Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

ANC 6B commissioners Brian Flahaven and Kirsten Oldenburg have both written about a new batch of design concepts for Southeast Blvd., the planned stretch of road between 11th Street SE and Barney Circle where the sunken far eastern portion of the Southeast Freeway used to run.
Almost a year ago, DDOT presented five designs for the new road that basically, as Flahaven puts it, "replaced the freeway with ... a freeway completely separated from the neighborhood grid." The designs were not well received, and with a push from councilmember Tommy Wells, the Office of Planning stepped in to conduct a "rapid response" study of the neighborhood and the project. And on Aug. 4, these new designs were unveiled at a public meeting.
The boards show both two-lane and four-lane designs for the road, some with direct access to the Anacostia Waterfront and extension of the street grid to the boulevard, some without. The Office of Planning now plans to take community feedback--which apparently was considerably more positive this time around--and move forward with three final concepts that can be presented to the community and to DDOT this fall.
However, it also turns out that DDOT is planning to go ahead and reopen this stretch of road by the end of the year, with the traffic flowing through the new signalized intersection on 11th Street SE where the exit ramp from the Southeast Freeway recently opened. Oldenburg describes what she see as the "major implications" of this move: "First, this freeway segment becomes the No Build option in the study. Second, in my view, it will take the pressure off city officials to get the NEPA study completed in a timely manner, hopefully, incorporating some of the fresh ideas generated by the OP study."
Flahaven is urging residents to contact Mayor Gray and council members with their thoughts on this.
Comments (11)
   
 
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JD says: (8/28/14 9:26 AM)
And with that, I'm taking a timeout, though hopefully it won't last too long. Happy Labor Day, everybody!


Gamble Rogers says: (8/28/14 11:25 AM)
You rock, JD. Enjoy the holiday weekend!

And seriously, I'm with Commissioners Flahaven and Oldenburg on this one. After all the trouble of presenting new Southeast Boulevard options to the community -- and then getting community feedback -- why would DDOT open the road without making changes?

Instead of rushing to complete the road, how about rushing to implement the new design? Get this done relatively quickly while the heavy equipment is out there -- gather the community's input, push forward the design into early fall, and start building.

(I know, I know, that's crazy talk.)


sumar16 says: (8/28/14 12:06 PM)
Thanks for the update JD. As an L Street resident overlooking the current construction zone, I agree that DDOT should wait to reopen the freeway until the city has decided on the right use of the space.

Removing the dirt and resurfacing the roads for operation will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars at least, if not more. Rather than spending that money on a project that will soon be torn out anyway, we should spend it on building what the community really needs: a neighborhood-appropriate thoroughfare with green space and a restored connection to the waterfront.


202_cyclist says: (8/28/14 1:44 PM)
Will options A1 - A3 allow for more housing to be built along the former right-of-way? It looks like it from the images in the DDOT presentation.

Also, regarding the work at the vacant lot across from the car wash and McDonalds, I saw some large tanks on the site there yesterday evening. This follows the clearing of debris I saw last week.



Andrew in DC says: (8/28/14 8:59 PM)
It sounds like DDOT is pulling a fast one. But they wouldn't do that would they?


E. Masquinongy says: (8/30/14 1:19 PM)
I wonder about the wisdom of DDOT administering this development. This is an immense opportunity, to connect with the river and to build hundreds of residences. And DDOT's focus is on the road, a secondary consideration.


JD says: (9/1/14 10:35 AM)
(Laziness note: I appear to have successfully made it through my latest surgery, but will be on the mend for a little while yet. Set your already low expectations accordingly....)


Packinblackandred says: (9/2/14 8:20 AM)
Awesome news, glad to hear it!


jmauro says: (9/2/14 8:42 AM)
None of the new options will work. They all ignore the fact that the CSX railway is there at grade and that really limits what you can do with the space. There isn't space for a bridge landing either on the Anacostia side of the river and an at grade crossing would be right out.

Also the housing/stores would kind of suck with the trains running through 24/7.

My guess is that DDOT has been getting lots of complains from those who live on Capitol Hill and Hill East when the closing of this road wound up adding lots of travel time to those folks. The re-opening is a way to placate them.


Chococar says: (9/3/14 11:02 PM)
Let DC reopen this road. It would relieved the operational problems on the other side of the river. Traffic bound for eastbound Pa. Ave enters DC 295 from the left side of the freeway trying to exit to Pa. Ave on the right side of the road. This is dangerous.
On the other hand, westbound Pa. Ave traffic entering DC 295 enters on a cloverleaf ramp trying to merge with DC 295 traffic exiting to Pa. Ave eastbound. Equally dangerous.
This is why I assume the SE freeway spur is being opened.
As for thinking that opening the road will increase traffic on 19th and 17th Streets, drivers were using the narrow ramp by the cemetery illegally. If it was blockaded, the traffic on those two streets would not increase.
Let DC reopen the road to relived the dangerous situation on the other side of the river before some gets injured or killed.


Alex B. says: (9/5/14 1:25 PM)
jmauro,

None of the new options includes a grade crossing; they all leave the railroad tracks as-is and provide options for crossing them as a pedestrian. Take a closer look at the site cross-sections for those concepts.

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1200 B/O 1ST ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
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1200 B/O SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
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UNIT B/O M ST SE   ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON  06/07/20
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900 B/O 1ST ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
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150 I ST SE   
06/09/20 
SQUARE 737, LLC C/O WC SMITH / MIMI TRIGGER; MIMI TRIGGER
SP1900051 / CONSTRUCTION
Installation of (2) prefabricated hot tubs on the roof.
300 M ST SE   
06/02/20 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
P2006421 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/02/20 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
M2002616 / SUPPLEMENTAL
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
06/10/20 
CXS TRANSPORTATION INC / ;
P2006604 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
06/10/20 
SQUARE 742 LLC, C/O SPAULDING & SLYE/STE 100, / PAUL WHITLEY
AN1900284 / CONSTRUCTION
PROJECT CONSISTS OF: REMOVING: (2) EXISTING EQUIPMENT CABINETS, (3) EXISTING ANTENNA'S, (1) EXISTING RRU'S AND ANCILLARY EQUIPMENT / CABLE AND INSTALLING: (6) PROPOSED ANTENNA'S, (3) PROPOSED RRU'S, AND(2) PROPOSED EQUIPMENT CABINETS ON AN EXISTING TELECOM FACILITY
1105 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
06/03/20 
KRISTA ASHSHAHEED / null
E2008140 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
06/03/20 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / ;
P2006475 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1275 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
06/02/20 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / ;
P2006429 / SUPPLEMENTAL
125 O ST SE   
06/05/20 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / BILL SAUNDERS; TBD
B2006271 / CONSTRUCTION
BFPE International will furnish the fire alarm equipment, shop drawings, product data and calculations for the new fire alarm devices being installed at DCWater Main Pumping Station, Washington, DC 20032. This project will be a one for one replacement of panels, addressable and notification devices.
   
06/09/20 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / null
E2008311 / SUPPLEMENTAL
227 TINGEY ST SE   
06/04/20 
UNION INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE GMBH / null
E2008212 / SUPPLEMENTAL
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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