The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will begin repairing and resurfacing U Street NW between 9th and 14th Streets as part of the U Street NW Streetscape Project. Work is scheduled to begin the week of May 6, weather permitting.
The complete resurfacing will take approximately three weeks to finish.
- Milling away two inches of the old surface from 9th to 14th Street, estimated three days.
- Repairing damaged concrete, about 10 days.
- Paving the roadway with asphalt from 9th to 14th Street, approximately three days.
DDOT says that after the asphalt has been removed, pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers should use caution in the area; the roadway will be uneven until the new asphalt surface is in place.
For more information about the U Street NW Streetscape Project, visit their website or contact Chinaka A. Young at chinaka.young[AT]volkert.com.
Work on the U Street NW Streetscape Project resumes today, October 1, after a five-month delay while the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) waited on a permit from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).
The Streetscape Project entails the reconstruction of a 0.4-mile segment of U Street NW (from 9th Street to 14th Street). The project will improve and landscape the sidewalk areas, repair the roadway and upgrade streetlights, traffic signals and storm drains.
This week, the contractor will start excavating trenches along U Street between 9th and 14th Streets to install new electrical conduits. This work will begin on the north side of U Street at the 900 block and proceed west toward 14th Street, one block at a time. After the electrical conduit work is completed on the north side the contractor will begin working on the south side of U Street. Work on the south side of U Street will begin at the 1400 block and proceed east toward 9th Street, one block at a time.
Throughout the duration of the electrical work, sidewalk and building access will not be affected. However, the curbside parking spaces located adjacent to the immediate work areas will be temporarily restricted between 9 am and 3 pm.
Once the electrical phase of the project is complete, construction will begin on the sidewalk, curb and gutter projects. The entire Streetscape Project is expected to be complete in Spring, 2013.
For more information about the U Street NW Streetscape Project and to sign up for future updates, visit UStreetProject.com.
By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com.
Beautification comes at a price for city residents; the flower boxes and trees are an improvement to acres of concrete, but the process from start to finish is anything but lovely. Adams Morgan businesses and residents have been enduring a seemingly endless improvement project that has led to traffic snarls, decreased business and a lot of headaches. P Street businesses remember the year plus where parking spaces for local restaurants were non-existent as construction was underway.
Well, U Street, you’re next. The city plans on beginning work on U Street between 9th and 14th Streets NW on Monday, June 11, and will go one block at a time, starting at 9th Street and moving westward. (For the full story, see Tom Hays’ Streetscape Project: U Street Rehabilitation To Begin June 11.)
Sidewalks will be widened, the streets will be repaved and storm drains replaced in addition to the landscaping components. The Washington Post reports you should expect less parking and anticipate making alternate arrangements for about a year. I wonder if anyone’s warned all the prospective buyers further down 14th Street.
From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email at Tom[AT]borderstan.com and follow him on Twitter@Tomonswann.
A large crowd turned out for the pre-construction meeting on the streetscape rehabilitationproject along U Street NW. At Wednesday night’s meeting it was announced that the project is scheduled to begin the week of June 11 and is expected to be complete in April 2013. The blocks to be upgraded include both the north and south side of U Street from 9th Street NW to 14th Street NW.
Councilmember Jim Graham (D-ward 1) was the opening speaker and quickly tried to temper the anxiety anyone in the room had by explaining that this project will not be nearly as disruptive at the current 18th Street Adams Morgan project — at least during this first phase. Graham then introduced many stakeholders, including contacts from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), Myla Moss of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1B and Brian Card of the U Street Neighborhood Association.
When Graham asked for a show of hands, residents slightly outnumbered business owners in attendance at the meeting.
Improvements and Disruptions Detailed
A representative from David Volkert & Associates Engineering walked attendees through the improvements and gave details on what to expect during construction. The improvements will include new curbs, gutters, sidewalks, bus pads, bike racks, storm drains, traffic signals, lighting and multispace parking meters. The $5 million project is mostly federally funded with about 16% coming from local funds.
Construction will begin at 9th and U Streets NW and move west toward 14th Street. Upgrades will take about three to four weeks per block, per side. During that time, parking will be interrupted: first as the curbs are replaced, then as pedestrians are routed into the parking lane as sidewalks are replaced. The sidewalk will be widened where conditions do not meet ADA standards. Planners hope to maintain two lanes of traffic in each direction. Steel plates and ramps will allow pedestrians to access affected businesses during the process. Bus stops may be moved temporarily when they are in the construction zone.
Business Owners Are Concerned
During the question and answer period, business owners expressed serious concerns about the impact on their operations. Councilmember Graham pointed out that owners will be able to apply for no-interest loans for assistance. A few commenters dismissed the benefit of the loan program and suggested other compensation such as tax relief. The project will impact a variety of independent stores, restaurants and bars. Among the impacted businesses are such U Street landmarks as Ben’s Chili Bowl, Lee’s Flower Shop, the Lincoln Theater and Nellie’s Sports Bar.
Phase Two and Beyond
The second phase of the project from 14th to 18th Street is scheduled to begin in late 2013. That segment is expected to be more intrusive as there will be deeper digging in the street for upgrades. The upgrades along 14th Street NW are on hold as extensive development currently underway would interfere with the project. The current target for the start of that project is now fiscal year 2015 or 2016.
The Borderstan neighborhoods have seen similar streetscape upgrades over the years. Recent ones include the blocks of P Street west of Dupont Circle, 17th Street NW from P to R Streets and several blocks of 18th Street NW in the middle of the Adams Morgan commercial strip. While the reviews of the improvements have generally been favorable; the disruption to the businesses especially during the P Street and now 18th Street NW projects have been well documented.