Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
January 23, 2007
March 26, 2018
3rd at Virginia, Looking Southwest (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. "
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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  
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 04/24/18
1200 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 04/24/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 04/23/18
1100 B/O 2ND PLACE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 04/20/18
1000 B/O 1ST ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 04/20/18
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   SEX ABUSE
First Degree Sexual Abuse
 04/17/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Shoplifting
 04/17/18
100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 04/17/18
UNIT B/O N ST SE   ROBBERY  04/14/18
100 B/O I ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 04/12/18
UNIT B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 04/12/18
1200 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 04/09/18
150 B/O L ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 04/07/18
1000 B/O 3RD ST SE   BURGLARY
Burglary One
 04/07/18
1200 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   ROBBERY
Assault W/i To Commit Robbery (simple Assault)
 04/05/18
UNIT B/O K ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
 04/01/18
1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 03/31/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 03/28/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 03/28/18

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
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.
1100 2ND PL SE   
04/19/18 
CAPPER CARROLLSBURG VENTURE, LLC / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1801710 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New G2S 3500LBS @350FPM, Elevator 2; 13 Floors
   
04/19/18 
CAPPER CARROLLSBURG VENTURE, LLC / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1801712 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 2 New G2S Elevators - 3500LBS@35FPM Elevator 1, 12 Floors
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.
1300 4TH ST SE   
04/17/18 
null / DONNA G GRAHAM
AH1800863 / CONSTRUCTION
WR #3476633-WARD 6-20003-VAETH / BRUNO - PEPCO CREWS WILL BE WORKING THE 1200 - 1300 BLK OF 4TH ST SE - INSTALLING NETWORK TRANSFORMER AND INSTALLING PRIMARY CABLES - STARTING THURSDAY 4 / 19 / 18 UNTIL 5 / 19 / 18 - MONDAY THRU FRIDAYS AT 10PM UNTIL 10AM AND ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAYS FROM 6AM TIL 8PM.
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.
82 I ST SE   
04/02/18 
GDVC EYE STREET LLC / null
FB1800055 / SUPPLEMENTAL
150 I ST SE   
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
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 2ND FLOOR   
04/20/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / null
E1806043 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/18/18 
null
E1805988 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1115 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/17/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / GARY BRENT; BRENT
SG1800260 / CONSTRUCTION
Install 1 illuminated wall sign, 1 illuminated window sign and 1 window vinyl decal sign - Peets Coffee
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 5TH FL   
04/19/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / DOMINIC E TOTARO 301-725-1998
M1802089 / SUPPLEMENTAL
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
   
04/19/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / PEDRO C. CASTILLO 3019219056
E1806025 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
04/19/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / null
E1806015 / SUPPLEMENTAL
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 20002   
04/19/18 
null / STEVE GRIFFIN
BP1802939 / POST CARD
71 POTOMAC AVE SE   
04/17/18 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC / JUSTIN BELLOW
FD1800020 / CONSTRUCTION
Foundation only for new residential building
227 TINGEY ST SE   
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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