For those (like myself) who have been wondering: John Catoe, Metro's General Manager, said at Wednesday's mammoth City Council capital budget oversight hearing
that the agency is planning to be out of the Southeastern Bus Garage
at Half and M by "the beginning of baseball season."
He only briefly mentioned "legal issues" about the site's sale
to Akridge that they "hope to have resolved" within a few weeks, and didn't say anything about what plans Akridge might have for the site.
Catoe also said (a couple of times) that the west entrance of the Navy Yard Metro station will be ready for Opening Day
. If you've been sneaking peeks at it from the 55 M web cam
(the station entrance is at bottom center), you've seen some concrete poured over the past couple of days for the floor and also the arrival of the escalators' steps.
(I've made it about half way through my recording of the six-hour-plus meeting, listening with one ear when I can spare a few moments. I still haven't gotten to the testimony from the Sports and Entertainment Commission and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, which might also yield a tidbit here or there.)
I'm not the only one reporting on the station's status today. Friday's Post has a piece
with the latest: "[T]he station renovation is back on schedule, with all of the inside work to be finished by the end of this month. Work is also proceeding at street level, where the kiosk, ticket machines and turnstiles are to be installed. Fans will come up three escalators or one of the new elevators into the office building's lobby. One wall will be open, fenced with chain link, as construction continues." It also has some tidbits that people are always asking about, such as: "Metro plans 14 extra trains on game days
." And there's this: "Metro is also considering flat-panel TVs at the station entrance, which would post train information and perhaps carry video telecasts of the games." (Hmmmm.) The article also mentions WMATA's Nationals page
, which was announced a few weeks back
With thanks to reader PK for the news flash (confirmed by the 55 M web cam
), we can officially mark this morning's demise of the Normandie Liquors building at First and M
by adding it to the Demolished Buildings pantheon
. (The irony is not lost on this former lover of high-alcohol-content rum that a liquor store is Demolished Building #151.) I'll get photos of the Normandie-less corner this weekend.
In fact, so many buildings have been torn down in Near Southeast since 2003 that I've now had to break up the Demolished Buildings page
by year, so that the dang thing doesn't take three weeks to load. This has also allowed me to separate out the buildings demolished in the Nationals Park footprint
into their own mini-gallery, which will be handy in the coming weeks as no doubt many people will want to know what got leveled to make way for the stadium.
Your morning reading:
* Another worker has been fired at the ballpark
for allegedly making "insensitive racial remarks," according to the Examiner
and the Post (can't find this one online, though it was in the print edition). The Examiner says it's "the fifth dismissal of an employee at the stadium site over racially charged incidents in less than two weeks. D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission spokeswoman Chinyere Hubbard says a white carpenter made the remarks to two black electricians. She didn't specify what language prompted the action. The carpenter was employed by Mahogany Interiors, a minority subcontractor."
* Maryland congressman Steny Hoyer is concerned enough about the impact of the ballpark on the commutes of his constituents that he met with officials from the Nationals, DDOT, and Metro, and then sent out a press release
about it: " 'With weekday evening games that begin at the tail end of peak commuter periods, it is critical that we explore all available options to streamline the flow of traffic and minimize congestion,' stated Rep. Hoyer. 'As opening day approaches, I intend to continue working with officials to mitigate the impact on motorists in our region.' "
* Hundreds are expected to compete
this weekend to snag spots in the choir that will sing for Pope Benedict at the ballpark on April 17. About 550 people are signed up to fight for 250 slots.