Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
May 6, 2006
August 5, 2017
Cushing at N, Looking South-Southwest (see more)

I will be the first to admit that I did not do a very good job tracking the progress of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel construction. Even putting aside the fact that most of it happened underground, it just came at a rotten time in my life and was too large a footprint for me to ever really feel like I could do it justice. So of course instead of trying my best anyway, I just kind of gave up. Oops.
But, while the expansion of the original tunnel and the construction of the second track tunnel are both now complete, and now it is just streetscape work standing between impatient drivers* and the reopening of the avenue east of 4th, there is a part of the project where I can think I can provide a service, and that is looking at the actual changes in Virginia Avenue itself since digging started in spring 2015.
Yes, we're going to take a tour of the road. You might be surprised at how much it has changed.
Let's start at 2nd and Virginia, which in the pre-project days was a weird intersection between 2nd and the functional Virginia Avenue to the east along with the incomplete H Street and closed-off Virginia Avenue to the east. It never saw much traffic but was large and oddly configured for a spot with so little use. These are two before-and-after sets, first looking north-northwestward, and then eastward (sorry for the crappy current shots):
Remembering that you can click to enlarge these photos and then page through them, you'll see how this 2nd-H-Virginia intersection was extremely wide and mainly focused on the flow of traffic along Virginia Avenue, which became superfluous when in the early 2000s it was decided to close Virginia from this spot out to South Capitol (because of security concerns with its location right by the Capitol Power Plant). In the new version, there are big sidewalk bulb-outs, shinking the amount of asphalt and making it easier for pedestrians to cross the street, which comes in handy for the hordes marching toward Whole Foods in the next block.
As we continue east on Virginia, there isn't much of a change in the 300 block's footprint, other than the creation of bulb-outs to narrow the sidewalk width while still allowing mid-block parking on both sides.
But there's definitely a few changes where Virginia heads east across 4th Street:
The street is now closer to the freeway, and on a straight line toward the intersection with 5th Street. The wide bend from 4th Street is gone, meaning that hopefully cars turning left from 4th onto Virginia will now have to slow down to navigate the intersection. There's also now parking on the south side of the street, which mainly serves to add back in the few parking spaces that disappeared now that I Street no longer bends into Virginia east of 4th. I don't have an "after" photo, but you can see what it used to do here, and also see how Virginia had to bend northward to get to the intersection with 5th.
The intersection at 5th (which becomes 6th as you go north under the freeway) has always been ugly, so ugly that I never came up with a good standard way of photographing it, which means my before pictures aren't always helpful. But in this comparison shot looking west, you can see how Virginia is now a straight shot coming from 4th to 5th. You can also see that the street and ramp from 695 are much closer, and the grading has been changed as well,
Turning around and looking eastward on Virginia at 5th, you can see how much the traffic flow has been altered:
Before, the freeway traffic used to continue on Virginia via the lanes to the left, and the traffic from Virginia and those turning onto Virginia from 5th used the merging lanes to the right. And there was a lovely median separating them, making it a long trek for pedestrians from the north side of Virginia to the south side. Now, as you can mostly see (sorry about the shadows), it's more like a regular intersection, except that from what I can tell the drivers in the middle lanes from Virginia and the ramp will have a wide middle lane to handle their merging as they go east. Will have to see how the ramp lanes are striped--will the left ramp lane be left-turn only? Or left/straight, and the right ramp lane straight, as it used to be? We Shall See.
Now we get to 7th Street, which doesn't really look that different except that the diagonal stub of K Street just to the south is now gone, again making it easier for pedestrians on the east side of 7th to get north of Virginia.
Now we have reached 8th Street, the end of my little tour. First turning back to look westward, you'll see that the lanes no longer split, once again making it easier for pedestrians to get across:
When you look eastward across 8th, you'll see a big change (the departure of the on-ramp to 695), but that happened in 2013. As I'm sure you remember.
I imagine the blocks east of 4th Street will open Any Minute Now, since they are all now striped and lamped and lighted and curbed. Then we can find out how it all works when actual pedestrians, drivers, bicyclists, scooterists, and the like get a hold of it.
It was a long 3 1/2 years to get to this point, but these photos indicate--even more than I realized--that CSX did not just tear Virginia Avenue up, dig a tunnel, and plop the old street right back down on top of the new tunnel.
* I'll do a tour of the new bike side path another time.
Comments (24)
   
 
 More About Traffic Issues

JDLand.com Home

Comments

202_cyclist says: (1/6/19 9:44 PM)
JD— thank you for the photos. I think CSX did a great job with the new steeet and the bike and pedestrian paths.

With the Nationals installing solar panels above their parking garage, I was thinking that the parking garage attached to the DC municipal building at 2nd and I Street would be another excellent candidate for solar panels. I am going to email Charles Allen to suggest this.


GarfieldPark says: (1/7/19 1:14 AM)
Great post. As a frequent visitor to Garfield Park (!), I love the connection it now has off H street.


NavyYardRes says: (1/7/19 10:44 AM)
A little late for this comment and thought but was an opportunity missed here to fully utilize some or all of the road space as a green car free transit-way? After 3+ years, cars have figured out how to navigate around with minimal traffic disruptions (except gamedays). Maybe they could shut the road or sections off on weekends for use as a pop-up park space?


202_cyclist says: (1/7/19 11:22 AM)
@NavyYardRes— that is an excellent idea! I think we should have a monthly CicLAvia in the neighborhood.


JD says: (1/7/19 11:24 AM)
I am guessing there is not much interest in keeping the two-block stretch of Virginia Avenue north of the freeway as two-way traffic, or coming up with ways to roll that into place every so often. It was very much sold to the ANCs and stakeholders as a temporary solution, and it was one that wasn't really that popular. It's not a very safe stretch of road.


MarkB says: (1/7/19 11:59 AM)
Once upon a time, (before 9/11), Virginia Ave was open from South Capitol St for vehicle traffic. Do we know the plans for the stretch west of 2nd St?


Ampersand says: (1/7/19 1:06 PM)
Does anyone know if 5th St has been reopened next to Capper? Last I went by back in December, there wasn't even a pedestrian path and I had to walk around to 4th. I haven't ventured back that way since because I didn't want to have to detour again.


Section314 says: (1/7/19 4:52 PM)
The blocks east of 4th Street remain closed pending synchronization of the traffic signals between there and 8th Street. Presumably, that is an issue to be solved between D. and MC Dean, their contractor.

Regarding MarkB's comments, see Article I, Section 8 of the U. S. Constitution to determine the plans for that stretch of Virginia Avenue. It is in the next to last paragraph of the section.


JD says: (1/7/19 7:51 PM)
On my A1 Tires tidbit, from Facebook; "Hey JDLand! Thanks for mentioning Waterfront Church! Our church will not be moving from our two storefronts at 1000 New Jersey Ave SE, but expanding to the old 100 K street SE tire shop."


MarkB says: (1/8/19 9:10 AM)
Article I, Section 8 of the U. S. Constitution - (aka Powers of Congress):

"To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;"

Got it...


dude says: (1/8/19 10:13 AM)
It really has flown by for me. Thanks for posting these photos all together in one spot!

One thing that happened within the last few months that is not particularly great is the traffic light behavior on 3rd just north of the freeway. It acts very strangely indeed. I used to use that on ramp every morning to go to work, then I switched locations (and now go M ST to 295 south), so I don’t use it that much now, but on the occasions I have, it’s been kind of crappy. The parking under the bridge doesn’t help. Anyone else experience this?


JD says: (1/8/19 10:29 AM)
New ANC commish Edward Daniels complained on Twitter last week about the confusing signage for parking under the freeway on the northbound side. When I walked down through there this weekend, there was only one sign left, and it said No Parking or Standing Anytime. So maybe it will improve.

If they decide to put a four-way stop in at 3rd and Virginia, that will be interesting.


NavyYardNittany says: (1/8/19 12:26 PM)
Anyone have info on plans for the space under the freeway between Virginia Ave and Garfield Park (the North end of 2nd Street)? I know it’s open now, but would love to see something done with it and with the access road that borders the south side of the park.


dcgent says: (1/8/19 2:47 PM)
new questions about whether that movie theater will ever come to the hood

(oops, image URL included with this comment didn't work!)



dcgent says: (1/8/19 2:48 PM)
Sorry here's the link again
link


Section314 says: (1/8/19 7:08 PM)
And, Virginia Avenue from 4th Street to 8th Street (at least, I didn't go past 7th) opened today.


JD says: (1/8/19 9:50 PM)
I can't link directly to it, but if you scroll down on this page to Project Gallery, there's a new (to me, anyway) animation of the new Douglass Bridge, the ovals, the pedestrian paths and riverfronts, etc: link


Lambau88 says: (1/8/19 10:22 PM)
Signage is up at Novel South Capitol.


RMP says: (1/9/19 8:41 AM)
I was poking around the Guild website and noticed a few interesting things. The Amenities page doesn't mention a pool but does talk about "shaded cabanas". There's also no mention of a concierge but instead "package lockers available for 24/7 pickup". I'm curious because those 2 things (concierge and pool) always seem to be the top selling points for leasing agents. I have heard whisperings that Brookfield wants to cut costs and concierge is at the top of the chopping block, so I'm curious if this is a sneak peek of what's to come.


dcgent says: (1/9/19 10:42 AM)
What's interesting about the animation is it implies the stadium will not be visible from the bridge crossing once all those riverfront residences are in place. But pretty slick video/design.


JD says: (1/9/19 11:30 AM)
It's always been known that the build-out of Florida Rock would end the days of the stadium being seen from the river, and the location of the new bridge a smidge further to the southwest just seals the deal.


NavyYardRes says: (1/9/19 12:21 PM)
@RMP - Do you have the website for the guild? I can't find it...


RMP says: (1/9/19 1:17 PM)
@NavyYardRes It's link


jdc says: (1/10/19 9:10 AM)
Great post, even if I've never driven these roads so it is a tad confusing. Though that may also just be the entire configuration of the area. I look forward to future posts when the freeway is put into a tunnel and the entire corridor is connected with the streets to the north!

Add a Comment:

Comments are closed for this post.

JDLand Comments RSS Feed


 More News


See All Current News Items | Full Blog Archive

 
 Recent Posts

caphillguy on Some Details on: Walked by Dacha today and the park in front was being torn up. Is that going to...
jdc on Some Details on: The short walls around the former GSA warehouse are coming down/are down, so I g...
JD on Some Details on: I think Splash is staying open going forward until they aren't. I believe that t...
NavyYardNittany on Some Details on: "Lambau88 says: (2/19/19 1:38 PM) The person behind the counter at Splash ...
VelocityChris on Some Details on: I'll take it! (Wells Fargo ATM)
RMP on Some Details on: My guess is that an "Express Center" is a room with ATMs and no humans...
  
Get JDLand Updates In Your Inbox!



City Government Data for Near Southeast Records added or updated recently displayed here; click the "archive" links to see additional detail and older records. All data from DC Government databases and RSS feeds. JDLand takes no responsibility for errors, omissions, etc. (read CapStat disclaimer). Data is retrieved daily.

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  
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
   
02/19/19 
SQUARE 737 LLC / DANIEL R. RUDE
P1903909 / SUPPLEMENTAL
(4) Fire pits (1) Water Coolers (4) Rooftop units Sanitary piping, Storm piping
   
02/21/19 
WILLIAM C SMITH CO / null
E1904635 / SUPPLEMENTAL
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
   
02/21/19 
SQUARE 769 LLC / BRIAN C STROTT
B1813732 / CONSTRUCTION
9 story office building with 3 levels below grade. 188,000 gross sqft
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/05/19 
CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION / THOMAS M. KESSLER
P1903515 / SUPPLEMENTAL
(2) Gas generators
880 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/21/19 
880 NEW JERSEY AVENUE LLC / CLYDE HURST; CHRISTOPHER P COWIE
B1901729 / CONSTRUCTION
alterations to an existing 688 SF vacant space to add mechanical, plumbing and electrical fixtures to accommodate a future tenant. Future tenant fit out will be provided under a separate permit. This permit is for the landlord work only. The existing space is recently constructed building shell that has not been occupied by a previous tenant.
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   
01/31/19 
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.
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)


Overviews
Capper/Carrollsburg
Anacostia Riverwalk
New Jersey Avenue
M Street
South Capitol Street
The Yards
Lower 8th Street
East M Street
Boathouse Row





                  © Copyright 2019 JD.