Wednesday, July 2, 2008

11th Street About to Get All F'ed Up

A safe bet is that your 11th St. commute is going to get pretty nasty come this fall. According to a message from ANC 2F06 commissioner Mike Bernardo:

In response to my continued questioning about the reconstruction of 11th
Street, NW (between L and P Streets), DDOT has informed me that bids will
open tomorrow, on July 2, 2008. In approximately six to eight weeks, a
Notice To Proceed (NTP) for construction will be issued. They don't expect
actual construction to begin before September 2, 2008.

In other words, expect construction to begin sometime in late October to early November, to go on far longer than planned, and to enormously disrupt business operations, traffic, and pedestrian/bicyclist access.

The problem with these "reconstruction" projects, as we've seen on P St. in Dupont and, more recently, Q St. in Logan, is that they *always* run over their projected timeframe and are *always* more disruptive than initially believed. (Q St. finished approximately 6 months over schedule, and the P St. project virtually killed the commercial strip west of the circle in Dupont.) 11th St. should be particularly interesting (read: frustrating) due to the volume of traffic it carries and the 66/68 bus lines that frequently travel it.

This will also be worth watching due to the pending 14th St. "streetscape" project and the streetscaping of the Logan portion of P St.


IMGoph said...

it's going to suck, but the final result will be worth it. 11th street is a pothole- and washboard-ridden mess. driving or biking on it just plain sucks.

when the project is done, the road will have bike lanes, and there's supposed to be a signal going in at 11th and O (a dangerous intersection!).

14th & You said...

My problem with these reconstruction projects is not that they aren't needed (11th Street is in all kinds of bad shape), but that DDOT procurement and project management leave something to be desired. After taking one year to upgrade utility lines and repave two blocks of Q Street and six months to do the utilities, repaving, sidewalk bricking, and street lamp installation on P Street, I'm always scared of project length.

As well, according to news last November, the contractor was supposed to be awarded this past spring, and were also told in an ANC meeting about three months ago that contractor selection was just a few weeks away.

Add to these two gripes some of the quality issues with resurfacing work, and I have a serious mistrust of DDOT. Then again, we have no other choice but to put our trust in them.

IMGoph said...

you're right, we're stuck with them. of course, we need to call them out at ANC meetings and remind them that they've never hit a target, never made a deadline. it's amazing they can say with a straight face that they're going to do "X" by "Y"...

Anonymous said...

I don't know if the P St project really killed the commercial strip west of DuPont Circle. With the opening of TangySweet and that new crepes place, it's more popular now than I've seen it since I moved here two years ago.

Mr. Other Upper NW said...

Jeff- The strip has rebounded since the completion of the project, but for a period of time it wasn't pretty. Check out our previous post on the subject for more.

Anonymous said...

What I can't understand for the life of me, is that they won't put clauses in the RFP contracts that give a definitive time limit for the project. They did so with the Ballpark, and look what happened- finished on time, on budget. I wish DDOT would see that they have considerable leverage, and that contractors would kill for cushy $5 million contracts (especially in the current economic climate)

Anonymous said...

That section of 11th is admittedly in gawdawful shape - I work on 11th and would bike all the way up it to go home but it's a disaster north of Mass.