here's the money graf:
"Preferred Alternative - Two New Tunnels (originally Concept 5 and identified as Alternative 3 in the Draft EIS): Alternative 3 was selected as the Preferred Alternative. It involves replacing the existing Virginia Avenue Tunnel with two new permanent tunnels constructed sequentially (see Figure S-2). Each new tunnel will have a single railroad track with enough vertical clearance to allow double-stack intermodal container freight trains. A new parallel south side tunnel will be built first as trains continue operating in the existing Virginia Avenue Tunnel. After the south side tunnel is completed, train operations will switch over to the new tunnel and the existing Virginia Avenue Tunnel will be demolished and rebuilt. With the exception of operating in a protected open trench for approximately 230 feet immediately east of the 2nd Street portal (within the Virginia Avenue SE segment between 2nd and 3rd Streets SE), trains will operate in enclosed tunnels throughout construction under the Preferred Alternative. Throughout most of the length of the entire rebuilt tunnel, the two tunnels will be separated by a center wall. This center wall will be the new centerline of the two tunnels, and it will be aligned approximately 25 feet south of the existing tunnel centerline, between 2nd and 9th Streets SE. Due to new columns associated with the rebuilt 11th Street Bridge, the tunnels will be separated on the east end starting just west of Virginia Avenue Park, resulting in two separate single-track tunnels and openings at the east portal. "
I will keep reading, and either update this post or write in the comments thread below as I see more items of note.
UPDATE: Here's the Post on the release. "Following the meeting, the federal agency is expected to release a record of decision, which could give CSX approval to seek construction permits for the project. CSX would need to go through the District’s permitting process before construction could begin, but company officials say they hope to break ground on the $170 million project this year."
UPDATE II: The VAT fact sheet, with these bullet points on pledged improvements post-construction:
* Improving access to Garfield Park for wheelchair-dependent individuals (page 5-65);
* Building a continuous bike path between 2nd and 9th Streets connecting Garfield Park and Virginia Avenue Park (page 5-98);
* Straightening the alignment of Virginia Avenue SE within the 400 block to be consistent with the original L’Enfant Plan (page 5-59);
* Improving the traffic lane configuration between 5th/6th and 8th Streets to provide safer and calmer traffic conditions (appendix M, roadway layout sheets 2 and 3 of 4); and
* Installing landscaping and improved street lighting, traffic signals and crosswalks (page 5-84).
UPDATE III: In the EIS itself, I recommend reading Section S.7, "Key Issues Raised by Community and Responses," which starts on page 52 of the PDF. It's a big FAQ about a lot of very small details that have come up over the months/years.
UPDATE IV: From a DDOT press release (and I'm sure from somewhere in the EIS as well), some additional key features and mitigations:
* The dual tunnel construction ensures that there will be no trains operating in an open trench near residences;
* Cross streets will be maintained throughout construction;
* Residential mitigations include a one-time payment to the Arthur Capper senior residence ($250,000), a payment of $500/month to those residences on the front line of construction, and possible reconciliation payments of up to $75,000 to certain owners that need to sell their homes;
* Enhancements fund for the project area ANC;
* Creation of a historic preservation fund;
* Reconstruction of Virginia Avenue SE to include improved sidewalks, new trees, and a bike lane;
* ADA improvements to the Garfield Park; and
* A new dog park at the Virginia Avenue Park.
CSX will also enter into District resident hiring and local business (CBE) utilization agreements.
Comments (16)
 
 More About CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel

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Comments

JES says: (6/13/14 9:24 AM)
This... this could be much worse.


conngs0 says: (6/13/14 10:14 AM)
This is probably an instance where the devil could be in the details, but as an issue of first impression, I tend to agree that this way forward doesn't seem to be so unreasonable.

Given how long this planning process has dragged on, it also wouldn't be unreasonable to expect (demand) that CSX honors the commitments it makes on construction timeline as well as the total lack of disruption to the community in the immediate vicinity (e.g., no disruptions to vehicular, bicycle or pedestrian traffic going under the freeway; minimal disturbance of the green space on the south end of Virginia Avenue; etc.). Do the DC permitting agencies have the authority to memorialize these commitments and establish penalties if they are not honored?


E. Masquinongy says: (6/13/14 10:40 AM)
It does seem better.

My main concern is holding them to the landscaping and street improvements they have promised after the tunnel is complete. I have seen that fall away in a number of projects, like the park above Boston's Big Dig, which is still unfinished years after the road construction stopped.


JD says: (6/13/14 11:17 AM)
Dang it, I was sure somewhere on the web site I had stated publicly what I said under my breath in December of 2011, that Concept 5 (the one now chosen) was the clear choice.



ZoolanderANDtheBoYz says: (6/13/14 8:36 PM)
I will be cool with the construction noise for $500/month. That shit pays for my car payment and insurance.


Nanjemoy1 says: (6/13/14 8:50 PM)
What page is Appendix C on? I've searched and searched for it. Thanks!


JD says: (6/13/14 8:53 PM)
Check the team project site, virginiaavenuetunnel.com. I think. I'm on my phone. :) they should have the whole thing.


Nanjemoy1 says: (6/13/14 9:24 PM)
Thanks, JD. It begins on page 1249.


JD says: (6/13/14 9:27 PM)
I'm waiting for Velocity people to decide they need $500/month compensation from Toll.


MJM says: (6/13/14 11:58 PM)
I'll take that $500 and hire an artist to paint a mural of the skyline on the back of that fancy new wall.


S.B. says: (6/16/14 10:45 AM)
What concerns me is how close the new second tunnel will be to the houses along va ave/I street. The EIS said something about the center wall being 25 feet south but that's impossible because the new tunnel would be in their living room. I want to actually find out where the existing tunnel is and where the new tunnel is going to stop. The drawing are not very accurate.


JD says: (6/17/14 8:28 AM)
Nice look at the road diet and bike lane configuration for Virginia Avenue post-construction (WashCycle): link


JoeNdc says: (6/18/14 12:47 PM)
Regarding the VAT project. I empathize with my neighbors on Virginia Ave much closer to the project than I. However, as for the changes indicated in the linked article (if they actually come to fruition) I am very happy. Granted, my happiness is for personal benefit as I gain a cul-de-sac and more park space. This is great as it adds more green space for dog walking and kid playing. As for the project length... I hope it does not run over. I'd like it done with sooner rather than later. I just hope that CSX keeps their commitments and the end result is an improved one which benefits the neighborhood.


conngs0 says: (6/18/14 1:55 PM)
Totally agree that sooner is better than later. Just think - this project could be finished by now. The neighborhood is going to get significantly more congested over the next year and a half, so let's get this project (along with all of the additional road work on and around 11th Street) wrapped up in short order.


ValveetaChz says: (6/20/14 8:50 AM)
The post had an article yesterday in which it mentions that CSX got approval to build 2 years ago. 2 YEARS AGO!!! These asshats are just putting on a show to make it look like they care what the area residents think. They're going to do whatever they want, and we have no say in it.


Whatevs says: (6/29/14 4:25 PM)
Too many NIMBYers...

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