Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Bus Garage Planned at DC Village

It's been a busy week for construction activity at DC Village! On Tuesday, there was a groundbreaking ceremony for a MPD evidence warehouse. Today, according to an article in the Washington Business Journal, WMATA's board agreed to purchase 16 acres at DC Village for $6.45 million to build a compressed natural gas facility that will store anywhere between 114 and 250 Metrobuses. WMATA is aiming for LEED-Silver certification for the new facility, which will replace the Southeastern bus garage on M Street, SE, which was demolished earlier this year and is now home to The Bullpen. The new bus facility is slated to open by 2012, but first, the sale must be approved by the D.C. Council, which will consider the sale at its June 2 meeting.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Groundbreaking for Evidence Warehouse at DC Village

Yesterday, according to The Washington Post, there was a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Property and Evidence Warehouse for MPD at DC Village, which is located near the southern tip of the city on the east side of the Anacostia River. This $20 million project will be jointly developed by the city and Akridge (the same developer that will build 100 V Street), and will aim for LEED-Silver certification. The press release from DMPED states the new facility will provide the following features:
    • computer-automated storage system for logging and retrieval of evidence
    • secure and controlled access to all areas
    • video event logging of transactions
    • radio frequency handheld portable terminals
    • bar code scanning & printing techniques
    • refrigerated units for storing DNA samples

Construction will be complete by early 2011. The above rendering of the evidence warehouse is from the OPM website.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Road Closures This Weekend; 14th Street Bridge Work Begins Wednesday

The annual Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Ride will roar through DC this holiday weekend and as a result, some roads will be closed on Sunday from 11:30 AM – 4 PM, including the following:

- Arlington Memorial Circle
- Memorial Bridge
- Lincoln Memorial Circle
- 23rd Street, NW from Constitution Avenue to Lincoln Memorial Circle
- Henry Bacon Drive from Constitution Avenue to Lincoln Memorial Circle
- Constitution Avenue, NW from the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge to 3rd Street, NW
- 3rd Street from Constitution Avenue, NW to Independence Avenue, SW
- Independence Avenue from 3rd Street to 23rd Street, SW
- Ohio Drive, SW from Independence Avenue to the Inlet Bridge
- West Basin Drive, SW from Ohio Drive to Independence Avenue
- Jefferson Drive, SW
- Madison Drive, NW

On Monday, the Memorial Day Parade will cause additional roads to be closed from 12PM – 4 PM, including:

- Constitution Avenue from 7th Street to 23rd Street, NW.
- Jefferson Drive from 4th Street to 15th Street, SW
- Madison Drive from 4th Street to 15th Street, NW
- 15th Street from Independence Avenue, SW to Constitution Avenue, NW
- 17th Street from Independence Avenue, SW to Constitution Avenue, NW

Starting on Wednesday, DDOT will start work on the northbound lanes of the 14th Street Bridge, a year-long project that will allow the northbound deck to be resurfaced. Although there will be four lanes open during most of the construction, expect major delays, especially on the northbound morning commute. There may be lane closures during off-peak hours or weekends, and shoulders will be removed during the construction period. The southbound bridge will also be repaired, but there won’t be major impacts on traffic conditions. The HOV lanes won’t be affected, so carpooling is a good idea. For more information about the bridge rehab, check out DDOT’s project website.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What Bloggers Are Saying About Southwest

- DC Metrocentric: The ArchiCritic at DC Metrocentric gives a mostly positive review of Tiber Island, which was constructed back in the 1960s as a result of urban renewal in Southwest. This was the architect’s first time in Southwest in the four years he has lived in DC. I can relate – I first moved to DC in 1998 and had never been to the residential portion of Southwest until four years later, when I took a detour through M Street because there was construction activity on the SE-SW freeway one day and I needed to connect to I-295. I considered buying a unit at Tiber Island when I was house hunting back in early 2004. It was the first building I looked at and one of the things that turned me off – besides the size of the unit, was the windswept plaza that separated the buildings. It just looked cold and uninviting to me. Above is a photo of Tiber Island, taken in February 2009.

- JDLand: This Friday, the Washington Nationals will have its first ‘Green-Up’ day, where volunteers will help clean up areas along the Anacostia River, which will be based at the Earth Conservation Corps building on Half Street. Cleanups will also occur across the river at Poplar Point in SE. If you’re interested in volunteering, contact Lisa Pagano from the Nationals ( Above is a photo of the Earth Conservation Corps HQ building, taken in December 2008.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

4th Street Demolition Underway

Yesterday, I noticed that some of the trees have been removed in the park behind Waterfront Station, where 4th Street will soon be reconnected. The newly reopened portion of 4th Street between I Street and M Street is scheduled to be complete before the 1st phase of Waterfront Station is opened in the 1st quarter of 2010. I would have taken photos of the demolition, but unfortunately, I lost my digital camera in a DC taxicab earlier this week. Hopefully, a good Samaritan will turn it in to the lost and found at the DC Taxicab Commission!

Update: Below are a couple of photos courtesy of reader DavidSW.

The first photo shows some of the trees that were removed from the park that used to be behind the old Waterside Mall. The trees were cut down on May 13th.

This photo shows what the southbound 4th Street right-of-way now looks like once the trees have been removed from the park.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Walking Town, DC is Coming Up

The spring 2009 edition of Walking Town, DC will take place on the weekend of May 30-31. According to Cultural Tourism DC, which is sponsoring the event, there will be more than 120 free walking and biking tours. Several of those tours will take place in Southwest, including a tour of the waterfront, the memorials on the National Mall, the U.S. Botanic Garden, and the Southwest Heritage Trail. Take a look at the Cultural Tourism DC website for more information on tours and times. Above is a photo taken from the Southwest Waterfront in April 2009.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Progress at Pizza Autentica

On my way to work, I noticed new signage at the ground floor of the Reporters Building. The Irene's Deli signs have been taken down and replaced with Pizza Autentica (see photo). Back in February, Southwest...TLQTC reported that Pizza Autentica was going to open at the Reporters Building, located at the NE corner of 7th and D Street. The pizzeria serves Italian gelato, espresso, and pizza, of course.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

1st District HQ Open House Planned

There will be an open house reception for the new MPD District 1 headquarters on Tuesday, June 16th from 6-8pm. Tours of the new facility will be a part of the open house. Last month, Southwest...TLQTC reported on MPD's move to their new digs, located at the corner of M Street and Delaware Avenue - which was formerly Bowen Elementary School. Above is a photo of the HQ building taken in March 2009.