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(I am, as they say, out of pocket, so I hope you will have patience with me for being in cut and pasting mode today.)
Here is the release sent out on Wednesday from the DCSafeRail folks about the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Final Environmental Impact Statement released last week:

DC APPARENTLY PRE-APPROVES CSX TUNNEL BEFORE ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY CONCLUDES

(June 19, 2014) Washington, DC--According to documents in the Environmental Impact Statement for the CSX Tunnel at Virginia Avenue, SE, released last Friday, it appears that the District Department of Transportation has predetermined the EIS and apparently rubber-stamped CSX’s proposal for a partially open-trench construction project that will carry hazardous cargo less than a mile from the U.S. Capitol and through the heart of a growing residential/business community. It also appears to contradict Mayor Gray’s promise, made to over 400 people in January, that “…there is no way that we are going to allow people’s safety and security concerns to be compromised” by the CSX Tunnel.

In Appendix A (pg. 47) of the Final EIS appears to show that DDOT entered into a previously unknown agreement with CSX to grant occupancy permits to expand the tunnel’s right of way beyond its existing footprint. Additional agreements apparently indicate that upon conclusion of the project, CSX would be entitled to a permanent right-of-way to cover the expanded tunnel.

“We hope that the District Government has not thrown us under the freight train,” said Helen Douglas, a member of DCSafeRail, the coalition committed to the health, safety and security of the people in and around the CSX proposed expansion site. “We ask Mayor Gray to honor his commitment to us and withdraw any pre-EIS approval for these permits and conduct a true EIS with real alternatives to the CSX Tunnel fully analyzed.”

DCSafeRail will also ask the City Council, through Chairman Phil Mendelson, Councilmember Mary Cheh, chair of the Council’s transportation oversight committee, and our own Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells to hold hearings on the whole CSX Tunnel EIS.

The CSX Tunnel project will route freight trains with hazardous cargo, including occasional Bakken crude oil, through a partially open construction trench for almost four years. DDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) prepared the EIS.

“At best, this indicates that the District government is failing to uphold basic principles of good government, including transparency and accountability,” said Douglas.” At worst, it suggests that the environmental study is a farce because it rubber-stamps the CSX open-trench proposal.”

The Washington Post had a short piece on this response, with DDOT's response to the response: "DDOT spokesman Reggie Sanders said in an e-mail that the permit relative to Virginia Avenue SE and adjacent streets 'will have no force or effect until a build alternative is approved via Record of Decision.' Other requests for comment regarding the city’s commitment to the project have not been answered."
Comments (9)
   
 
 More About CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel

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E. Masquinongy says: (6/20/14 9:19 AM)
JD: from the Washington Post Article:

"The city also has asked CSX to extend the tunnel to 12th Street SE."

Is this to tie in to the proposed SE boulevard?


JD says: (6/20/14 9:45 AM)
More that so the proposed extension of 12th one block northward can happen - which ties into SE Blvd.


E. Masquinongy says: (6/20/14 10:51 AM)
JD: Interesting.

I recall, somewhere, that there was a proposal to extend 12th St, but I can not understand how this was going to segue into the public housing on K St. I presume there are no plans to connect to 12th St north of K, true?


NSkidmore says: (6/20/14 3:57 PM)
DCSafeRail RESPONDS TO DDOT

DCSafeRail issued the following statement regarding DDOT's justification yesterday for the issuances of permits for the CSX Tunnel before the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is complete [Washington Post, 6/19/14: DDOT's Early Commitment to CSX Tunnel Project in S.E. DC Irks Residents]:

We appreciate the assurance from DDOT spokesperson Reggie Sanders that the DDOT permits "will have no force or effect until a build alternative is approved via Record of Decision," but this hardly corrects the weight of the documents in the EIS that are overwhelmingly in favor of the project, specifically including issuing the street occupancy two years ago and the promise by DDOT and the City Administrator (who oversees all executive agencies for the mayor) to expedite other permits and approvals.

The EIS documents, prepared by CSX’s paid consultants, call into question DDOT’s objectivity and transparency, and raise the question why this agreement was not disclosed to the public until now, despite years of countless questions from the public and elected officials about DDOT’s permitting process and criteria. We want Mayor Gray to back-up his January commitment to not "allow people’s safety and security concerns to be compromised” by the CSX Tunnel with its track in a partially open trench carrying trains with hazardous materials. We therefore ask Mayor Gray to countermand all efforts to "expedite" this project and assure everyone concerned that all approvals and permits will be given full review and consideration and that the EIS has not already been rubber-stamped.


JD says: (6/21/14 7:29 AM)
E, the extension of 12th would only be for one block, to allow drivers coming off 695 to M to go one more block and turn to go left to 11th or right onto SE Blvd. It wouldn't go up to K.


E. Masquinongy says: (6/25/14 9:00 AM)
EHN has weighed in.
link


JD says: (6/25/14 9:22 AM)
My vacation to Detroit last week has ended, but somehow I haven't quite returned to blogging. (Object, rest, stays, etc.)


323 says: (6/25/14 11:40 AM)
Sooo... pardon my ignorance, but i have a few questions. May sound flippant, but I do not intend them to. Trying to unpack the objection to the tunnel.

1. Access. Get that, if it is more difficult to get to and from your home, that presents a problem.
2. Noise, construction, etc. Understand the nuisance, but its not like this is the first or last construction project of major significance in this neighborhood recently. I could see if you all of the sudden started this work in georgetown (not the best example, but you get it) or something where it was so contrary to what the neighborhood is used to.
3. Length of time. 3 years doesnt seem too bad. Its not like there wont be adjacent construction going on for much longer.
4. Open Trench. By my count there are a few potentially hazardous unfinished or abandoned lots in the area that would be more dangerous than a site that is at least constantly monitored from a safety perspective bc it is an active construction site. What exactly is the worry here? Someone will fall in? Serious question.
5. Air Quality. Understand the worry.
6. Hazardous Materials. I understand the suspicion, but I would think proximity to the capitol would mitigate peoples fear. No?

Maybe I am being naive, or dont fully comprehend the scope of the work being done and it will truly be more disruptive than I understand. But this seems like something that is going to happen, and pushing/asking for more time is simply not worth the return in whatever we'll get from CSX. And in effect all we are doing is pushing the date this all gets completed further away. Maybe opponents goal is simply to get the best deal possible. If thats the case, I'd say take a good deal and lets get this thing over with.


E. Masquinongy says: (6/25/14 2:19 PM)
323: the more important consideration is what will be built. The purposed to enable double-stacked trains, and the train traffic will surely increase; presently a train passes over these tracks about twice an hour. And lately there have been accidents. While train wrecks are rare, they are far worse than a typical truck accident (which is bad enough).

Basically, I think some people want the entire line re-routed outside of the DC. Short of that, that the line is to be completely buried within DC, with tunnels under the rivers. Both options were considered and dismissed, due to cost.

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1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   SEX ABUSE
First Degree Sexual Abuse
 04/17/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
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100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
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 04/09/18
150 B/O L ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
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UNIT B/O L ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
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100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
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1331 2 ST SE   
04/02/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / MARK HARLOW CLIFFORD
SB1800225 / CONSTRUCTION
Application for Well Abandonment Workplan Approval for the abandonment of 8 monitoring wells and 21 inclinometers at the Main Pumping Station site for the DC Water Clean Rivers Project, Division I, installed under Permit Number SB1400419.
1331 2ND ST SE 20003   
04/05/18 
DC WATER / DAVE LEVINE
AH1800744 / CONSTRUCTION
After Hours work for structure excavation in support of DC Water, Corrman Construction 301-343-5417.
1346 4TH ST SE   
04/10/18 
ALAN OWINGS / ROBERT HENRY
AH1800796 / CONSTRUCTION
After Hours Permit for 04 / 16 / 18 from 9AM to 7PM to perform facade, interior unit framing and drywall work, and interior Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Sprinkler Rough-In.
1346 4TH ST ST SE 20003   
03/28/18 
FOREST CITY / TYLER D BARRON
AH1800712 / CONSTRUCTION
After hours for 4 / 13 / 18 to 5 / 12 / 18. Work that is to be done is quiet work of window deliveries at 5:30AM to 7:00AM by use of tower crane
82 I ST SE   
04/02/18 
GDVC EYE STREET LLC / null
FB1800055 / SUPPLEMENTAL
150 I ST SE   
03/28/18 
null
E1805313 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
03/29/18 
null / JOHN THOMSON 3018645080
E1805337 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE 400   
04/09/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
M1801970 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE STE# 400 20024   
04/05/18 
CHARLES SMITH / EUGENE AHNS 3012811497
E1805597 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE STE# 400   
04/12/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
P1805161 / SUPPLEMENTAL
140 M ST SE   
03/26/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / null
P1804630 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE   
03/26/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / JERRY BETHEA
M1801846 / SUPPLEMENTAL
401 M ST SE   
04/03/18 
TETRA TECH C/O DOEE / JESSICA REICHARD
AH1800767 / CONSTRUCTION
After hours permit for manhole access to complete inspections for DOEE Anacosta River Sediment clean up project, work hours between 7pm and 7am Monday thru Friday. Rolling work zones for all manhole access under permit # PA10374319-R1
800 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/05/18 
SQUARE 737 LLC / null
P1804974 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
04/09/18 
SQUARE 737 LLC / null
E1805700 / SUPPLEMENTAL
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/02/18 
CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION / NA CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC.
AH1800715 / CONSTRUCTION
Work in public ROW within the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Reconstruction Project LOD for utility, demolition, and concrete structure construction activities.
   
04/11/18 
CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION / DEVIN MURDOCK
SB1800265 / CONSTRUCTION
Drill 8 borings to 40ft. Convert 4 borings into 1" temporary wells, collect groundwater from each well and abandon borings.
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/13/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / CLIFFORD DIXON
B1804348 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR RENOVATIONS TO OFFICE SPACE ON THE 5TH FLOOR. **DEMOLITION, LEVEL 2 ALTERATION
1115 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/06/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / ACCUPERMIT LLC AS AGENT
B1803009 / CONSTRUCTION
Interior alterations for new tenant in existing commercial space to include partitions, mill work, electrical and plumbing fixtures, flooring and wall coverings, dining area furniture and kitchen equipment for a A-2 restaurant with 49 proposed occupancy.
125 O ST SE   
03/29/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / JAMES M. HALLER
P1804624 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
04/09/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1801762 / SHOP DRAWING
I New G2S Elevator - 3500LBS @ 200FPM (7 Floors)
   
04/09/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1801763 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New G2S Elevator - 3500LBS @ 200FPM (6 Floors)
   
04/09/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1801761 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New G2S Elevators 4000LBS @ 200FPM (7 Floors)
71 POTOMAC AVE SE   
03/26/18 
FORIDA ROCK PROPERTIES INC / null
BCIV1800074 / CONSTRUCTION
This permit is for rough grading and erosion and sediment control civil work associated with the temporary parking lot, relocation of the dog park and construction staging area on the undeveloped portion of the lot.
227 TINGEY ST SE   
03/28/18 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / ERICKA CLARK
AH1800760 / CONSTRUCTION
significant concrete pours and tower crane erection 5AM - 7AM and 7PM - 10:00PM
   
04/12/18 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / STEPHEN J. EXELBERT
P1805022 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 TINGEY ST SE   
04/12/18 
MERCURY LLC / WILL TEASS
B1803433 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR FIT-OUT / EXTENSION OF EXISTING TENANT SUITE (APPROVED UNDER B1605215) INCLUDING NEW MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL WORK. **LEVEL 2 ALTERATION
AH = After Hours; B = Alteration & Repair; D = Demolition; E = Electrical; FB = Boiler; M = Mechanical; P = Plumbing and Gas; PC = Post Card; R = Raze; SG = Sign; TL = Tenant Layout; TN = Tent; RW = Retaining Wall;

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