Mayor Muriel Bowser and other VIPs today helped begin demolition on what is set to become one of the H Street corridor’s largest developments to date, but not without some opposition.
As Bowser and business leaders heralded the redevelopment of the H Street Connection at 901 H St. NE, about a dozen demonstrators stood outside a fence surrounding the property, voicing their frustration about the site’s future to the people inside the gated area.
“If black lives matter, why did you have me escorted from your office?” one woman yelled at Bowser.
Added another protester: “I don’t need a mic to voice my opinion.”
The shouts came soon after the mayor used an excavator to rip into the old strip mall and touted the work the D.C. government and businesses have done to revitalize the H Street corridor.
On Tuesday, the city department closed one lane of traffic in each direction on Georgia Avenue NW between Barry Place and Florida Avenue NW.
DDOT says the closures are needed to construct dedicated bus lanes and a streetscape along that stretch of Georgia Avenue. The work also includes the replacement of sidewalks, curb and gutters, sidewalk ramps, mill and overlay of the roadway and new dedicated bus lanes in each direction.
These city expects to complete the project in May of 2016.
“Back in May, we received word–via that month’s ANC meeting–of a project ongoing on the rather dilapidated south side of the 1300 block of 14th St. The owner of several buildings on that block, all unoccupied and badly in need of renovation, was moving forward with plans to stabilize and renovate the the structure. The work was to begin on the interior of the structures and then move outdoors. A “temporary” fence was set up along with a large dumpster, ostensibly to handle the removal of all of the junk that was going to be hauled out of the structures during the renovation process.” Read entire post.