As I’ve discussed in a previous post, DC Water is set to begin construction on a massive tunnel project aimed to ensure that combined sewer overflows are treated before entering the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. During Wednesday night’s community meeting, DC Water representatives shared more details on the project and how it will directly affect Hill East residents.
Here are my key takeaways from the meeting:
- The Anacostia River Tunnel contruction will likely begin in late 2013 and end in 2017. The 23-foot diameter tunnel will be built 100 feet underground and will run from the parking lot south of RFK along the western shore of the Anacostia River until it crosses under the river and connects with another tunnel that will move water to the Blue Plains Water Treatment Facility. Residents should see little impact from construction of the main tunnel – it will be constructed in unpopulated area near the river.
- Residents will be most affected during the construction of a drop shaft just south of Barney Circle. The drop shaft will take overflows from our neighborhood to the main tunnel down by the Anacostia River. Construction crews will be staging and storing equipment on the grassy lot just east of McDonald’s, and crews will likely be using Pennsylvania Avenue and the freeway to haul away “muck” from the tunnel construction. DC Water estimates that construction on the Barney Circle drop shaft will begin in 2015-2016.
- Residents living on the 1500 block of K Street SE soufh of Pennsylvania will be the most affected by construction of the drop shaft. DC Water plans to survey and inspect homes on the 1500 block both before and after construction to ensure that homes are not damaged. In addition, DC Water expects that workers will be drilling the drop shaft 24/7 for a month or so sometime during the construction period. The contractor will be responsible for abiding by all DC laws and regulations regarding construction and noise.
- Residents living north of Pennsylvania Ave. and Barney Circle may experience some noise and/or traffic issues during construction of the drop shaft, though they will experience much less than the residents living south of Pennsylvania Ave.
- DC Water plans to continue holding community meetings and providing information as the construction date approaches. DC Water representatives said they are committed to making sure that disruption to residents is kept at a minimum.
Below are links to the meeting handout and a YouTube video of how the tunnel drill works:
- Presentation on Anacostia River Tunnel – DC Clean Rivers Project (pdf)
- How the Tunnel Boring Machine Works – YouTube video
You can also learn much more about the project at the DC Water website.