Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

If you are not one who sees much of Virginia Avenue SE in your day-to-day travels, or if you just cross it on your way to other locations, you might not be fully aware of the current scope of the initial work on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel reconstruction.
But never fear, my feet and my camera worked very hard in recent days to bring it all together for you.
Let's take a walk from west to east, shall we?

* FROM 2ND TO 3RD: The little-used stretch of Virginia from where the tracks first go underground at 2nd Street east toward 3rd was the first to close, depriving me of a good Park Chelsea/800 New Jersey vantage point (waaah!).
There's still pedestrian access right up against 200 I as you see at right, but the street itself is mostly gone, except for the portion that allows access to 200 I's loading dock.

* FROM 3RD TO 4TH: The thorniest part of the entire project is of course the 300 block of Virginia, where the townhouses on the south side of the block are taking the lion's share of residential impact during the reconstruction. As you see below, the trees along both sides of the street are gone, and access to the houses' front sidewalk from the east end is gone, as prep work is done for a new temporary driveway from 3rd Street to the alley that runs behind the houses. It's anticipated that this block will close to traffic completely next month.

* FROM 4TH TO 5TH: The intersection of 4th and Virginia is shrinking as prep work begins to build the temporary decking that will allow traffic to cross over the tunnel construction. The stretch from 4th to 5th has been stripped of its asphalt, as you see in the second photo below and the one at the top of this post. You can also see in the below right photo why there will be a temporary closure for a few weeks next spring of the 6th Street exit ramp from the freeway, so that it can be shifted north to allow for tunnel work.

* FROM 5TH TO 7TH: Those coming down the freeway ramp are now greeted with a sea of orange, and with the loss of the right lane. (And pedestrians have lost any sidewalk access to this block.) This block will remain open with reduced lanes into 2017.

* FROM 7TH TO 9TH: The small stretch of Virginia between 7th and 8th is currently untouched, but the street is closed from east of 8th to 9th (as I grumble about how part of this area was JUST ripped up and rebuilt as part of the 11th Street Bridges project).
With help from a tree stump, I was able to get a look at not only the initial work on Virginia but the clearing of a big chunk of Virginia Avenue Park, all the way across to 11th Street. The community garden remains untouched, however.

* FROM 10TH TO 12TH: The construction bends south in Virginia Avenue Park to meet up with L Street at 10th (below left), and L is now closed at its intersection with 11th (below middle). East of 11th the construction site continues (below right), but after all of this walking I failed you and did not get across there to peek in. It's in this final section where CSX reports having found more than 8,800 original paving stones buried a few feet below ground, apparently laid sometime during the 1880s-1890s. CSX says it will use some of the stones in its restoration of Virginia Avenue Park and will provide the rest to DDOT.
The sidewalk on the west side of 11th between the freeway and M Street is closed, but a recent missive from CSX says this is temporary "while we install pilings and temporary bridge decks, and work on utility relocations."
E-mail updates on closures and other construction aspects are sent out by the project team pretty regularly, if you are not already signed up. The next monthly "Coffee with Chuck" meeting with the project's chief engineer is scheduled for Sept. 30 at 8 am at the Courtyard by Marriott. (Though perhaps at some point though there needs to be a "Warm Milk/Nightcap with Chuck" for folks who don't operate well before noon.)
And my Virginia Avenue Tunnel project page is now refreshed with a fair number of before-and-after pairings to be able to see the changes at the various intersections along the construction footprint.
Comments (3)
   
 
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conngs0 says: (9/8/15 3:57 PM)
Thanks for the update on this, JD. It's going to be a long project with quite a bit of inconvenience associated with it. It's a shame that work wasn't allowed to begin (and thus finish) sooner, but hopefully it proves to be less painful that anticipated.


NavyYardGuy says: (9/9/15 11:03 AM)
Random Q: Do you think CSX or the Government would donate any of the paving stones to residents if they were to ask? I guess this would be the time I should probably look at "Ask Chuck" as well, lol.


JD says: (9/9/15 11:54 AM)
I believe that is an *excellent* question for Chuck!

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Recent Crime Incidents Archive  
1200 B/O HALF ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
 07/13/20
900 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 07/09/20
1500 B/O 1ST ST SE   SEX ABUSE
Assault W/intent To Commit First Degree Sexual Abuse (force) (rape)
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400 B/O K ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Theft First Degree (Stolen Auto)
 07/06/20
1200 B/O HALF ST SE   THEFT
Theft First Degree (all Other Larceny)
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100 B/O H ST SE   THEFT
Theft 2nd Degree (all Other Larceny)
 07/03/20
100 B/O O ST SE   ROBBERY  07/03/20
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Theft 2nd Degree (theft From Building)
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1200 B/O 1ST ST SE   MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Theft First Degree (Stolen Auto)
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1200 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON
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1000 B/O 3RD PLACE SE   THEFT
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800 B/O SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON  06/14/20

Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1300 4TH ST SE RU-2   
06/18/20 
AP BOWER RETAIL LLC / MELISSA BRENT
SG2000335 / CONSTRUCTION
Install 1 illuminated wall sign & 1 illuminated blade sign - JENIs ICE CREAM
1150 5TH ST SE   
07/01/20 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / CASEY STRINGER; TBD; TBD
BCIV2000113 / CONSTRUCTION
DGS PROJECT VAN NESS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL INITIAL PHASE FOR SITE DEMOLITION AND SITE CONSTRUCTION STAGING AREA FOR THE INSTALLATION OF TWO TEMPORARY SCHOOL TRAILERS TO BE SUBMITTED UNDER A SEPARATE PERMIT.
   
07/08/20 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / CASEY STRINGER; NA
B2008863 / CONSTRUCTION
DGS PROJECT Minor interior classroom renovations at existing school
150 I ST SE   
07/02/20 
SQUARE 737 LLC / JASON D DORRIS
AH2001626 / CONSTRUCTION
Construction of a new 13 story apartment building with three below grade parking levels, 1st floor retail and amenity areas; 375 units and 181 parking spaces. To include mechanical, electrical, plumbing, elevators and structural work.
151 M ST SE   
06/18/20 
BROOKFIELD PROPERTIES / CHRIS CRESCI; NA
SB2000292 / CONSTRUCTION
WSP will be advancing approximately 50 soil borings to 30 feet, and an additional 8 borings to 4 feet via direct push. A water sample will be collected from 3 of the deep borings. All borings will be abandoned via bentonite grout mix. Investigation derived waste will be stored in DOT 55-gallon steel drums. Private and public utility locating will take place prior to the work beginning
250 M ST SE   
06/19/20 
WILLIAM C SMITH / null
E2008622 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/24/20 
SQUARE 769 LLC / null
M2002834 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/24/20 
SQUARE 769 LLC / null
P2006931 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
07/10/20 
SQUARE 769 LLC / null
E2009225 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE   
06/18/20 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
E2008587 / SUPPLEMENTAL
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
06/19/20 
CXS TRANSPORTATION INC / ;
P2006843 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
06/22/20 
GREYSTAR GP LLC / KIM MITCHELL
B1903035 / CONSTRUCTION
The proposed project is three structures which are connected by a shared below-grade garage, which is one story deep on the east half of the site and two stories deep on the west half of the site. Two structures will be residential, with a total of 756 units, and the third will be a 225-key hotel. The west residential structure (Building 3) is planned to be 13 stories with ground and roof level am...
   
06/25/20 
CXS TRANSPORTATION INC / ;
P2006972 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
06/24/20 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / null
P2006938 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
07/08/20 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / null
M2002985 / SUPPLEMENTAL
401 WATER ST SE   
06/18/20 
BROOKFIELD PROPERTIES / CHRIS CRESCI
SB2000294 / CONSTRUCTION
WSP will advance 23 soil borings to 30 feet and 8 additional borings to 4 feet using direct push. A groundwater sample will be collected from 2 of the deep borings by installing a temporary well. Soil boirngs will be abandoned with bentonite / grout mix. IDW will be stored for disposal in DOT 55-gallon drums. A private and public utility mark out will be completed priot to starting intrusive w...
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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Project Directory
Completed
Thompson Hotel ('20)
West Half ('19)
Novel South Capitol ('19)
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New DC Water HQ ('19)
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Virginia Ave. Tunnel ('19)
99 M ('18)
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1221 Van ('18)
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One Hill South ('17)
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ORE 82 ('16)
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Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
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Yards/Arris ('16)
Hampton Inn ('15)
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
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Parc Riverside ('14)
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
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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)
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Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
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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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