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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel
See JDLand's CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel Project Page
for Photos, History, and Details
In the Pipeline
One M/10 Van
Capper/Square 769N
1250 Half St.
JBG/Half St.
The Garrett
Capper/Square 767
1000 1st St.
Yards/Icon Theater
Yards/Parcel L
1000 South Capitol
25 M
Chiller Site Condos
Yards/Parcel A
1333 M St.
New Douglass Bridge
More Capper Apts.
250 M St.
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
Square 696
SC1100
Completed
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 Capitol ('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)
 
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Hope everyone enjoyed that 45-second snowstorm this morning!
Here's a roundup, mostly from the running linkage I've been posting in the comments. And the photo at right has nothing to do with any of the tidbits--it's just from 11 years ago today. A little different.
* STYMIED: The developers of the proposed large residential project at 1333 M are asking for a two-year extension on their zoning PUD, citing beiing "stymied" in finding financing. (Capitol Hill Corner)
* UNVEILED: Forest City has shown ANC 6D the first renderings of its planned hotel at 3rd and Tingey, SE, on the north end of "Parcel L," where they are already planning a large residential building as well. (Urban Turf)
* TUNNELED: In Virginia Avenue Tunnel news, next week or thereabouts, watch for daily closings of 4th St. SE between I and Virginia, as well as the return of two (shifted) lanes on the 6th Street exit ramp. Also, the portion of 5th (or is the 6th) Street immediately south of Virginia is now closed for seven weeks or so. And the next "Coffee with Chuck" update is at 8 am on Feb. 22 at 861 New Jersey Ave., SE.
* FLICKED: Vote on the lineup for this summer's Thursday Outdoor Movie Series.
* PROMOTED: The 2017 Nats gameday promotions and giveaways lineup is now available.
* SALTED: Ryan Zimmerman is an investor/part-owner of The Salt Line, opening this year across the street from his place of employment. (City Paper)
* STUFFED: Five Guys is back.
Given this weekend's forecast, I may try to get out to take some photos, if the stars align.
Comments (19)
More posts: 1333 M, CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel, Development News, fiveguys, saltline, The Yards, yardsparcell
 

My focus is elsewhere these days, but I haven't completely stopped keeping an eye on things. Just not any real big news to report. So here's some little news:
* INAUGURATION: It might be a challenge heading north out of the neighborhood on Jan. 20. Here's DDOT's page on the inauguration, with a map of the close-in detours and closings, and the pedestrian routes, and more.
* TUNNEL OPEN HOUSE: The next Virginia Avenue Tunnel open house is Thursday, Jan. 12 (tomorrow), from 6 to 8 pm at the Courtyard Marriott at New Jersey and L, SE. "A brief presentation and Q&A session with residents will be held at 7 p.m., in response to requests from neighbors." Also, CSX says it expects to reopen 3rd Street at Virginia during the week of Jan. 23-27. After that, there will be another temporary closing of 4th St. SE at Virginia to move a utility manhole. And 7th should be reopening at Virginia Any Minute Now.
And, a tidbit that is neither traffic nor tunnel, but is welcome:
* A BRIGHT LIGHT IN THE DISTANCE: Nationals pitchers and catchers report to the new West Palm Beach spring training facility on Feb. 14, with position players arriving by Feb. 17. (WaPo)
What else is going on these days?
Comments (15)
More posts: CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel, inauguration, Traffic Issues
 

At 8 am on Friday, Dec. 23, the first double-stacked train passed through the newly built southern tunnel under Virginia Avenue, SE, marking the official completion of that phase of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project.
(Alas, the photo at left shows a train coming through the old tunnel, before the rails were laid into the new one, but whaddyagonnado.)
Now Phase II of the project is kicking into gear, which is the rehabilitation and expansion of the existing 100-plus-year-old northern tunnel. That work is expected to be completed, along with the streetscape restoration improvements to Virginia Avenue, in mid-2018.
If you want to see some photos from inside the new tunnel as work was being completed, CSX has them in this presentation.
As part of the work on the northern tunnel, the intersection of 7th and Virginia is expected to close Any Minute Now for about two weeks. Of course, 3rd Street remains closed at Virginia for similar work of demolishing the temporary deck over the now-completed new tunnel and rebuilding it over the northern tunnel; it is expected to reopen in January.
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More posts: CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel, Traffic Issues
 

The blistering pace of new projects slowed a bit this year, allowing me some (needed) breathing space in terms of keeping up with construction progress. But I wandered around on Saturday, and here's a few things of note I saw:
* The JBG apartment project now known as 1221 Van is speeding along, and has changed the skyline along South Capitol considerably. Taking southward-facing photos in the winter months is always dicey, but I couldn't pass up a shot of the new structure and its neighbor directly to the south.
* Insignia on M's logo at the top of its New Jersey Avenue face does easily catch one's eye.
* The preparation work to transform the O Street Pumping Station into the glimmery new DC Water Headquarters is now underway.
* CSX announced this week that the new second-track Virginia Avenue Tunnel is "nearing completion," and it certainly looks that way at the western mouth of both new and old tunnels. And I got to see a train coming out, too! (But the project isn't over--next work will shift to reconstructing the 100-year-old original tunnel.)
* The excavation for the combination condo-and-rental buildings project known as "Parcel O" at the Yards has proceeded apace.
* Conversely, the hole for the 99 M office building has remained basically unchanged since late summer. (Compare the below photo to this one taken in August.) There was a new crane-related after-hours permit approved for the site last week, so maybe things are about to start moving again. UPDATE, 12/13: A representative for the 99 M project has gotten in touch with me to say that there has actually been considerable "complex" work going on at the site, it's just that it's mostly underground/out of sight.
 

* I STREET REDESIGN: ANC Commissioner Meredith Fascett reports that DDOT is hosting a meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 14, on proposed plans to redesign I Street SE to make it work better for pedestrians, bicyclists, and even vehicles. It's at 6:30 pm in the lobby at 70 I Street (70 Capitol Yards). Meredith wrote back in August about the early discussions for safer bike lanes, crosswalks, parking adjustments, and more.
* BIXBY RIBBON-CUTTING: Apparently there will be a ribbon cutting at the 195-unit mixed-income Bixby at 7th and L on Tuesday, Dec. 13.
* NATS PARK BILLBOARDS: On Dec. 6 the DC Council gave first approval to the proposed large display boards at the ballpark, though the Hill Rag reports that the count has dropped to five boards from 10, lowers the allowed brightness, and prohibits them from facing toward South Capitol Street, the Anacostia River, M Street, and 1st Street between M and N.
* ONYX SALE, AGAIN: A reader reports that the tell-tale binder appeared in the lobby of the Onyx apartment building recently, indicating that AvalonBay has contracted to purchase the 260-unit building for $95.5 million. (The binder contains the offer required by DC law for the tenants to instead buy the building themselves, if they have $95 million in coins under their sofa cushions.) The building last sold in 2013 for a smidge over $82 million.
* SWEET BABY JAMES: It's been announced that James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt will be playing Nats Park on July 14, 2017. Tickets are on sale now.
* TUNNEL DOINGS: Most folks are probably aware that 3rd Street is now closed at Virginia Avenue for the next several weeks. If you are wanting more info on the current status of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project, the last "Coffee with Chuck" of 2016 is Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 8 am at the construction office at 861 New Jersey Ave. SE. Hard to believe that most of the structural work on the new companion tunnel is finishing up, with work moving to "track level"--preparing the railroad bed, installing cross ties, etc. (Good timing to be in the enclosed spot during the winter.) But of course this is not the end of the project, as work will then shift to the reconstruction of the existing 100-year-old tunnel.
Comments (15)
More posts: CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel, The Bixby, Onyx, Nationals Park, Stadium Events, Traffic Issues
 

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 posts: CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel, Traffic Issues
 

With work having progressed on the expansion phase of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, CSX is announcing that 4th Street SE between Virginia and I Street will be closed for three to five weeks, starting perhaps on Thursday, Sept. 29, so that the existing temporary bridge deck can be removed and the tunnel's roof completed in that spot. Then a new deck will be built across the next area to be excavated to work on the other half of the tunnel project, at which point the area will reopen to traffic.
UPDATE: The weather has forced a postponement of the closure until likely next week, Oct. 3-7. UPDATE 2: And the intersection did finally close on Monday, Oct 3.
This means that drivers coming south on 4th Street SE from Capitol Hill will need to detour either to 3rd Street or 7th Street in order to cross under the freeway to the promised land.
Pedestrian access along this stretch of 4th will apparently be maintained during the closure, as will the 4th Street exit from the Capitol Quarter driveway.
This is the first of these sorts of closures and detours that will need to happen along all of the north-south streets that cross Virginia Avenue as work on the first phase of the tunnel wraps up and the decks need to be reestablished a smidge to the north to cross above the existing tunnel while it is rebuilt.
At right is the estimated timeline for these other closures as shown in the Sept. 21 Coffee with Chuck presentation slides (click to embiggen). Third Street's temporary closure for this work is on deck (so to speak) for mid-to-late October, 5th in mid-to-late December, and 7th and 8th sometime in 2017. (The deck work on 11th Street will happen without any full closure.)
The slides also say that Phase II pile driving is expected to begin near 4th Street in October.
The next quarterly open house for the project is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 20, and the next Coffee with Chuck will be on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
Comments (14)
More posts: CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel, Traffic Issues
 

CSX has announced (now posted on the official web site) that the two-year closure of the remaining eastbound lane of Virginia Ave. east of 6th will begin after the morning rush hour tomorrow, Sept. 22. Because I'm a little pressed for time, I'm just bringing this post that I wrote back in August on the change to the top of the pile.
Original post from Aug. 22:
The biggest disruption to traffic flow so far* near the Southeast Freeway in connection with the Virginia Avenue Tunnel expansion is now on the horizon, with CSX's announcement on Friday that it expects to close the one remaining open eastbound portion of Virginia Avenue, between 6th and 8th Streets, SE, sometime in mid-September.
This closure is anticipated to last until the completion of the tunnel project in mid-2018.
During this closure, the stretch of Virginia between 6th and 8th on the north side of the freeway that is currently one-way westbound will become two-way traffic, as shown in my alarmingly nifty graphic below. Traffic coming off the 6th Street exit ramp will all turn left to go under the freeway and then have the option to turn right on Virginia to continue eastbound, or to turn westbound or to continue northward.
The streets that cross Virginia will remain open during this time, so north/south traffic will continue to move in its current configurations on 3rd, 7th, and 8th Streets, with 4th remaining a southbound-only crossing and 5th/6th a northbound crossing.
(It is expected that the 5th Street intersection that has been closed for the past few weeks to install the temporary decking will reopen this week, allowing traffic to once again come north on 5th from K and cross under the freeway.)
If you don't trust JDLand's high quality graphics, here's the announcement from CSX and its own map of the new traffic flows.
The most recent "Coffee with Chuck" meeting to update interested parties was on Aug. 17, and the presentation slides are here. The next Coffee with Chuck will be on Sept. 21, followed by the quarterly Open House on Oct. 20.
* At some point there will be the most disruptive closure of all, when the freeway exit ramp is closed temporarily for some few weeks to be reconfigured to allow the tunnel construction to expand northward under the current ramp footprint. But that ramp closure is not part of this change in September. BIG UPDATE: Or not! CSX has contacted me to say that while they will "have to temporarily narrow the [6th Street exit] ramp late this year or early next," they "expect that at least one lane of the ramp will remain open at all times."
Comments (25)
More posts: CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel, Traffic Issues
 

As part of the continuing reconstruction of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, the intersection of 5th Street at Virginia Avenue will be closed starting Aug. 1 for three to four weeks for the installation of a temporary bridge deck.
The 6th Street exit ramp from eastbound I-695 will still be open during this closure, and traffic coming off the ramp will still be able to turn left to head north on 6th or continue straight on the one lane of Virginia Avenue open between 5th and 7th.
However, if you are south of Virginia Avenue and want to go north of the freeway, you will need to use either 3rd, 7th, 8th, or 11th Streets, SE. (The 7th Street intersection is expected to reopen from its own multi-week closure on Friday, July 29.)
Local traffic will still be allowed for the block of 5th Street north of K, including traffic to the Capper Seniors building.
See CSX's informational slides on this closure for additional details, or marvel at the wonder that is my own informational map above.
UPDATE, AUG. 2: The closure is officially underway.
Comments (28)
More posts: CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel, Traffic Issues
 

On Saturday, June 18, there will be an Emergency Preparedness Meeting for residents to get training in what to do in the case of a train derailment or hazardous materials incident, a topic on the minds particularly of residents who live close to the Virginia Avenue Tunnel.
Lead by DC HSEMA director Chris Geldart, fire chief Gregory Dean, and Department of Energy and the Environment director Tommy Wells, the session will provide training "about safety during a derailment involving hazardous materials; sheltering-in-place vs. evacuating; emergency vehicle access; and emergency communications."
The meeting is at 10 am at 200 I St., SE. Contact ANC 6D07 commissioner Meredith Fascett for more information.
Comments (0)
More posts: CSX/Virginia Ave. Tunnel, meetings
 
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