14th St, NW Roadwork Almost Completed in Columbia Heights

A few emails went out announcing that roadwork would be completed by July 9th. Bad weather has delayed that time table a bit as there is still a big chunk of work that needs to be completed north of Park Road (pictured above). Though much of that is sidewalk work.

Unfortunately there is still a lot of consternation about the new traffic pattern no longer letting you cross 14th St, west across Park Road.

But south of Kenyon is looking good:

27 Comment

  • I’ll believe it when i see it.

    • Me too. It’s gone on for far too long now – sections of 14th St. torn up, orange barrels blocking lanes for what appears to be for nothing other than a place to park construction workers vehicles, just to be re-paved on Friday, and then torn up again on Monday when they realize they ‘forgot’ to put in things, like water shut off valves, and electrical junction boxes. Enough is enough! Finish the damn project already!

  • I’ve got an idea, let’s tear up the sidewalks on Friday afternoon so everyone has to dodge orange fencing to trounce through the diry all weekend. We’ll get back to it on Monday.

    I seriously think the contract with “Civil” or whatever the company is doing this needs some investigation.

  • In 1995 during the construction of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, a world record was set for the largest cement pour in a 24 hour period. At the time, Malaysia was a developing country. This record stands today. The entire building, which for years held the record for the tallest building in the world, was completed in only 19 months.

    In 2008, the DC granted under a minority contract award process the work to Civil Construction. Over 2 1/2 years later, the project is still under way.

    Roadwork almost completed? Really?

  • And what were the labor conditions? Wages? Maybe nearly as fair as Dubai these past few years?

    • Well, no. The Dubai guest worker program is closer to indentured servitude. I’m guessing they may have had more competent construction managers, though.

  • I am just so confused why they would change the traffic pattern so you can’t cross 14th on Park. Was there ever a reasonable explanation for this?

    • no reasonable explanation. according to the majority of those posting defense of the the design the last time PoP blogged about it, it boils down to trying to make life as unbearable as possible for anyone in a car so that Columbia Heights will become a pedestrian mall.

  • and most of the time most of the workers are just standing around doing nothing. i really have loved when they close a corner and then you have to walk halfway down another block to cross the street.

  • How in the hell has “bad weather” delayed this project? Since when is hot and dry considered bad weather for street construction? It’s rained like what, THREE TIMES in the last month?

  • This construction really has taken forever. But you know what’s worse? They’ve been replacing the 30th St bridge over the C&O canal for well over a year now. That’s what, a quarter of a block long? Granted, it doesn’t inconvenience as many people as the CH construction, but it’s a stunningly long time for such a small project.

  • I have no idea whether this project is going well or poorly but I will say that I’m not nearly as upset as apparently everyone else is.

    This has been a very challenging project. Consider that everything has been replaced – the sidewalks and the road and everything under and above it, while life has continued for the thousands of people who live, work and travel on the very spots that have been so thoroughly transformed.

    This time next month when everything is done and everything is new and shiny, we will all be enjoying our new streetscape and will have moved on to new things to complain about.

    • “when everything is done and everything is new and shiny, we will all be enjoying our new streetscape and will have moved on to new things to complain about.”

      actually, I’m betting that we’ll be mourning a pedestrian or cyclist who got hit by a car. The traffic pattern is insanely confusing, the islands in the middle of Park are so small as to be pointless (like the ones on Washington Circle, where someone was hit earlier this summer), and the plaza–while nice–took away a lot of space that could’ve been better used for a smaller plaza and wider roads/sidewalks/bike lanes.

  • It appears there will be one long planter along the stretch between Park and Monroe street.

    They tried that same thing between Irving and Columbia near the 7-11. The landscaping/plants they planted only 2 months ago are all dead. Cigarettes and trash are everywhere. The sidewalk simply isn’t wide enough.

    Why are they repeating this mistake?

  • Get ready for the same nightmare on U Street for the next several years – coming early 2011

  • i think listening to construction sounds for two YEARS solid is something valid to complain about IMO

    • Construciton noise is nothing new. It’s been a constant for the almost ten years I’ve lived here. Soon after the metro construction ended, construction began on all the new buildings. I think I’m not so upset about the streetscape because I know that it’s the last major piece in the 15+ year reconstruction of Columbia Heights. Soon it will be over!….or at least all the big stuff will be over.

      • well for those of us who had to move here for work and have not been here as long as you have…i can’t believe you stayed!

  • Early Friday morning I saw two westbound cars on Park trying to turn left onto 14th from the eastbound lane — i.e. to make the left by going around the wrong side of the little triangle. thru the oncoming lane. A cop made them back up and pass to the right of the little triangle as required, but while the cop stood there one of the cars, having passed right of the triangle, made the illegal left turn anyway.

    No way that little island’s going to ever work right.

  • Mark – I totally agree. I live right there and I have seen this more times than I can count since they changed this intersection. At night, when there is no traffic cop, drivers travelling west on Park cross the yellow line (in the opposing, eastbound lane) and wait for the light to change. They then proceed straight on Park (as was permitted under the original traffic pattern). This is going to be a nightmare unless they have a cop there 24-7 preventing it. It will take one accident (where a driver from Kenyon Street swings around the plaza and tries to proceed east onto Park only to collide with a car in the eastbound lane) for the City to get serious about either changing to the old pattern or enforcing the new pattern.

  • hispanicandproud

    It’s like a warzone.

  • Bit off topic, but anyone know what’s up with those bent over, single silver light poles – the stand alone version of the ones with the solar panels (the “solar trees”)? Are these missing some other piece or is that how they’re planning on leaving them? Granted I’m not a huge fan of the “trees”, but at least I get them conceptually and they have solar panels. The single ones just seem strangely out of place and incomplete.

  • The city has created a worthy neighborhood center from scratch, replacing a barren moonscape. While not perfect, in process or result, it deserves a bit more respect. What the city has done is hard and takes time and there will be mistakes.

    I am psyched it’s almost finished and think what has emerged in that part of CH is a near-miracle. I mean it ain’t Copenhagen or whatever, but it’s already a success and will only be more of a success when the fine points are done. They’ve brazenly taken space from cars – and even from parking! – and given it to people. Bravo, that takes guts and vision these days.

    On an average evening, look at how all kinds of people are drawn to and use the new public realm, mixing, enjoying it, with a relative lack of tension. Things like the new traffic patterns don’t bother me at all. I’m sure there’s a logic, why don’t we give it a chance and adapt instead of whining.

    On the whole, the negativity here is astounding. People can critique of course but let’s not lose the big picture.

    • Right on Bill! I forgot to mention that I’m an owner, which has certainly salved the considerable pains from construction I’ve had over the years. Columbia Heights is fast becoming an amazing public space. I love your description of it as a “moonscape” ten years ago. That nails it. What a difference!……a decade makes.

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