DDOT is undertaking a year-long transportation study of Maryland Avenue, which began in April. On Monday, the agency held an open house meeting to introduce the project to the public. According to Shannon Hake, Transportation Planner for DDOT and project manager for the Maryland Avenue Transportation Study, Maryland Avenue can serve as the "spine between the Capitol and the waterfront." The study area includes the Maryland Avenue corridor from 7th Street to 12th Street. Currently, Maryland Avenue does not exist along this stretch, but is a set of railroad tracks shared by CSX, Amtrak, and VRE. The right-of-way is owned by several entities, including the District of Columbia, the National Park Service, the federal government, CSX, and private owners, which further complicates any potential reconstruction of the roadway.
|View of the Maryland Avenue corridor from the Potomac.|
The transportation study will look at the recommendations made by the Office of Planning's Small Area Plan for Maryland Avenue last year and a preliminary engineering study will be conducted to see whether a new roadway can be constructed above the railroad corridor. Traffic impacts in the area and multi-modal accessibility will be analyzed. In addition to the Small Area Plan recommendations, DDOT will develop cost estimates for two other alternatives.
After the completion of the study, the project development phase will begin, which will take two years to do the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process. Under the best case scenario, it will take 8-10 years before Maryland Avenue could be rebuilt, since there is no dedicated funding currently for rebuilding the street. The next public meeting will be this fall, where existing data will be reviewed and development alternatives revealed. A final public meeting will be in early winter 2014 with conceptual designs and analysis of the Maryland Avenue corridor.