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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Oct 05, 2007
In the Pipeline
25 M
Yards/Parcel I
Chiller Site Condos
Yards/Parcel A
1333 M St.
More Capper Apts.
Yards/DC Water site
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
SC1100
Completed
Thompson Hotel ('20)
West Half ('19)
Novel South Capitol ('19)
Yards/Guild Apts. ('19)
Capper/The Harlow ('19)
New DC Water HQ ('19)
Yards/Bower Condos ('19)
Virginia Ave. Tunnel ('19)
99 M ('18)
Agora ('18)
1221 Van ('18)
District Winery ('17)
Insignia on M ('17)
F1rst/Residence Inn ('17)
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 Cap. ('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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4 Blog Posts

Here's some late Friday news for you: the 11th Street Bridges Environmental Impact Statement has been completed, and a preferred plan for the reconfiguration of the bridges has been chosen, at an estimated price of $465 million, taking an estimated five years to complete. No start date has been announced.
You can read the summary, check out the Preferred Alternative and the other alternatives, plow through the entire thing at once (36 MB), or pick and choose the sections you want to read. When even the summary is 24 pages long, it's hard to give a quick description of what is being recommended, but here's my best shot:
* There will be two new bridges built on exactly the alignments of the existing two bridges, allowing the use of the existing piers but requiring their widening to allow for wider bridges. Two new ramps will be built on the east side of the Anacostia River, providing access at last to the northbound Anacostia Freeway from the Southeast/Southwest Freeway and to the freeway from the southbound Anacostia Freeway. One of the two bridges would be dedicated to freeway traffic, and the other to local traffic, with the total number of **freeway*** lanes unchanged, but with four new local lanes and with added paths for bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as "accommodations for transit," such as the proposed light rail system.
As for what would happen to the interchange with the bridge in Near Southeast, it's hard to digest, but this is what I'm seeing by looking at the diagrams in the Alternatives section (here's a Google Maps satellite view of the current bridges, which you might need):
* The current on/off ramps at N Street would be moved to M Street (see page 15), with local traffic and paths to and from Anacostia being routed on the western of the two bridge spans (officially known as the Officer Welsh Bridge), and traffic bound for the Anacostia Freeway routed onto the 8-lane eastern span. This also means that the local traffic coming north from Anacostia would be routed along a newly two-way portion of 11th Street up to M.
* The exit ramp now between Ninth and 10th streets would be moved to Ninth Street.
* There would also be a new entrance to the westbound freeway from 11th Street (perhaps taking some of the pressure off the Third Street ramp?).
(In a separate project, the existing Southeast/Southwest freeway between 11th Street and Barney Circle is apparently going to be downgraded to a new Southeast Freeway Boulevard, which would be accessed by exiting the freeway and going across 11th Street at-grade. As part of this, the sneaky little route to Pennsylvania Avenue from 9th Street and Virginia Avenue would be removed, too.)
As for the impact of the reconfigured bridges on the boathouses nestled between them on the west side of the river, the EIS says that "it has been determined that construction of any of the build alternatives, including the Preferred Alternative, will not require the whole or partial demolition of either of the two ACBA buildings." Boathouse operations would have to be relocated during construction, but the documents state that DDOT is committed to maintaining the operations during this time, having agreed to provide temporary structures on a Washington Gas-owned space a few hundred yards to the north. (See Section 7.3 for more about the boathouse impact.)
Finally, the document states that the bridges project will not impact the Virginia Avenue Park at 9th and Virginia.
I doubt anyone is still reading at this point, so I'm going to quit while behind and hope that all sorts of media outlets give some real coverage, and take me off the hook. If you're at all interested in this, especially in the impacts east of the river that I haven't addressed, I suggest browsing the entire document. You'd be amazed how much detail is in there.
There's now a public comments period, through November 20. See the EIS web site for more about the entire study process.
If you're not real familiar with this area of Near Southeast, visit my East M Street page for photos and links.
UPDATE, 10/11: I erred in this above item when stating that the total number of lanes would be unchanged from the current configuration; having misread the EIS wording that referred to the number of freeway lanes being unchanged. The two spans currently have eight freeway lanes, which will be the case with the new bridge; but those eight lanes will be carried on a widened version of the upstream span, and the downstream span will carry four local lanes.
 

Here's a Fox 5 video from Thursday morning about the new National Capital Area Spay and Neuter Clinic at 1001 L Street, with interviews with some of the staff and lots of views of the interior. (And even a shot out the window at the park across the street.) UPDATE: Oops, missed this. Local radio station WAMU did a report on the center this morning.
 

Also from today's Washington Business Journal print edition (subscribers only) is "Nats May Open Ballpark Without Naming Deal", which says that "Club executives are anticipating a delay in the rollout of a corporate moniker until 2009. [...] But with no deal imminent, according to club officials, the new mind-set is to wait until an optimal agreement happens rather than accept a lowball offer and push out a name for the opening of the 41,500-seat ballpark near the Anacostia River in April." It says that the team is seeking $8 million to $10 million per year for a naming-rights pact, which would be the second largest in Major League Baseball. The team says there is no concern about opening the stadium without a deal in place, using the Nationals Park name in the interim. Principal owner Ted Lerner is quoted as saying, "On a practical level, we're getting awfully late in the game where we wouldn't have enough time to order and install the signage in time for opening day. We'll get there. The important thing is to have the right deal instead of the quick deal."
UPDATE: The WBJ article was originally published in the Sports Business Journal; here's the link.
More posts: Nationals Park
 

Today's Washington Business Journal has a long story (not just for subscribers!) about Monument Realty's miffed-ness over not being awarded the Southeastern Bus Garage site. It details the process from 2005 when the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation issued the solicitation to develop land around the new Nationals ballpark up through the surprise awarding of the bus garage site earlier this month to Akridge. As for the next steps, in light of the acrimony and Monument's recent threats of litigation, the article sheds no light on the what course of action will be taken by the city, Monument, and/or Metro.
One thing the article cleared up for me was that brief moment in late June when the city asked WMATA to sell the bus garage to the District, then pulled back: apparently Monument Realty had complained to the office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development about the open bidding for the garage, and so the city asked to buy it, until it was realized that the purchase "would require approval and tens of millions of dollars from the council, which would soon recess for the summer", and so the offer was rescinded.
If you're interested in some of the documents, here's the September 2005 Request for Expressions of Interest, the Dec. 2005 Summary of Recommendations listing the chosen Designated Developers, and the accompanying press release. (Just be nice and give proper credit to where you got them if you use them.)