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While these dates are always subject to change, CSX announced on Friday that it expects to reopen 4th Street just south of the freeway by Wednesday, Nov. 23, as it completes the demolition of the Phase 1 temporary bridge deck over the new tunnel that is being built, and construction of the new Phase 2 deck over the existing tunnel that will now be rebuilt and expanded.
Once the 4th Street intersection opens, the next big closure will be prepped, with the expectation that 3rd Street SE will close at Virginia Avenue for up to eight weeks, beginning perhaps on Monday, Nov. 28, to do the same demolition of the Phase 1 deck and construction of the Phase 2 deck.
Note that, unlike when the Phase 1 deck was built over 3rd Street earlier this year in a way that allowed northbound traffic to continue to flow, this is a full closure. (Though pedestrian access will remain in place, as will access to the Capitol Quarter driveway entrance on 3rd.)
This does not affect access to I-695 from the 3rd Street ramp.
If you want to see recent photos of the new tunnel and all the related construction, the Coffee with Chuck slides from Nov. 16 have a pile of them. (The slides also note that this is month #18 of the expected 42 months of total construction.)
Comments (10)
   
 
 More About CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel

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202_cyclist says: (11/21/16 11:04 AM)
It's outside of the neighborhood but the NYT has a good profile of Capitol Hill, along with some nice photos: link .


G Street says: (11/21/16 12:01 PM)
I don't want to jinx it, of course, but (so far) this tunnel project has gone = pretty smoothly


conngs0 says: (11/21/16 12:45 PM)
I think it's been pretty much as-advertised, which is a good thing. There's no arguing that closing 3rd Street is going to be a significant inconvenience, but hopefully traffic flows reasonably well through the alternative routes and the closure doesn't last any longer than the planned 6-8 weeks. It's like your standard broken bone!


Ampersand says: (11/21/16 12:52 PM)
If 3rd was going to need to be closed for this long, I can't think of a better time to do it than now. Few or no major events in the neighborhood, and much less regular traffic due to the holidays. I do hope that the northbound light at 6th and Virginia is retimed, though; the left-turn lanes already get pretty backed up without all the diverted traffic. I don't go through at rush hour much, but it's very frustrating to sit in a 12-car line with a red light while VA is empty of westbound cars. I almost think it might function better as a four-way stop...


JD says: (11/21/16 12:57 PM)
I agree with @Ampersand on this being optimal timing to close 3rd. Longtime area residents such as myself know how much this town empties out between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and with a change in administration and the party in the White House, I expect that to be even more pronounced this year.

(I bet they will be pressed by TPTB to be sure to have 3rd reopened by the inauguration, though.)

I also hope there will be a retiming of the 3rd Street light. Coming southbound on 3rd right now there's at most time for three cars (more often two, if the first driver isn't quick on the gas) to get through before it turns back to red, and at that point only drivers who know that northbound 3rd still has a green and a left arrow know that they can turn right-on-red to get to the freeway ramp if there's no oncoming traffic.


202_cyclist says: (11/21/16 12:59 PM)
In other news, the Capitol Hill Corner blog has a post on the new community center.

Capitol Quarter Community Center – Key to Mixed Income Community – a Ship without a Captain
link


Ampersand says: (11/21/16 4:39 PM)
@JD oh gosh, I hate 3rd & VA southbound. In addition to the stupidly short cycle, the worst part in my opinion is that the southbound green only triggers if you trip a sensor. On a bike, it's impossible to trigger, and in a car if you miss it you'll sit there indefinitely with cycle after cycle of permanent red light. I once was driving home at 1am or so and it Just Would Not Trigger. I waited at a completely empty intersection for 5+ minutes (6 cycles) before giving up and running the red light. After that I gave up and started diverting to 4th; I use the pass-through on a bike, and in a car I turn right onto VA and left onto 3rd.

I would love to see the northbound left turn arrow moved to the beginning of the cycle, then after a ~10 second lead a switch to two-way greens. Also for the crosswalk to get a countdown timer, as I see a lot of pedestrians who give up hope and jaywalk.


dude says: (11/21/16 10:23 PM)
Yeah, closing 3rd will suck for me. Ah well, 8 weeks isn't too long.


dude says: (12/7/16 10:35 PM)
In case people haven't seen, they've closed this now. 8 week countdown in process.


conngs0 says: (12/8/16 1:10 PM)
Two days in a row I've forgotten that 3rd is closed and tried to head north under the freeway that way! That morning autopilot takes awhile to change course I suppose.... I agree with dude that eight weeks can't come soon enough!

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