Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
January 22, 2006
January 6, 2019
Half at N, Looking North-Northwest (see more)

(STOP ALL THE NEWS TODAY! I CAN'T TAKE IT!)
This afternoon--5 pm on Election Day--the Federal Highway Administration released its Record of Decision on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project, which approves the chosen preferred alternative for the project, while also approving "short-term closures of I-695 ramps at 6th and 8th Streets SE" and "occupancy of a portion of the 11th Street Bridge right-of-way located on I-695."
It also brings to a close the NEPA process on the project that began a thousand years ago, give or take. (Okay, it took about three years.)
This design will replace the current tunnel with two new permanent tunnels, constructed sequentially. It is expected to take somewhere between 30 to 42 months to complete.
CSX immediately issued a press release saying that this decision will enable the company "to complete the tunnel’s design and initiate the construction permitting process" with the District Department of Transportation.
CSX's release also says that "major construction is expected to begin in the next several months, following receipt of the required permits." But somehow I am guessing that the path from this ROD to shovels in the ground isn't necessarily a smooth one, especially since the Committee of 100 has already let it be known that any decision short of an indefinite delay of the project would result in a lawsuit.
The entire ROD document is close to 300 pages long--feel free to dive right in.
I'll update as more statements, stories, and rending of garments come in.
UPDATE: Here's the Post's initial story, and a lengthy quote from it: "CSX Transportation can now move into the local permitting phase, followed by what could be about three and a half years of construction. Although the company must obtain permits from the city to move forward, there is every indication that the process will go smoothly. Even before completion of the mandated National Environmental Policy Act review, the D.C. Department of Transportation had agreed to let CSX take over the roads near the tunnel for the purpose of rebuilding it. Crews could start securing the site as early as this fall, officials said."
UPDATE II: A quote from page 3 of the ROD, about the approach to the tunnel work: "Implementation of the Selected Alternative will involve replacing the existing Virginia Avenue Tunnel with two new permanent tunnels constructed sequentially. The south side tunnel will be constructed first as train traffic will continue to use the existing tunnel. Once completed, train traffic will shift to the new south side tunnel, and the existing tunnel will be demolished. Most of the north wall of the existing tunnel will remain in place so that the structural integrity of the I-695 viaduct will not be affected. Following demolition, the north side tunnel will be constructed. At the end of construction, each new tunnel will have a single railroad track with enough vertical clearance to allow double-stack intermodal container freight trains. "
Comments (6)
   
 
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conngs0 says: (11/5/14 12:00 PM)
(Still) seems like a sensible plan to me provided CSX makes good on their proposals for community hardship compensation, noise mitigation, and the claim that the construction will not impede north/south vehicle, pedestrian or bicycle traffic.

In addition, I think the timeline is the most important part of this project. If CSX indicates that this project can be completed (along with all of the agreed-upon improvements) in 42 months at the most, then the permitting should be contingent upon completion by that date with significant penalties to be automatically imposed as a result of delay. This tunnel is going to be expanded, so let's get it done quickly with as little disruption as possible and get back to the matter of improving the neighborhood.


Andrew in DC says: (11/5/14 1:28 PM)
"If CSX indicates that this project can be completed (along with all of the agreed-upon improvements) in 42 months at the most, then the permitting should be contingent upon completion by that date with significant penalties to be automatically imposed as a result of delay"

Well that's really the biggest hole in their whole "plan". First, it's not 42 months (at least, not for the residents); CSX's plan allows for another 18 months to resurface the road and restore things back to normal: so its 6 years, assuming no delays (and in a project this size, there are always delays). Second, CSX's timelines aren't held by anything, once they have their first tunnel down and functional, they could sit on finishing off the project for years because the cost of finishing would be much, much greater than any hypothetical penalties inflicted by DDOT.

This whole project (on paper) is based on wild over estimation of Baltimore's port traffic increase. When that doesn't happen, CSX won't have any compunction about sitting on the site to defer costs. Hope you noticed they capped their mitigation efforts for the community at 42 months though. They made sure to put a timeline on that.

In your concluding sentence, you may as well have wished for Santa to bring you a pony. It won't be done quickly. It will disrupt the community substantially and it won't improve the neighborhood.


conngs0 says: (11/5/14 4:23 PM)
Andrew, I don't disagree with anything you say here. Indeed, the devil is in the details with projects such as this one.

According to my admittedly limited understanding, the city has relatively little leverage to demand additional concessions or commitments from CSX because CSX has held the right-of-way all along. So my hope is simply that CSX is obligated to pay significant fines if they deviate from the commitments that they've made so far. And I don't see how the permits can't be contingent on such a schedule with pre-established penalties for non-compliance.

The example you give regarding the possible overestimation of cargo moving through this area is a good one. Is there a way to guarantee that CSX does not stopping construction mid-project? Probably not, but there are definitely ways to affect and perhaps alter their calculus if/when they have to make a decision like that. It's not so much that I think this solution will cure all ills so much as I think it's the best possible solution at this stage of the game.


Andrew in DC says: (11/5/14 8:25 PM)
"Is there a way to guarantee that CSX does not stopping construction mid-project?"

Actually yes - you construct the permits such that you refuse trains to run through the construction area. Once suitably incentivized, you'd be amazed at how fast they get done and how rigidly they stick to the timetable.


ben says: (11/6/14 12:37 AM)
I agree that the construction permits should be structured two that everything is compmeted as quickly as possible to minimize the impactto the community.

As far as benefits to the community go -has anyone thought about hurrying the freeway while they're digging tunnels in that area? It would be great if the community could be better connected to the rest of the city. And if a trench/deck is built like the plans for 395 near union station, the city could get some more parks or buildable space in a desireable neighborhood....


Andrew in DC says: (11/6/14 11:46 AM)
"As far as benefits to the community go -has anyone thought about burying the freeway while they're digging tunnels in that area?"

It was brought up by one of the earliest commentors on the project, but DDOT never gave it serious consideration.

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Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
1300 B/O WATER ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 02/18/19
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 02/17/19
400 B/O 2ND ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 02/16/19
70 B/O I ST SE   ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON  02/15/19
500 B/O L ST SE   ROBBERY  02/14/19
1400 B/O SOUTH CAPITOL ST   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 02/13/19
1100 B/O 2ND PLACE SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 02/13/19
200 B/O I ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 02/13/19
200 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 02/11/19
100 B/O L ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 02/10/19
500 B/O L ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 02/09/19
1200 B/O HALF ST SE   THEFT
Theft First Degree (theft From Building)
 02/07/19
300 B/O L ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 02/07/19
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 02/05/19
1000 B/O 8TH ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 02/04/19
1100 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 02/02/19
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 01/25/19
900 B/O M ST SE   ROBBERY  01/25/19
100 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 01/24/19
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 01/24/19

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1331 4TH ST SE CU   
01/25/19 
FC 1331 LLC / BEN BEDDO
TL1900054 / CONSTRUCTION
First Extension to TL1700205, to Expire on 06 / 28 / 2019. Original Scope: New Tenant Layout for restaurant
4 I ST SE   
01/31/19 
USGBF WATERFRONT STATION LLC / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1900813 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 2 New Elevators - 3500LBS @ 350FPM
   
01/31/19 
USGBF WATERFRONT STATION LLC / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1900814 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New Elevator - 4000LBS @ 350FPM
2 I ST SE   
01/28/19 
MCDONALDS CORPORATION / ROGER LEE MOORE
M1901295 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
01/30/19 
MCDONALDS CORPORATION / null
E1903887 / SUPPLEMENTAL
150 I ST SE   
01/31/19 
WILLIAM C SMITH CO / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1900205 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New Elevator - 3500LBS @ 350FPM
   
01/31/19 
WILLIAM C SMITH CO / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1900206 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 2 New Elevators - 3500LBS @ 350FPM
   
01/31/19 
WILLIAM C SMITH CO / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1900207 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New Elevator - 3500LBS @ 350FPM
   
01/31/19 
WILLIAM C SMITH CO / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1900208 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New Elevator - 4000LBS @ 350FPM
   
01/31/19 
WILLIAM C SMITH CO / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1900209 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New Elevator - 3500LBS @ 200FPM
   
02/04/19 
SQUARE 737 LLC / RUSSELL M COX
B1904148 / CONSTRUCTION
THIS PERMIT SERVES AS A REVISION TO B1709058 FOR ELEVATOR REVIEW ONLY
250 M ST SE   
01/29/19 
SQ 769 LLC / ILAKKIYA THAMBI
AH1900470 / CONSTRUCTION
Requesting after hour permit to CCTV the sewers
   
02/01/19 
SQ 769 LLC / ILAKKIYA THAMBI
AH1900481 / CONSTRUCTION
After hour permit to CCTV the sewers
   
02/15/19 
SQUARE 769 LLC / STEVEN CHEN
AH1900542 / CONSTRUCTION
After Hours Permit - Drilling of Piles
   
02/15/19 
SQUARE 769 LLC / JENSEN HUGHES
MVQ1900481 / CONSTRUCTION
NFPA 20 2010 EDITION, SECTION 4.12.2.1.1 AS REFERENCED BY 2012 IBC CODE SECTION 913.1. BUILDING PERMIT B1813732
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/05/19 
CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION / THOMAS M. KESSLER
P1903515 / SUPPLEMENTAL
(2) Gas generators
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 350   
01/23/19 
SQUARE 742 LLC / PAUL KOLB 2027264900
E1903640 / SUPPLEMENTAL
79 POTOMAC AVE SE   
01/24/19 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC / null
P1903210 / SUPPLEMENTAL
520 TINGEY ST SE   
02/01/19 
BROOKFIELD PROPERTIES / MAHMOUD KHACHAN
SB1900114 / CONSTRUCTION
Three soil borings, six-inch diameter, 25 feet deep.
227 TINGEY ST SE   
01/24/19 
JOHN MORIARTY & ASSOCIATES / DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, LLC
AH1900451 / CONSTRUCTION
Yards Parcel L-2. Afterhours permit for the purpose of dismantling the tower crane on private property. Work to take place Friday, January 25th from 7PM to 10PM, Saturday, January 26th from 7PM to 10PM, and Sunday, January 27th from 10AM to 7PM.
   
01/31/19 
FOREST CITY WASHINGTON / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1900809 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New Elevator - 3500LBS @ 350FPM
   
01/31/19 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1900802 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New Elevator - 3500LBS @ 350FPM
   
01/31/19 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1900803 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New Elevator - 3500LBS @ 350FPM
   
01/31/19 
FOREST CITY WASHINGTON / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1900807 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New Elevator - 3500LBS @ 350FPM
   
01/31/19 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1900808 / SHOP DRAWING
Install New Elevator - 4000LBS @ 350FPM
   
01/31/19 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1900799 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New Elevator - 3500LBS @ 200FPM
   
01/31/19 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1900800 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New Elevator - 3500LBS @ 200FPM
   
01/31/19 
FOREST CITY WASHINGTON / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1900806 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 2 New Elevators - 3500LBS @ 200FPM
   
02/08/19 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, LLC
B1901392 / CONSTRUCTION
Yards Parcel L1 - Revision to Building Permit # B1801074 to add build-out of hotel restaurants and bars, and to incorporate changes required by DC Water. Includes 1st floor restaurant with 132 indoor seats and 48-seat Summer Garden;1st floor bar with 59 seats and 24-seat Summer Garden; Rooftop Bar with 48 indoor seats; Rooftop restaurant with 67 indoor seats and 48-seat Summer Garden. TPR
   
02/08/19 
FOREST CITY WASHINGTON / DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, LLC
AH1900513 / CONSTRUCTION
Yards Parcel L-2. Afterhours permit for the purpose of dismantling the tower crane on private property. Work to take place Friday, 2 / 8 / 19 and Saturday 2 / 9 / 19 between 7pm-10pm as well as Sunday, 2 / 10 / 19 between 10am-7pm.
300 TINGEY ST SE   
01/23/19 
FC BOILERMAKER LLC / GERALD ROPER
D1900159 / CONSTRUCTION
DEMOLITION TO INCLUDE REMOVAL OF EXISTING PARTITIONS & MILLWORK, ACT CEILING, BAR EQUIPMENT, LIGHT FIXTURES, AND FINISHES. NO CHANGE TO HISTORIC STOREFRONT OR STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS.
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;

Real Property Sales Archive  
1117 3RD ST SE   12/06/18
$ 5,000,000
SQUARE 769 LLC WILLIAM C SMITH & CO INC
 


Project Directory
Completed
New DC Water HQ ('19)
Yards/Bower Condos ('19)
Virginia Ave. Tunnel ('19)
99 M ('18)
Agora ('18)
1221 Van ('18)
District Winery ('17)
Insignia on M ('17)
F1rst/Residence Inn ('17)
One Hill South ('17)
Homewood Suites ('16)
ORE 82 ('16)
The Bixby ('16)
Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
The Brig ('16)
Park Chelsea ('16)
Yards/Arris ('16)
Hampton Inn ('15)
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
11th St. Bridges ('15)
Parc Riverside ('14)
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Cap. ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)


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