Thursday, September 15, 2011

CSX Assessing Southeast Tunnel

Last night, a public scoping meeting was held in conjunction with the commencement of a District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Environmental Assessment (EA) of the CSX Transportation Virginia Avenue Tunnel project, a nearly $160-million rehabilitation of the tunnel between 2nd and 11th Streets in Southeast.

Starting now, people will be able to officially lodge their comments/questions/concerns about the project, up until October 14th. Further down the line, another meeting will be held to reveal more specifics of the project, and to consider alternatives based on information gathered from impact statements and studies.

The project's immediate concern, the EA process - to access any potential impacts of the project - is in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and could take approximately one year to complete.

If all goes well, the 4-to-6-year improvement project, announced in 2009, will unearth and re-construct the now buried, century-old freight line; proposed improvements have been stated as being done "to address current infrastructure needs as well as community and safety concerns" and allow for double-stack intermodal container freight trains.

This past May, CSX
committed to an additional $160 million investment - nearly the amount needed to get the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project off (or more literally, into) the ground - bumping up CSX's total investment in the greater National Gateway initiative to around $575 million.

The entire National Gateway project is an $850-million public-private partnership being done to improve freight transportation between the Mid-Atlantic ports and the Midwest and Gulf of Mexico - a massive project which got its land legs a year earlier, in May of 2008.

Washington D.C. real estate development news


Anonymous said...

This would be a lengthy construction project, but one that is needed though. I'd love to see the VRE tracks that run up Maryland Avenue in SW buried and the original street restored. I think that would add a lot to the area.

Anonymous said...

This project will help the East Coast prepare for the additional freight traffic coming when the widened Panama Canal opens in about 2014. It will also create temporary construction jobs in the District. Let's hope District residents actually get some of those jobs.

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