Since January, 2003
            
 Page Through from Before to After

A glaring hole in my "project page" lineup is being filled today, as I am at last unveiling an ultra-exciting Virginia Avenue Tunnel Expansion page. (Um, yay?)
It's still just an overview at this point, since there is no design yet chosen and therefore all of the specifics that residents and neighbors are clamoring for about construction impacts and possible potential post-construction improvements to the street and its surroundings aren't yet available.
But I figured it was time to at least prepare for the inevitable before-and-afters with current photos from along the tunnel's 10-block footprint, plus it makes the current "concept designs" being reviewed by the EIS more easily accessible. And it also just finally gives me a page to point people to. (As with yesterday's development map refreshing, this has only been on my To Do list for a couple of years. I've been busy. And lazy. Lazy and busy.)
There's been no new announcements since the last EIS meeting in May; at that time, it was expected that a draft EIS would come out this fall, with a final decision in spring 2013. (Though other EIS schedules I've seen in the past have experienced some slippage, so we'll see how the tunnel's goes.)
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Maelstrom says: (7/26/12 2:38 PM)
Wow. JD's comparisons of the concept measurements to real life are really well put together. The concept drawings do not show the position of VA avenue and the current sidewalk above the proposed site, so this puts into perspective the impacts of the project. Anyone who is concerned about the tunnel should definitely read all of this page. I wonder if someone could take the close-up google maps and make a zoomed-in version of exactly where the different concept construction borders would be.


JD says: (7/26/12 2:42 PM)
Thanks, though it's mostly because I had a walk-through with CSX two years ago, which I posted about here and stole from liberally when creating the new page: link

They're still being very cagey about borders and distances and such, and I think it will only be with the draft EIS that everyone will really get a sense of how each concept option would play out.


G Street says: (7/27/12 11:58 AM)
Should be a lot of *For Sale* signs going up soon?

Don't worry - CSX will give you a fridge magnet and/or a *stress ball* for disrupting your life = 24/7


conngs0 says: (7/27/12 1:49 PM)
Please pardon my ignorance on how projects such as this progress (I don't think it'll ever make sense to me why there are so many preliminary meetings and proposed plans/options). Even though I know there seems to be a movement within the immediate community (namely, those who live in CQ) for trains to be re-routed as opposed to upgrading this tunnel, isn't some kind of upgrade inevitable? And if so, won't it be pretty darn disruptive no matter what option is chosen? And if so, why not just select the option that brings the project to completion at the earliest possible date?

This isn't to say that CSX shouldn't do the most it reasonably can do to mitigate the inconvenience of those living within proximity to the project. And obviously all safety precautions need to be taken. But everyone who bought homes along Virginia Avenue knew or should have known that this project was on the horizon when they made their purchase. So you'd think they'd just want it to be fininshed as soon as possible.


LTR says: (7/29/12 1:55 PM)
@conngs0

"should have know that this project was on the horizon"?

FWIW - All of the homes along VA Avenue had down payments on them over a year in advanced of any announcements by CSX that they planned to dig up the area. JDLAND has the documented well when first notification began to leak. To make matters worse, each owner would have had to forfeit their down payments (10% of the purchase price) as EYA was not letting anyone out of their contract once the news broke. Many tried.

CSX knew for years that the Panama Canal project also was going to need new tunnels. The Panama Canal project started in 2006 and planned well before that. Why didn't CSX know that the community was being built since it was well documented on JDLAND since 2006? Same question but in reverse.

Granted I know there will be someone to say "but the tunnel was there first." Yes -- So was the city -- So was the freeway. And those on VA Ave understand and knew construction might happen for any one of those areas too.

However, people live here now as well and CSX needs to satisfy many more issues today than they would have if they had started building in 2007. CSX needs to mitigate the health and safety of those individuals before any construction begins.

And to their credit, the DDOT and FHWA completely agree by shifting the analysis from a weaker study to a more rigorous EIS study. So I do understand and also desire the project to be done as fast as possible. However, because of CSX's delay in planning for the tunnel rebuild they now need to ensure the safety, environmental issues, and concerns of large group families of people along VA Ave that they didn't have to worry about in 2006. All those families desire is a safe area to call home.

Repeatedly saying that the VA Ave residents knew that the project was coming is 100% untrue. And when they did find out, most couldn't get out of the project without losing their money.


conngs0 says: (7/30/12 11:31 AM)
LTR, thanks for answering my questions and providing/reiterating some facts. It's certainly going to be interesting to see how this plays out. Do you know if there is a particular standard that an EIS must reach in order to gain approval for a given plan? If so, what is the likelihood that one of the CSX plans will satisfy that standard? Perhaps this project is less inevitable than I originally thought? Regardless, I do agree that no matter who know what, when, the folks living on Virginia Avenue and other effected areas deserve to have their health and property protected by any plan that is ultimately implemented.


Bruce says: (8/14/12 4:48 PM)
Next public meeting on VAT is Sept 27th...

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