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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Jul 12, 2015
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20 M ('07)
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2 Blog Posts

It's still relatively early in the process, but let's take a look at the changes that have already been put in place thanks to the start of construction on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel.
The closure of Virginia between 4th and 5th Streets, SE (seen here) has probably had the greatest impact so far, preventing vehicles from taking Virginia toward 8th Street (and its outbound ramp to I-695) unless one goes south on 4th to K, then north on 5th.
According to CSX, there will be increased prep work at this location this week, and it could see the start of drilling for steel and concrete pilings as early as the week of July 20.
Immediately to the south, the stockade fences are going up in front of the nearby townhomes, and the little stub of I Street has been closed east of 4th and east of the alley that runs between the townhouses and St. Paul's (see below left, click to enlarge). The I Street "hook" into Virginia Avenue will not reopen--the pocket park in this location will be reconfigured and enlarged once construction is finished.
Some moving of dirt has actually begun, as you see above in the shot of Virginia Avenue east of 2nd, alongside the stretch of road that was closed a few weeks ago.
The initial cutting down of trees along Virginia is particularly noticeable west of 3rd, as shown in this comparison of a 2007 photo and one from today (more before-and-afters of this intersection here):
According to the latest updates from CSX, parking will be restricted this week on Virginia between 3rd and 4th to allow for more cutting down of trees. And it's expected that perhaps as early as next week Virginia Avenue will be closed between 8th and 9th. (The numbered cross streets remain open.)
One other closure worth photographing is the underpass just to the south of Garfield Park, where skateboarders can still congregate (yay?), but is now closed to any attempts to get completely south of the freeway.
CSX is holding another one of its "Coffee with Chuck" events on Thursday, July 23 from 7:30 to 9 am at the Courtyard by Marriott at 140 L St., SE, in case you'd like to hear the latest updates and ask questions of the chief project engineer. (RSVPs requested.) Slides from the June ChucKlatch have been posted as well.
There's also now the option to receive updates on the project via SMS, should you wish.
The Virginia Avenue Tunnel official web site has more, and I've started getting my own Virginia Avenue Tunnel page prepped for the expected onslaught of before-and-afters

I'm minding my own business, walking around taking photos despite the clouds and haze to escape the torture of the Wimbledon men's final, and I turn north from Diamond Teague Park to find....
The trucks were all lined up on N Street as well, and clearly the word was out, because a woman rolled down the window on her tween-filled minivan to tell me that "TAYLOR IS HERE." I didn't see her, but I assume she arrived in better accommodations than one of these 18-wheelers.
For those not tracking this event minute-by-minute, there are two shows, on Monday and Tuesday nights (July 13 and 14). The gates open at 5 pm, and the show starts at 7 pm. Here's the Nats Park page listing all the items concert-goers should know in advance.
As for parking in the public lots near the ballpark, my assumption is that they are all operating as usual, though with some turnover issues given that it's a work day.
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