This is why we can’t have nice things Vol. 37

It’s just painful to see this after so many months of construction when the road was still all shiny and new. And I know sometimes it can’t be helped but it was looking so good…

From a DDOT press release for the Thurs evening rush hour:

“The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is advising motorists that there are road closures in Columbia Heights due to a possible gas leak. 14th Street, NW is currently closed from Newton Street to Monroe Street, and Monroe is closed between 13th and 16th Streets.

Drivers are advised to use alternator routes including 13th, 15th and 16th Streets for north and south travel, and Irving Street for eastbound travel in Columbia Heights instead of Monroe.

Washington Gas is on the scene investigating the leak, but the closures are expected to last through rush hour.”

Again, this was the scene from Thurs. evening. Hopefully it will all be cleared up by morning.

22 Comment

  • jesus fucking christ.

  • Damn and the street looked nice too. Wonder how long its gonna take to repair everything *rolls eyes*

  • This construction project became an absolute absurdity a long, long time ago. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them rip the street out once again, to make the sidewalk 1/2 inch wider.

    I must hand it to whomever cooked up the scam that led to the city building the same streetscape twice–much more creative, as far as municipal scams go, than plunking a few million on designer dresses.

    • You’re right. At least this was a gas leak, which does constitute an emergency and a good reason to rip up the street, as opposed to the usual duplication of projects.

  • Dare I say typical?

  • This happened at Eastern Market too. It always seems to be an “emergency” with the gas company, so they can just bring out the jack hammers without regard for what they destroy. I’m betting on a gas leak in the middle of the street car tracks, when H street is finished. No one seems to hold them accountable.

    • No gas leak necessary. They’ll be tearing up the western end of the street (where the new tracks are) sooner than later b/c they made a mistake with their measurements and put the gas lines directly beneath the streetcar tracks. I think it’s scheduled to start in a week or so, if it hasn’t already (I haven’t been down to that end of the street in a couple of weeks).

  • This doesn’t look that bad. It’s just a little hole in the pavement. It’s not like they ripped up the sidewalk or something.

    I mean when WASA was still doing lead water-main replacements, there were 20 holes this size on every single block.

    It’ll be gone in a day.

  • Looks like another gas leak was discovered…in my pants!

    Sorry, had too much to drink last night.

  • As of this morning, the hole is covered with two big metal plates. I hope they come back and fill and patch the hole correctly, so it blends in well with the new pavement.

  • This happened in Shaw too… they replaced the sidewalks and like two weeks later they were destroyed for gas line maintenance or something. Ugh.

  • Better this temporary eyesore than another San Bruno Cali sitchyashun.

    • +1

      I don’t really get the complaints. Do you think that Washington Gas somehow should have been able to predict, 6 months ago, that there’d be a gas leak here? Or should they have just gone ahead and preemptively replaced ALL the gas lines? Because you’d be paying for that, too.

    • True. I just think it’s kind of sad when they tear up the street for construction, and then they tear it up again to change everything, and then they tear it up AGAIN. I understand emergencies happen, but this is just typical DC.

  • My partner and I have an on-going bet – – for every new, beautiful stretch of road, how long will it take for it to dug up for whatever reason (gas leak, forgot the cable system, just for the heck of it). Usually, it’s no more than 1 or 2 weeks before a street is ruined. There’s really no way to get the street back to pristine condition.

  • this is the kind of thing that keeps people employed and keeps the unemployment rate from going ever lower. make work is still work. beats bread lines.

  • I’m not going to get all the details of this right, but… a colleague was recently telling me that in Arlington (I believe) a law was just passed (or has been proposed) that once a road is opened for construction and then subsequently closed, it’s not allowed to be reopened for five years. (Obviously true emergencies are excluded.) The idea is to force cooperation between agencies and utilities – something that does not happen. Under the (proposed?) law, they would all have to work in tandem. Apparently, the way it normally currently works is that the transportation department (or whoever is doing the construction) has their timeline, and completes their work according to that and closes up the road. If the gas company also needs to do work, it’s rare that they are included in the transportation dept’s plan (b/c that adds time to the DOT’s project) so they go in after and reopen the road to do their work.

    Anyway, the point is, DC needs a law like this.

  • Jim Graham,

    Please make sure Washington Gas uses a proper pavement laying machine (and not some cheap pothole patch job) when fixing this!

    Thank you,

    Columbia Heights

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