We have been writing about the reconstruction of the Monroe Street Bridge for a while now. We thought readers would like a heads up to expect at least 9 months of slow-going as the project picks up steam. From the project’s website:
…the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will shift the traffic pattern on the Monroe Street NE Bridge between 7th Street NE and 10th Street NE beginning on or about Friday, November 17, 2017; weather permitting.
Westbound lanes will be closed and traffic will be shifted to the eastbound lanes with a single lane in each direction. The sidewalk on the north side of the bridge will be closed. All pedestrian traffic will be directed to the south side. Bicyclists will use the full lane to travel through the construction zone, sharing with motorists during this phase.
This phase of work is expected to last approximately 9 months,..
Back in May 2016, DDOT reveled its design for the overhaul of the Monroe Street Bridge which will extend the life of the bridge for another 75 years. The project will cost over $12 Million dollars and will begin late July/early August 2017 and go on through March 2019.
There will be a meeting to inform the community about the project’s plans and schedule on Thursday July 20th from 6:30 -8:30 pm at Luke C. Moore High School, 1001 Monroe Street NE. You can check out project updates and other info at this website.
Do you have an ongoing issue that you feel is not being adequately addressed by DC’s Department of Transportation (DDOT)? Perhaps you have complained about a traffic pattern or the lack of care for street trees and have gotten no resolution. If so, you here is a meeting for you. The DC City Council will be holding an oversight roundtable on the DDOT this Thursday at Catholic University. The public is invited to testify – see the instructions on how to testify below the flyer. Meeting info:
DATE: July 13, 2017
TIME: 6:30 P.M.
LOCATION: Edward J. Pryzbyla Center, Great Room A
620 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20064
From Ward 5 Councilmember McDuffie’s office:
The public is invited to testify and can sign up to do so by contacting Ms. Aukima Benjamin, Staff Assistant to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, at (202) 724-8062 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Persons representing organizations will have five minutes to present their testimony. Individuals will have three minutes to present their testimony. Witnesses should bring eight copies of their written testimony and should submit a copy of their testimony electronically to email@example.com. to Council and Resident Inquiries
The Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) is making a push to address on going traffic issues in the neighborhood. Check out the link to a letter sent to the mayor and DDOT below, as well as info about their upcoming June meeting. If you’re looking for ways to get involved in the Brookland community, the BNCA is a great way to do it. From an email:
…here is our agenda for our June meeting, next Tuesday, June 20, at 7 pm at Brooks Mansion (701 Newton St. NE). I have invited Mayor Muriel Bowser and DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo to our meeting to discuss the serious truck and other traffic concerns that many in Brookland are being affected by. So far I have not received word that they will be able to attend. If they do not, we will use that time to have a community discussion about these problems and next steps for BNCA to address them.
You can see the letter I sent to the Mayor and DDOT Director last week here, which provides an overview of several ways in which DDOT has not been meeting our community’s needs….
2. Treasurer’s Report and Membership Report
3. Information about the Saturday Monroe Street Farmer’s Market – Nick Stavely (Community Foodworks)
4. Update on the Transition Town Network – Diane Roche (Stuart Center)
5. Truck/Traffic Issues In and Around Brookland –
– Mayor Muriel Bowser (invited)
– DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo (invited)
6. Community Concerns and Announcements
– MRP Development at 4th and Rhode Island
– BNCA Comments on Comprehensive Plan
– BNCA – Solar Solution promo through the Summer!
If you planned on getting around by Metro rail this holiday weekend, you may want to re-think your transportation plans. Thanks for Ward 5 Councilmember McDuffie for spreading the word that the Rhode Island Metro will be closed, see the flyer below for more info.
We were happy to learn that Brookland got another Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) station at the corner of 18th and Monroe NE near Burroughs School. It seems like a great location, connecting the Metro and 12th Street with those deeper in our neighborhood and in Woodridge. Time to get a CaBi membership if you don’t have one already.
We thought readers would be happy to hear about the addition of a badly needed additional transportation option starting in March. The new express bus line, the G9, will run from Mt. Rainer to 14th Street NW along Rhode Island Avenue.
The G9 will run every 15 minutes and only during rush hours (from 6 am to 9 am and 3 pm to 7 pm, Monday through Friday).
Metro points out that service will run both directions during those hours, unlike some other routes that only run one direction during peak hours. The agency is in the process of developing printable timetables and maps.
The G9 is coming to Rhode Island Avenue in March 2017! We remain in close contact with WMATA on it and it remains on schedule for March 2017 pic.twitter.com/SsfH3eiMQi
In recent months we have posted about two DDOT Crosstown Study workshops, which sought feedback from the community about improvements along the east-west connections in Wards 1 and 5. Now you can see proposed changes that have been submitted on this Interactive Map. Greater Greater Washington also has a nice write up of proposed changes, which includes new bike lanes and dedicated bus lanes that would make getting from Brookland to Columbia Heights quicker and safer for bikers.
There will be a third workshop to gather input on the potential plans on June 9th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Trinity Washington University. In addition to this workshop, DDOT will have a Public Engagement Event on Saturday, June 11 from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Monroe Street Farmers Market (716 Monroe Street NE). For more info on these two events go here.
Earlier this month we wrote about a meeting DDOT was holding about the future of the Monroe Street Bridge. We attended the meeting and learned that the bulk of the project will be repairs to the substructure which has cracks and exposed re-bar in the columns, and the replacement of the superstructure which will extend the life of the bridge for another 75 years. A few days after the meeting DDOT launched this website for the project which includes an option to submit feedback.
The project will be conducted in two Phases, Phase One will be construction and repairs to the north side and Phase Two will cover the south side. It is hard to look at the rendering of the new bridge and not notice that it will be vastly different than the current colorful (if worn and rusty) one. When asked about the new fencing the DDOT representatives described it as “state of the art”, “very modern and…very good looking”. They added that the fence will appear invisible and will stay clean looking. Notably, the fence must adhere to WMATA requirements about height and depth. When questioned by the Brookland Bridge about the lack of neighborhood character, DDOT suggested that there may be a chance to add a sculpture or some other artistic element, but that there are no plans to alter the current design to do so. This prompted us to ask if the purpose of the meeting was to inform the community or to gather feedback. The representatives said it was just to convey the decisions that have been already been made. They added that instead of gathering community feedback they relied on the Office of Planning to articulate the communities needs.
The DDOT representatives expressed that they looked at several options but given constraints like schedule and budget, this is most practical design. Further, this project is on a “fast track” because of the degraded condition of the bridge. As a result, several of the meeting attendees requested copies of the studies and analysis done to arrive at this design. DDOT promised to post that information on the project website, but we have not seen it posted yet.
Another topic of lively discussion was why the project is not going to unify the Met Branch Trail since this would seem like the opportune time to do so. Currently the trail ends at the Franklin Street bridge, and riders must then bike down 8th Street NE and then the Trail picks back up at Monroe Street NE. The DDOT representatives explained that unifying the trail would require a tunnel under the bridge, and that there is not enough space to do feasibly and that the cost would be too high. However, there will be dedicated bike lines on the bridge and a new traffic signal at the intersection of 8th and Monroe that should help bikers navigate their way across Monroe Street NE.
In addition to the bridge re-build, the project includes sidewalk improvements along 8th Street between Monroe and Lawrence NE, and on Monroe between 8th and 9th Streets, NE. Also, overhead lines will be placed under ground from 7th – 9th Streets on Monroe Street NE. At least this will improve the aesthetic of that limited area.
Quite frankly, we walked away disappointed with the design, it just feels soulless. For readers unaware, the bridge was painted in 2001 by area residents, as a memorial to area youth who have passed away.
We will let you know when we learn of anything significant.
We thought readers who use and live along Monroe Street NE would be interested in the notice from DDOT below regarding an upcoming DDOT roadway improvement project. According to the notice, the sidewalks, curbs, gutters, and roadway on Monroe Street NE between 12th Street, NE and 16th Street, NE will be spruced up. The project is starting on Thursday April 21st and will continue Monday through Saturday from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm till complete, so look out for delays and lane closures then.
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