Since January, 2003
            
 Page Through from Before to After

* CSX NEAR: The Kojo Nnamdi Show hosted on Monday a roundtable on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project, with David Garber and others. You can listen to it here.
* CSX FAR: Heads will explode, but I will pass along that CSX's J&L Tunnel Modification project has recently won two engineering awards. What is this tunnel? "The J&L Tunnel was constructed in the 1880s as part of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad to allow trains to run beneath the former J&L Steel Company’s Pittsburgh Works Southside facility." And what was the project? CSX "increased the vertical clearance of a 130-year-old tunnel running through Pittsburgh’s SouthSide Works, a mixed-use residential and commercial development. CSX worked closely with public officials, local businesses and residents to minimize noise and disruption during construction. Upon completion of the tunnel work, CSX restored trees and plantings, and invested in landscaping improvements that left the overlying Tunnel Park a more usable recreational space."
* HAMPTON: The building permit has been approved for the 168-room Hampton Inn just north of Nats Park. (The shoring permit was approved back in December.)
* THE MASTER PLAN: DDOT has officially released its update to the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative Master Plan. This covers projects like the new Douglass Bridge and South Capitol Street makeover, the Barney Circle/Southeast Boulevard redo, the M Street SE/SW transportation study, the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, and all other manner of projects and studies for infrastructure updates and improvements in the area. (Though, at 194 pages, maybe the Executive Summary will be a good place to start.) If I were a good blogger, I'd write a big in-depth entry about this, but, well, we know the answer to that these days....
* POLITICS: The Post grades the recent Southwest/Near Southeast Mayoral Forum, and the Hill Rag looks closely at the Ward 6 council race. Primary day is now less than a month away, on April 1. And note that tonight (March 4) there is a forum with the candiates at 7 pm at Westminster Church at 400 I St. SW, and there will be a Ward 6 candidate forum on education issues on Thursday, March 6, at 6:30 pm at Stuart-Hobson Middle School.
* DE-W'ED: Have you noticed that the Curly Ws are gone from various freeway signs? Here's why.
* PASTOR MILLS: Unfortunately, a sad piece of news to mention is that Karen Mills, pastor of the St. Paul's church at 4th and I SE, passed away on Feb. 21. I only met her a few times, but she was a very welcoming and pleasant presence, and condolences go out to her family, friends, and members of the church.
Anything else catching peoples' eyes?
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odoylefm says: (3/4/14 1:41 PM)
JDLand, you rule for using a wikimapia link!

The J&L Tunnel runs through the South Side Works which contains offices, retail, bars, restaurants, and I believe hotels and planned condos.

And I'm having a hard time finding the link, but wasn't there an opposition to the VA Tunnel web site that featured a photo from the Pittsburgh J&L Tunnel project?


NavyYard82 says: (3/4/14 2:28 PM)
I'm not sure why you say "heads will explode" - the J&L Tunnel has very few similarities to the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, so you're comparing apples to oranges.

In January, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton told the community she spoke with the Member of Congress from this Pittsburgh district, and this Member told her the area around the J&L Tunnel was not a residential community like Capitol Hill. And last November, Steve Flippin (CSX's lobbyist) told the community that CSX conducted construction in the middle of the night in Pittsburgh to accommodate some retail stores nearby (i.e., not a residential neighborhood).

Also, if you do a bit of Googling, other differences are obvious. The J&L tunnel project was MUCH smaller in scope, size, and budget:

(1) J&L only raised the roof and did not expand and shift the tunnel, which is what would occur in the VAT.

(2) J&L tunnel remains single track - total project width is maybe 20', compared to 50'-60' for the VAT, depending on the option.

(3) J&L tunnel total budget was $13M versus the VAT's projected budget of ~$200M

link

If you want to try to compare the two projects, then look at the images below. But don't forget to more than double the size to account for two shifted tracks and imagine homes lining the edge of the tunnel (within 10 yards). This is all within an extremely tight and densely populated residential community. CSX has never done anything of this magnitude in such a tight space. Running trains through an open trench tunnel during construction is an unnecessary risk and an accident waiting to happen.

J&L Tunnel photo #1: link

J&L Tunnel photo #2: link

P.S. In DC, CSX has NOT "worked closely with public officials, local businesses and residents to minimize noise and disruption during construction." Furthermore, CSX has not proposed any improvements to the neighborhood following completion - they've only said a bike lane "might be added" to Virginia Avenue.



JD says: (3/4/14 2:30 PM)
Thanks for illustrating my comment perfectly!


odoylefm says: (3/4/14 2:40 PM)
Found the flyer on dcsaferail.org which shows a picture of the J&L Tunnel open trench:
link




DCPSParent says: (3/4/14 3:31 PM)
So one of the few available pictures of an actual CSX open trench is used on the dcsaferail.org site and that means....?

One thing it indicates is that CSX has yet to provide the Navy Yard with any detailed drafts of the proposed VAT open trench tunnel from an aerial viewpoint, indicating exactly how close construction will come to neighborhood homes, and also has not provided any drafts of what VA Ave intersections will look like for pedestrians and vehicles during open trench construction.

Go ahead and squeeze those images out of CSX and you'll be a local hero. I have emails going back 3 years asking for them, to no avail.

And you can be sure they'd be on dcsaferail.org



Bruce says: (3/4/14 4:48 PM)
Thanks for posting about Pastor Mills.
She was a close friend and a wonderful person. Her parents are also close friends and always will be.
Karen left us way too soon and will be missed.


MJM says: (3/5/14 1:42 PM)
So what is the difference between a temp open trench in SE vs the entire 'open trench' in SW? Besides that it is closer to homes?


NavyYard82 says: (3/5/14 7:47 PM)
MJM, as I mentioned above, the difference is trains do not run through an open trench in a construction site in SW. What CSX has proposed is not safe and there are more reasonable alternatives.

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1300 4TH ST SE 1001   
02/22/21 
AP BOWER RETAIL LLC / null
E2104231 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1346 4TH ST SE APT 1M   
02/06/21 
null / NA NA NA
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01/29/21 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / RENNE WELL; RICK HARLAN SCHNEIDER
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861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
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1275 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
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02/16/21 
CXS TRANSPORTATION INC / VICTORIA STEINHOFF; TBD
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