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Over the weekend DDOT sent out its latest "Eleventh Street Ledger," the official newsletter of the 11th Street Bridges project. It gives a pretty detailed update on the progress made over the past few months on surrounding infrastructure and the two new "freeway bridges," the inbound one of which now has 48 of its 54 girders set, with the outbound girders soon to follow. These two bridges will be opening in the fall, with the two-way "11th Street Local" bridge expected to open a year after that.
You can read the newsletter for all the information, but it does say (page 2) that coming soon in the 11th/12th/M/N/O corridor on the Near Southeast side of things will be the first of four new piers north of M to connect the new inbound freeway bridge to the existing freeway, and that this summer steel girders for the ramp will be placed above M Street. And the girders of the inbound bridge will soon be set to connect the new bridge itself to the northwest side of the river.
In the meantime, away from the construction zone, the National Capital Planning Commission at its upcoming meeting on Thursday is set to give its approval to the final design of the bridges, and the Staff Recommendation document gives a good overview worth reading of the general plans for the bridges.
There is also a graphic on page 5 detailing the ramps and right-of-ways that would be built in a later, currently unfunded phase of the project, with the bulk of the additional work to be done where the freeway curves at 11th Street. There would be a new wider flyover to take outbound traffic to the bridges; there also would be a change in the current Pennsylvania Avenue approach with a new ramp down to 11th Street, where drivers would go through a streetlight-controlled intersection to either turn left or right on 11th or continue forward toward Pennsylvania Avenue on the new "Southeast Boulevard" (which is what drivers know today as the below-grade route to and from Pennsylvania Avenue and Barney Circle). There would also be new approaches north of M between 11th and 12th to take drivers exiting off the inbound freeway bridge up to Southeast Blvd., where they could turn either left to get to 11th Street or right to go to Pennsylvania Avenue.
These additional routes were all called for in the EIS, but if you came in after the design/build phase of the bridges got underway, you might be unfamiliar with these other connections that DDOT hopes to eventually add, which will make the intersection of 11th Street and Southeast Blvd. quite a happening juncture. This intersection will actually get its start during the bridge's first phase, as within a few years there will be a new ramp allowing northbound traffic on 11th Street to turn left and enter the Southeast Freeway--no more zooming down Virginia Avenue for eight blocks to the 3rd Street ramp. And traffic coming from Pennsylvania Avenue on the first iteration of Southeast Blvd. will be brought to this new 11th Street intersection as well.
The NCPC document also says (page 8) that the path on the local bridge for cyclists and pedestrians has been widened in the final design to 16 feet from 14 feet. And the design is still configured to allow for streetcars to run on the local bridge in shared lanes, with lighting fixtures and other design elements configured for overhead wires, should they be necessary.
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From DDOT, an announcement of two overnight closures of the outbound 11th Street Bridge this week, from 10 pm Wednesday (Jan. 26) through 5 am Thursday (Jan. 27), then again at 10 pm that night (the 27th) through 5 am on Friday the 28th. "Setup activity" for the closures will begin at 8 pm. The closures are to allow for overhead girder construction work.
The inbound bridge will remain open. For detour routes and other information, see the press release. It does note that if there's inclement weather, the closures will be rescheduled to the same overnight hours on Sunday, Jan. 30. And, given the Wednesday night forecast, it is possible that slot will get rained or snowed out (more likely rained).
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Traffic Issues
 

Some recently Tweeted items, and a few new ones, worth wrapping up into a quick post:
* Last week I heard from the owners of what will soon be the Harry's Reserve "upscale" wine and spirits store at New Jersey and I, saying that they hope to be open by February 1.
* This year's NatsFest at the baseball stadium will be held on March 30, the day before the Opening Day home game against the Atlanta Braves. The schedule of events is still to come, but hopefully the decision to better tie in the event to the hoopla surrounding the start of the season won't be offset by it being on a Wednesday, when it's harder for kids to be there. (Especially kids who may already be playing hooky the next day!)
* The Yards Park web site now has information about renting space for public, private, or community events. And if you wander through the calendar, you can see what events might be on tap for this year, though the main calendar shows what's been confirmed, such as the Capitol City Beer Festival on May 28, the previously discussed DC Music Festival on May 7, the MetroDash obstacle course race on July 9, and a monthy Art Market.
* Stephen Strasburg, working on his degree while rehabbing, has written a thesis on the effects new stadiums have on neighborhoods, with a focus on Nationals Park. If he was looking for information on what the neighborhood looked like "before," I hope he found it! (And no, the thesis isn't available anywhere.)
* The National Capital Planning Commission will be looking at the final 11th Street Bridges site and building plans at their February 3 meeting. Gosh, I hope they like where the bridges themselves are placed in the designs!
* Off-topic, but the hunt seems to be back on for a new DC United stadium location, with one of the potential spots being across South Capitol Street at Buzzard Point in Southwest. (Please note that I said Buzzard Point. There is no s on the end. In case you missed 642 tweets about it today.) SWill has some additional information.
And, coming on Thursday (I hope), my 2011 State of the Hood roundup of the past 12 months' worth of activity, and what might be on the horizon. (I'm telling you this to force myself to actually get it done.)
 

A few small items that might be of interest:
* The National Capital Planning Commission at its Thursday meeting should be approving the design of the 611-foot-long floating bridge to connect the Yards Park with Diamond Teague Park. The "delegated action" document says that the bridge will also include an 81-foot-long platform that will be used as a "marine environmental education center" -- the platform is necessary to span three underground pipes at the DC Water pumping station. At the BID annual meeting in December, it was said that construction on the bridge could begin this spring. (UPDATE) And construction is expected to take 6-8 months.
* If you drive into downtown DC across the 11th Street Bridges late at night/early in the morning, be advised that the ramps from northbound I-295 and 13th Street, SE, will be closed between midnight and 5 am on both Friday, Jan. 7 and Monday, Jan. 10 to allow for work with overhead steel girders. But the South Capitol Street Bridge will be open for your Anacostia crossing pleasure.
* There hasn't been much apparent movement by American Water Taxi to get started with its planned service between Georgetown, the Southwest Waterfront, and Teague Park, but an update on their web site within the past few weeks says that "Focus groups and working group meetings to start in January."
* The agenda for the Jan. 11 ANC 6B meeting includes an item on the "Resolution of the Bavarian Beer Garden [Liquor] License Protest." Does this mean that the ANC and the folks wanting to open the beer garden at 8th and L have gotten the voluntary agreement hashed out, after all the concerns recently expressed? We shall see.
 

At Monday's ANC 6D meeting, Bryon Johnston of the 11th Street Bridges Project gave a presentation on the rebuilding of the bridges, including an overview of the design and its main features as well as an update on the construction progress. He was nice enough to pass along the slides, which may not mean quite as much without his narration but are still helpful for people who haven't been following along through the process.
A few parts of the new design on the Near Southeast side of the project are worth (re-)pointing out, if you can make it through my torrent of descriptions:
* The "freeway" traffic and the "local" traffic will now be separated, with four lanes inbound and four lanes outbound on the freeway/upriver bridge and two lanes inbound/outbound on the "local"/downriver bridge (which Johnston was referring to as "Local 11th Street" because 11th will now feel like a street that crosses a river), as shown on slide 10.
* The local bridge will allow easier access between Near Southeast and Anacostia, for not only cars but pedestrians and bicycles, as well as streetcars when the routes are expanded. As part of this, 11th Street south of M is going to become two-way, and there will be bike lanes in both directions on 11th north of the bridge. (Slide 9)
* Another feature that appears to be coming together for pedestrians and bicyclists is creating two overlooks that jut out above the river on the south side of the local bridge--these would use two of the in-water piers from the current downriver bridge, and you can see them at left and on slide 11.
* One of the big changes for traffic flow for both Near Southeast and Capitol Hill is that there is going to be a new two-lane on-ramp to go westward on the Southeast Freeway toward Virginia at 11th Street, underneath where the current flyover ramps are. (See slide 7.) Folks who have easier access to 11th Street will no longer have to drive along Virginia Avenue and/or 3rd Street to go westbound on the freeway.
But part of this new 11th Street intersection is that traffic coming from Pennsylvania Avenue along the sunken road that currently feeds directly into the freeway will instead be brought up to street level at this new signalized 11th Street intersection and will then drive straight onto the new on-ramp. So there will be some consternation from drivers using this route. (This is also shown on slide 7.)
* To go across the river from Near Southeast on the freeway bridge, for access to DC-295 northbound and I-295 southbound, drivers will have a new ramp on the southeast corner of 11th and M (slide 4). The existing ramp at 8th and Virginia will still be available, too.
* There will still be an exit ramp from the inbound freeway bridge to I Street, just as there is now (slide 4).
* If you look at slide 4 very closely (and/or click on the bird's-eye view at right) and follow the paths off of each bridge, you can see how the freeway bridges coming across the river will have an exit for M Street similar to the current exit, but it deposits drivers at M just west of 12th instead of using 12th itself. It also no longer has the neat little N Street cut-through directly from the ramp that some Navy Yard workers cherish. To get to the Navy Yard, drivers will turn left on M, then left at 11th, and then go to whichever gate they need.
Other information in the slides includes: a graphic showing of the new ramps and accesses on the east side of the bridges at 295 and MLK (slide 12), of which the biggest addition is that you'll now be able to get to and from 295 and the bridges in all directions. There's also recent construction photos (including the first structural steel being laid on the freeway bridge), and information on stormwater management areas, and upcoming traffic impacts (slide 19).
It's expected that the freeway bridge will open about a year from now, with the new local bridge being finished in the winter of 2012/2013. (Dr. Gridlock wrote about recent milestones and upcoming work a few weeks ago.)
If you want to know more, there's my 11th Street Bridges project page, and you can also spend a couple months reading the Environmental Impact Statement to see all the studying they did of potential, um, impacts. There's also this Fact Sheet that they handed out.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Traffic Issues
 

From the world of ANC 6D:
* The commission voted 7-0 to support the historic designation application of St. Paul's AUMP Church at 401 I St., SE, thanks in no small part to Pastor Karen Mills, who charmed the pants off the assembled commissioners and audience with a display of good humor sorely needed after some earlier rancorous exchanges discussing Southwest Waterfront issues.
The church was built in 1924, and apparently the years of having a congregation that didn't have a lot of money ended up being a good thing: because there have been few renovations, the church's facade and bricks are still from the original construction, making it a far better candidate for a historic designation than other churches which have had work done. The church is also notable for being the first church designed by R.C. Archer Jr., who was only the second licensed African American architect in DC. Once the church receives its historic designation, it will then be eligible for some grants to allow for historically accurate and preservation-approved renovations. (The photo above shows the church in 2007, when it stood alone after the demolition of the Cappers and before the start of Capitol Quarter construction.)
The church was approached for this application by the DC Preservation League, and the hearing before the city's Historic Preservation Review Board is scheduled for Nov. 18 at 9 am. You can see the information forwarded to the ANC about the application here (shot with my phone's camera, so not of particularly high quality, but it made me feel like a secret agent!). One other educational tidbit: "AUMP" stands for "African Union Methodist Protestant."
Pastor Mills also said that anyone who wants to come see St. Paul's is more than welcome to visit. And so it is with great shame that I admit that I have never been inside of the little church I've photographed so many times --I've always been worried that I would burst into the flames of eternal hellfire the second I stepped inside the doors, and I didn't want the poor little church to get singed as a result of my sins. But I'm now determined to give it a shot anyway.
* CSX/Virginia Avenue Tunnel: Stephen Flippin of CSX gave a(nother) update on the status of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project. While CSX had applied for a $3 million grant under USDOT's TIGER II program to help pay for the NEPA process for the project, they didn't get that funding, so the process got delayed by a couple of months. They are now looking to have the first "public scoping meeting" in January, which would include information booths, audience comments and questions, etc. There would then be a 30-day comment period, followed by an "alternatives" meeting probably in March, then another comment period followed by probably five or six months of work with their design/build team before coming back to another public meeting for a full update on the project. After that, they would need a few months with their designers before construction could begin, which puts the earliest possible starting time for the project somewhere around the spring of 2012. (Definitely not a date written in stone.)
There's also the issue that funding for the tunnel project itself hasn't been secured, and so CSX is looking at various public financing possibilities (transportation reauthorization act, funding from other states in the National Gateway) as well as -- gasp! -- using some of their own money, or at least money they received for other parts of the Gateway that they haven't spent.
Beyond this update on the process, there's no new information on the construction itself, and there pretty much won't be until after the NEPA process is done.
* 11th Street Bridges: There was also an overview and status report on the 11th Street Bridges project; I'm hoping to get the slides that were shown, so I'll hold off on writing about that. If in the meantime you have 9 or 10 free hours and want to delve into all the environmental impact studies that were done for the bridge project (which include traffic estimations among many other things), here's the Environmental Impact Statement and other associated documents. UPDATE: Here's my writeup of the slides.
* Near SE/SW Combined Traffic Study: During a discussion about pedestrian safety issues at 4th and M, SW, commissioner Andy Litsky reiterated his long-standing complaint that no traffic study has been undertaken to look at Near SE and SW together, and that it continues to be sorely needed. Naomi Mitchell of Tommy Wells's office then spoke up that Tommy is ready to help the ANC finally get this study done. (And there was much rejoicing.)
* Half Street Closures: Apparently the city is planning to move legislation that would allow for the closing of Half Street, SE, between M and N during all events at Nationals Park with more than 5,000 attendees, instead of the current set-up where it's only closed during Nationals games. This would include recent events like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure opening ceremonies and last Saturday's Greater Washington Region Start! Heart Walk.
 

In case you don't have the date circled in red on your calendar, on Monday (Nov. 8), ANC 6D will be having its regular monthly meeting, and will be making the arduous trek across South Capitol Street to meet in Near Southeast, at the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L, SE. The agenda has just been sent out, and there are some Near Southeast items:
* The St. Paul AUMP church at 4th and I, which has remained standing while Capper came down and Capitol Quarter rose up around it, is the subject of a Historic Landmark application, which will be heard at the Historic Preservation Review Board's meeting on Thursday, Nov. 18. I hope to have more information about it when the HPRB's full agenda and materials are available on Nov. 12, but at Monday's ANC meeting there will be a discussion of the application and presumably a vote as to whether or not to support it.
* Updates are scheduled for both the CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel project and for the 11th Street Bridges.
There are also a number of Southwest-specific items, some zoning rewrites, alcohol/beverage issues, and whatnot. But it's totally not true that the agenda also includes a knife fight between all outgoing and incoming commissioners.
The meeting starts at 7 pm.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, ANC News, CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel, meetings, St. Paul's Church
 

I'm now back after a week wandering the Midwest again, this time spending a few days in Chicago and then going up to Milwaukee, where touring time was cut short thanks to that epic windstorm (but at least I got to see the Historic Third Ward and the Milwaukee Public Market). Lots of photos of streetscapes and buildings are here, if you feel like looking at some non-Near Southeast images for a change.
To catch up....
* Dr. Gridlock gave an update on the progress of the 11th Street Bridges project, which is now more than 25 percent complete. A pretty showy part of the construction will be starting soon, "when steel girders arrive for the new bridge spans. They will be trucked out onto the old bridges and lowered onto barges in the river below." The story gives this timeline: in spring 2011, the new alignment of southbound 295 opens; in fall '11, the freeway bridges (the upstream ones) will open; in winter 2012/13 the local (downstream) bridge between Anacostia and Near Southeast will open, with the entire project expected to be completed in summer 2013. (If the alignments and uses of the new bridges aren't clear to you, check my 11th Street Bridges project page for more detail.)
There's also some new lane restrictions that started last week and will run through Nov. 23: the left lane of 11th Street SE from M to N is closed, and N Street SE between 11th and 12th is closed overnight Tuesdays through Fridays. There are other restrictions and closures as well on 295 and the SE Freeway.
* The Post's Capital Business weekly has more information today on the foreclosure sale of 100 M, including this part that is probably of most interest to residents: "Although thousands of fans pour out of the Metro station nearby for baseball games, the Opus bankruptcy has prevented retailers -- other than a SunTrust bank branch -- from occupying ground-level storefronts. Michael Stevens, executive director of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, said he hoped that with new ownership, that would change. The retail broker for 100 M St., he said, 'has had some tenants that were interested in that property, but he couldn't sign any leases because it was in bankruptcy.' "
* It wasn't exactly a shocker that Greater Greater Washington endorsed David Garber for ANC 6D07 commissioner. Along the same lines, there's a good piece by Housing Complex this morning on the dysfunctional aspects of the ANCs, with some ideas on how to fix them. Having been tortured by sitting through many ANC meetings for more than five years now, I can certainly vouch for a lot of the issues mentioned. Perhaps there needs to be a Rally to Restore ANC Sanity.
* If you've wanted to know about Ann of Ann's Beauty Supply and Wigs Co. at 125 L St., SE, People's District recently profiled her. (Except I think they either mistranscribed the date of her shop opening, or this interview was done when her store was still in the old Waterside Mall in Southwest, because her store opened on L Street SE in 2005, not 1995.)
* American River Taxi, which is working to begin boat service between Georgetown, the Southwest Waterfront, and Diamond Teague Park, is hiring deckhands and captains. No word on when they'll get underway.
* Work has started in the ground floor of 909 New Jersey for the new Harry's Wine and Spirits. Alas, their timeline for opening has slipped (as all construction timelines do), and the owners now have their fingers crossed that they will be open by Christmas.
 

A few items from tonight's ANC 6D meeting, which is still going on (I bailed after the last Near Southeast agenda item).
* The commission voted 7-0 to support Forest City's zoning requests for its Parcel D project, the combination residential and retail (and grocery store) development on the southeast corner of 4th and M, SE. I wrote about it in detail a few weeks back, and you can see my Parcel D project page for renderings and additional information, but the short of it is it's a 220ish-unit residential building (with 20 percent affordable housing), a 50,000-square-foot grocery store, and an expected 24,000-square-foot fitness/spa company.
The Zoning Commission hearing will be on December 2, and Forest City is asking for two special exceptions (having to do with roof structures and the proposed 110-foot building height, which will be above the 90 feet that's allowed) and two variances (for a curb cut on M east of 4th for a new private service drive east of the new building and also for some balconies overlooking 4th). Forest City's Alex Nyhan also told the commission that, while the entire Yards project is designed to be LEED Gold, they are going to shoot for LEED Silver on this particular portion.
ANC 6D07 commissioner Bob Siegel commended Forest City on the plans, though he made very clear that he and his constituents want a sit-down restaurant more than anything. Nyhan replied that the Boilermaker Shop project one block to the west on Tingey will have four or five restaurants including at least one sit-down one when it opens next fall. Siegel then made the motion to the support the project, Commissioner Sobelsohn seconded, and the vote was unanimous. The National Capital Planning Commission and the US Commission on Fine Arts have both recently voted to support the plans and designs.
* During the public safety report, Capt. Gottert of MPD mentioned that while there were a rash of car thefts in PSA 105 (and 106 and 107) during the past few months, the police had a suspect in mind, and now that he's been apprehended, the thefts have stopped. Gottert had no additional information on Saturday's carjacking at 1st and L, SE.
* The agenda had as one of its items a request by the Nationals to add the stadium to the Navy Yard Metro station name (coming on the heels of the Capitol Riverfront BID's request last month to add their name to the station). However, ANC chair Ron McBee said that the Nationals hadn't yet been able to get their request completely lined up yet, and so the item was postponed.
* Next month's meeting will be on Nov. 8, and will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L, SE. Expected agenda items include an update from CSX about the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project, a plan to give historic landmark status to St. Paul's church on the southeast corner of 4th and I, SE, and an update on the 11th Street Bridges construction.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, ANC News, crime, meetings, Nationals Park, The Yards, Twelve12/Teeter/Yards
 

It's a busy next few days, so here's a reminder of what's on tap. (Of course, you could just look at my Events Calendar, but....)
* Today (Thursday) is the "Transportation Day" events that are part of the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative's 10th anniversary celebration. Get thee down to 1301 M Street, SE (site of the offices for the 11th Street Bridges project) for the kick-off at 10 am with DDOT director Gabe Klein, and/or attend the open house until 2 pm, which includes bus tours of current AWI transportation projects (like, say, the 11th Street Bridges). Circulator buses will be shuttling to and from the Navy Yard Metro station.
If you're wanting to know more about the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative and what's been accomplished up to this point, here's a spiffy "10 Years of Progress" booklet with all sorts of details.
* Friday brings the start of the Yards Park Grand Opening Weekend, starting at 3:30 pm, along with a full slate of events all day Saturday and a few more on Sunday as well--here's the specifics on all the activities for all three days. (UPDATED with a new more detailed flyer showing all the events.)
* The Nats are at home against the Marlins, playing at the usual 7:05 pm Friday and 1:35 pm Sunday times, along with a somewhat rare 1:05 pm Saturday start. It's Fan Appreciation Month, with all sorts of promotions and offerings.
* Sunday, Sept. 12 is the Fourth Annual Youth River Sports Day put on by the Anacostia Community Boathouse, now at their new home just up river from the Sousa Bridge. It runs from 11 am to 3 pm, and is free and open to the public.
* ANC 6D returns from its summer recess on Monday, Sept. 13. The agenda hasn't been released yet, but rumored items include the grant the BID is applying for to beautify the New Jersey Avenue "entrance" to the neighborhood, along with what I hear might be a presentation on a possible renaming of the Navy Yard Metro station. While I haven't heard what the new name might be, I imagine that some variant of "Navy Yard / Nationals Park / Capitol Riverfront" will be on the table. Which means that my last chance to convince people to rename the neighborhood Near Capitol Ballpark River Yards is probably passing by.
* And on Tuesday there's some sort of election. Perhaps you've heard about it. But good heavens, get yourself to the polls and vote. You don't even have to wait until Tuesday to do it.
 

The Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, the wide-ranging approach via city and federal investments to revitalize the Anacostia River and its environs, is celebrating its 10th birthday, with a series of events next week tied to the riverfront. Some of them you're already aware of, like the dedication ceremony at the Yards Park on Sept. 7 followed by the "grand opening weekend" of events Sept. 10-12. But there's also some other happenings, including an "Anacostia Conservation Service Event" at Diamond Teague Park at 9 am on Sept. 8, a "transportation open house and tour" at the 11th Street Bridges project office on Sept. 9 from 10 am to 2 pm, along with other events at Kingman Island, Marvin Gaye Park, and the Southwest Waterfront.
[And, should my feelings be hurt that the postcard advertising the celebration that came to our house was addressed to my husband and not me? What, I haven't demonstrated enough interest in the river? :-) ]
UPDATE: Just received a flyer about the Sept. 9 Transportation Day--it will start with a kick-off at 10 am with DDOT director Gabe Klein, then the open house until 2 pm, which includes bus tours of AWI transportation projects. Parking is limited at the open house site (over at 13th and M, SE), so they'll be running Circulator buses to there from the New Jersey Avenue Navy Yard Metro station entrance.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, Teague Park, Yards Park
 

The Little Red Building at Second and L, SE passed into history on Wednesday, but at least it will live on in my Demolished Buildings Gallery, as building #160 to meet its maker since I started taking photos in Near Southeast. Also added to the gallery today are the Anacostia Community Boathouse and its sister building, demolished earlier this month to make way for the 11th Street Bridges. If you haven't wandered through the gallery in a while, take a moment to watch the neighborhood's old life pass in front of your eyes.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Boathouse Row, Little Red Bldg/Lot 38 Espresso
 

I'm still eyeing a couple more days of (mostly) blog-free living, but a few items should probably be mentioned before the weekend, and so that you don't think I'm never coming back. First, the calendar:
* On Monday at 6:30 pm, the Zoning Commission will take up the Housing Authority's new request for another time extension to the zoning order that requires construction of the Capper Community Center. DCHA had asked for a two-year extension last year, but was only granted one year, and made clear at that time that they didn't foresee having the money to start the center in that shorter time frame, and that they'd be back to ask for another extension. And now they are.
* Speaking of the community center, there's now a big sign on its footprint (at Fifth and L) touting that the second phase of Capitol Quarter's townhouses is being funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. But you knew that already.
* Monday at 7 pm is the monthly ANC 6D meeting. I was hoping the agenda would be out before I posted this, but alas, no. Check back here or on their web site to see what scintillating topics will be up for discussion. (UPDATE: the agenda is now out, and there's nothing really major on it, other than a public space permit for the street work for Phase 2 of Capitol Quarter.)
* On Tuesday, July 13, the Capitol Hill Group Ministry is having its "All-Star Party Night" at Nationals Park, offering the chance to take batting practice, throw pitches in the bullpen, tour the locker room, meet Teddy, and more. Tickets are $55 per person and $15 for children under 12, with proceeds going to CHGM's programs for homeless and low-income families.
And a few other items:
* Today's WBJ reports that a third piece of "public" art is coming to Nationals Park; this time it will be 30 "stainless steel-domed forms which will accurately follow the theoretical model of the trajectory of a curving fast-ball pitch," which will be hung early next year on the exterior of the eastern garage. The steel spheres with cutout "laces," each seven feet in diameter, will feature programmable LED lights; the piece will cost about $950,000. As for the other two pieces of public art already at the stadium (the bronze statues in the Center Field Plaza and the "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" mobile near the First Base Gate), I'll quote WBJ's Michael Neibauer: "The first two pieces of public art at the stadium were, to be kind, not well-received at their unveiling in April 2009. The works were selected by arts professionals and D.C. residents, according to the arts commission, but some wonder: Did anyone ask the fans?"
* A reader reports that the Anacostia Boathouse at 11th and O, in between the 11th Street Bridges spans, has been demolished, which was expected because of the footprint of the new bridges. Haven't seen for myself yet to confirm.
* And I haven't felt the earth shift on its axis yet, so I assume the Little Red Building's exterior is still standing, although interior demolition has been going on all week.
 

From DDOT, an announcement of a slew of weekday lane closures starting Monday (June 21) through July 23 as part of the ongoing 11th Street Bridges reconstruction. The closures can happen between 9:30 am and 3:30 pm Monday through Friday, and may include locations such as the 11th Street Bridges (including the ramps to and from the Southeast Freeway), DC-295, 11th Street between G and O, M Street, the SE Freeway near the 8th Street ramp, and other locations. See the entire list for specifics; the closures are taking place so that contractors can "conduct drainage inspection work, utility locating, barrier installation, equipment relocation, striping, sign work and various other construction activities."
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges
 

For those of you who might use the little stretch of O Street, SE between 11th and 12th (under the 11th Street Bridges), a travel advisory: "Weekdays June 15 to 24, weather permitting, contractors for the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) will reduce O Street SE between 11 and 12 Street SE to one shared-lane for both directions of traffic and flagmen alternating traffic flow to allow sewer line work related to the 11th Street Bridge Project. This reduction of O Street travel lanes will occur from Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is subject to change due to weather or other unforeseen conditions."
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, East of 11th Street
 

* There's been discussion on Twitter about this, but I guess it needs to be elevated to the blog--last week a sign went up at Five Guys on Second Street saying that it would be closed for maintenance from June 4 - 14. It certainly looks like they're doing work in there, and I doubt that if it were closing for good they would have given a timeframe, but I know people are nervous, given the dearth of other choices. I don't know any additional details, so feel free to post in the comments if you have any scuttlebutt to add.
* The BID's summer outdoor movie season continues tonight (Thursday) with Forrest Gump. Festivities start at Second and M streets, SE, at 7:30 pm, though the movie itself doesn't begin until after sundown. (I'm already making plans for the July 8 showing of Star Wars--if anyone wants to hang out with me, I can regale you young whippersnappers with tales of seeing it at the Uptown in the summer of 1977, and how my mother almost made us leave because she couldn't quite get hip to robots walking around in sand dunes.) Aak! They've taken it off the list, and replaced it with Legally Blonde! Waah!
* From DDOT, a notice about some lane closures this weekend on DC-295, which are technically outside my iron-clad boundaries but which do have to do with the 11th Street Bridges project: "From 9 pm on Friday, June 11 into the evening of Sunday, June 13, DDOT contractors will close one travel lane in each direction of DC 295 between the 11th Street Bridge and Pennsylvania Avenue. The work is part of the 11th Street Bridge Project. In addition, there will be single lane closures Saturday on both the northbound and southbound sides of Kenilworth Avenue (DC 295) at Eastern Avenue. This work if related to the replacement of the Eastern Avenue Bridge." They warn that there could be backups of two miles or more.
* I didn't really blog about Wednesday's phenomenal debut of Stephen Strasburg (though I was at the game and Tweeted here and there) because I figured that there might be one or two other outlets where you could get the latest. But it will be interesting to watch the impact on the neighborhood if he continues to pitch like an alien being--will all of his games bring huge crowds? Will attendance start to lift at games when he isn't playing? Will game-day traffic and transit issues that haven't really been at the forefront become a sore point if more people come to games more often? And will restaurants and bars (and retailers and office tenants and residents) start thinking a little more about being near the ballpark? The Summer of Strasburg (SoS) could get quite interesting....
QUICK ADD: From the Nats: "The Washington Nationals will host their annual blood drive, in partnership with Inova Blood Donor Services, this Saturday, June 12 in the Nationals Park Conference Center from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In addition to helping save a life, blood donors will receive two tickets to a future Nationals game, a limited edition Build-A-Bear Workshop bloodhound and the opportunity to take an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Nationals Park." There will be a second drive on Aug. 28, from 8 am to 2 pm.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Capitol Riverfront BID, Restaurants/Nightlife
 

Over the next few weeks, weather permitting, workers will be demolishing bridge spans that runs above N Street, SE (that little connector road between 12th Street and the Navy Yard gate on 11th). This is part of the 11th Street Bridges project, and is the continuation of the demolition of the no-longer-needed ramps to and from RFK. (Note that the spans that still carry 11th Street Bridge traffic aren't coming down!) Here's the specifics on time-frames and lane closures:
""Sunday through Thursday from June 6 through July 1, weather permitting, contractors for the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) will perform bridge demolition work above N Street SE requiring overnight closures of the street between the 12th Street SE and the gate of the Navy Yard on 11th Street SE. The closures will occur each night from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next morning with a signed detour provided.
"Also during this timeframe, the following lane closures will be instituted for related bridge demolition activities:
"* The left lane will be closed on the ramp from Southeast/Southwest Freeway to I-295 South/Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue continuing across the outbound 11th Street bridge and ending prior to merge area with I-295.
"* The left lane will be closed across the inbound 11th Street bridge beginning on I-295 north near Howard Road and ending past the M Street/12th Street exit ramp.
"All of these closures may be subject to change due to weather or other unforeseen conditions."
Here's a zoom in on the Google Maps satellite view if you need some visualization assistance. It's the first and third (from the left) of the four "spans" above N Street are the ones that go to and from RFK. I also wonder if this means that the big embankment that runs along 11th Street between M and N is coming down--I would think so, since it's now an unused stub.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Navy Yard
 

There have been a lot of photos I've been needing to take recently, and the stars finally aligned today for me to go get them. (I sure could use some Gatorade about now, though.) Here's a run-through:
I made my first visit to the 11th Street Bridges site, and now that all 63 river piles have been driven, it's kind of an interesting tableau. You can see my new photos, as well as background on the project if you need some orientation on what exactly you're seeing. I also got some "final" before-and-after photos of the view at 12th and M now that the RFK ramps are mostly gone.
I also wandered over to 1015 Half Street, now that I've been convinced that they're truly working on the building again. The main project page has an overview, but if you can't get enough before-and-afters, the Expanded 1015 Photo Archive shows even more angles (though you Nation fans might find them bittersweet).
I know I just unleased a big pile of Yards Park photos a few days ago, but the big hole in the lineup has been a lack of shots from across the Anacostia River, at Poplar Point. So I got over there today, and while they aren't as exciting as you might imagine (though you can see that they're doing some priming or test painting on the pedestrian bridge), I've still added some to my Yards Park page, denoted with the icon. I also finally got my official "after" photos from Poplar Point for Diamond Teague Piers, which you can see on the project page and also here. And, for the fun of it, you can also "watch" the stadium go up from that spot.
If you want to see all the "intersection" shots I took today (all 131 of them!), they're here, on three pages, and you can then click on the icon to see the historical images. (I had a lot of spots that needed updating. Yeesh!)
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More posts: 1015 Half, 11th Street Bridges, square 697, The Yards, Yards Park
 

From DDOT: "The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) today announced the completion of the 11th Street Bridge Project's first major construction milestone: all 63 river piles for the three new bridges have been driven in the Anacostia River. The 110-foot-long concrete piles that will form the core of the new bridges' foundations were pounded into the river bed since construction began in December. [...]
"The new bridges will continue to take shape in the months ahead as contractors form four piers for each bridge by building struts and caps on the piles then begin erecting structural steel for the bridge decks this fall. Additional work with landside pile driving is also underway to improve connections to the Anacostia Freeway (I-295/DC-295) and the Southeast-Southwest Freeway."
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges
 

From the 11th Street Bridge project folks:
"From Monday, May 17 to Friday, June 18, contractors for the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) will conduct a variety of work for the 11th Street Bridge Project requiring off-peak-hour weekday lane closures on the 11th Street Bridge and related portions of DC 295/I-295 and the Southeast-Southwest Freeway.
"From 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday closures will include:
"* One lane and the shoulder in each direction to and from the Southeast-Southwest Freeway to I-295/DC295 across the 11th Street Bridge for lane striping, barrier installation, surveying and lane realignment work.
"Closures may be subject to change due to weather or other unforeseen conditions."
They also say that closures will be suspended over Memorial Day weekend and immediately before and after Nationals games.
I also hear that the last of the piles being driven into the river will be completed soon, and the big crane on site will start being dismantled and moved out.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges
 
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