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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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150 B/O L ST SE   THEFT
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1100 2ND PL SE   
10/23/18 
null / ANDY MCKELVEY
SP1800044 / CONSTRUCTION
Construct outdoor swimming pool on 10th floor roof of new building
1013 4TH ST SE   
11/05/18 
EVA WALTER / KYLE YOST
SOL1900066 / CONSTRUCTION
5.89kw rooftop solar pv system, less than 4' above roof
   
11/07/18 
EVA WALTER / null
E1901297 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1346 4TH ST SE   
10/18/18 
FC 1346, LLC / DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, LLC
B1809670 / CONSTRUCTION
Parcel O-2 at the Yards. Revision to Permit B1610576 for installation of flood wall on 5th Street, SE, the reduction of roadway width, and widening of sidewalk to provide adequate pedestrian clear space between flood wall and edge of tree pit. TPR
   
11/01/18 
ALAN OWINGS / ROBERT HENRY
AH1900133 / CONSTRUCTION
After Hours Permit for 11 / 12 / 2018, to perform construction work with the below activities: Interior Operations: 7AM-7PM Exterior Operations: 9AM-7PM
1000 5TH ST SE   
10/31/18 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / JOY WILDER
B1901427 / CONSTRUCTION
Non Construction permit to change load for current Child Development Center with 26 children 3 to 6 years old +3 Staff to Child Development Center with 30 Children + 3 Staff.
2 I ST SE   
10/17/18 
MCDONALDS CORPORATION / DONNA G GRAHAM
AH1900080 / CONSTRUCTION
WR #3573836 - M.ALLEN / BRUNO - WARD 6 - 20003 - PEPCO CREWS WILL BE WORKING #2 I ST SE - MAY NEED TO BLOCK "I" STREET ON OCCASION TO INSTALL NETWORK TRANSFORMERS AND INSTALL AND SPLICE CABLES - CREW WILL BE WORKING AT NIGHTS DURING THE WEEK (MONDAY-FRIDAYS) FROM 9PM TIL 7AM - PEPCO CREWS WILL ALSO BE WORKING SATURDAY AND SUNDAYS FROM 6AM TIL 6PM - WORK IS ONGOING
   
11/05/18 
CRESCENT CAPITAL VIEW / CASSANDRA MOSLEY
AH1900160 / CONSTRUCTION
Installation of wet utility services to the new building at 4 I Street SE including fire service, domestic service, and storm sewer.
10 I ST SE   
10/24/18 
CAPITOL HILL RACQUET CLUB / BOB BIROONAK; N/A
SG1900026 / CONSTRUCTION
Relocating existing freestanding sign
110 I ST SE   
11/06/18 
null
E1901238 / SUPPLEMENTAL
200 I ST SE 20009   
10/25/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / null
M1900267 / SUPPLEMENTAL
200 I ST SE   
11/05/18 
GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / null
E1901223 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/25/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / CLIFFORD DIXON
B1809410 / CONSTRUCTION
DGS OCTO BUILDING...NEW GENERATOR ON THE ROOF WITH ASSOCIATED MECHANICAL
   
11/07/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / DANIEL MCGUIRE
P1901098 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE 8TH FL   
10/24/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / ALFRED JORDAN 2024375067
E1900838 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE 8TH FLOOR 20003   
10/22/18 
JBG SMITH - MORGAN JOHNSON-MASSEY / null
E1900736 / SUPPLEMENTAL
130 M ST SE   
11/09/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / RICHARD PLUMLEY
P1901176 / SUPPLEMENTAL
250 M ST SE   
11/07/18 
WCSMITH - BRIAN STROTT / GEORGE ARTHUR KING
SB1900025 / CONSTRUCTION
Drill and construct two 2 inch diameter observation wells 42 feet below existing grade utilizing mud rotary drilling methods. All drill spoils will be contained, tested and disposed of per DOEE regulation.
400 M ST SE   
10/18/18 
CAPPER SENIOR 11 LIMITED PARTNERSHIP / null
E1900650 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
11/02/18 
CAPPER SENIOR 11 LIMITED PARTNERSHIP / null
E1901156 / SUPPLEMENTAL
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
10/31/18 
CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION / BRANDON KNAPP
AH1900131 / CONSTRUCTION
Work in the public ROW with the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Reconstruction Project LOD for utility, demolition, concrete structure, paving, and site restoration construction activities.
   
11/07/18 
CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION / RPS INC
SB1900023 / CONSTRUCTION
Per Work Plan, Geotechnical Investigation, dated October 18, 2018 (see attached), the work involves drilling 12 soil borings using a HSA rig for the purpose of collecting soil samples for geotechnical subsurface exploration. Boring depths range from 80 to 150 ft. Borings will be properly backfilled after completion.
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
10/17/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / null
E1900581 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
10/23/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / MICHAEL PISA; PISA
SG1800505 / CONSTRUCTION
Install 2 sets of wall mounted illuminated channel letters
   
10/25/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / null
E1900860 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
11/05/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / MICHAEL B. BELL
E1901199 / SUPPLEMENTAL
227 TINGEY ST SE   
10/17/18 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, LLC
AH1900079 / CONSTRUCTION
Yards Parcel L-2. Afterhours permit for the purpose of installing precast concrete façade panels. Work to take place 7PM to 7AM, 10 / 22 through 11 / 3.
   
11/01/18 
JOHN MORIARTY & ASSOCIATES / DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, LLC
AH1900141 / CONSTRUCTION
Yards Parcel L-2. Afterhours permit for the purpose of installing precast concrete façade panels. Work to take place 7PM to 7AM, 11 / 5 through 12 / 5.
300 TINGEY ST SE   
11/05/18 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / DREW PEISHEL; JOHN RANOUS
B1813340 / CONSTRUCTION
Minor interior tenant improvment including building one non-load bearing partitiion wall adding millwork fixtures including cash desk, fitting rooms. No Structural work. Some electrical updates. **LEVEL 2 ALTERATION
   
11/08/18 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / STEPHEN ADAMS 2403042373
E1901337 / SUPPLEMENTAL
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