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Report: Engineers’ Week Lunch

About 35 attended this year’s DCCEAS National Engineers’ Week buffet lunch held at the Pier 7 Restaurant in Washington, DC on February 20. Deputy Program Manager of the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative (AWI) of the District Dept. of Transportation, Ron Paananen, substituted for the original guest speaker, District of Columbia Dept. of Transportation Chief Engineer and Associate Director Ronaldo Nicholson.

He reviewed several AWI projects intended to enhance the Anacostia Waterfront. The recently-completed 11th Street Bridge over the Anacostia River provides a continuous limited access highway connection between the I-395 SE-SW Expressway on the west side of the Anacostia with DC-295/I-295 on the east side of the river. The current I-395 dead end near RFK Stadium will be replaced by a local street. The 63-year old Frederick Douglas Memorial Bridge, which currently requires frequent patchwork repairs to remain safely functional, is being replaced by a new bridge slated for completion in 2018. It is currently being determined whether this draw bridge can be replaced by a fixed span, which would save an estimated $140 million in construction costs. $906 million is being invested in the South Capitol Street Corridor project leading to the bridge past Nationals Ballpark. The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail estimated to cost $33 million will feature fiberglass-decked pedestrian bridges. When asked why a pedestrian trail is so expensive, he explained it includes several pedestrian bridges over roadways and an extensive bridge over railroad facilities. $15 million will be invested in the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens project. An M Street transportation study is underway to “transform the Southwest waterfront” taking into account the possibility of a new soccer stadium. (The possible soccer stadium would be independently financed, but would require transportation access.) An Anacostia trolley, with some tracks already laid on 11th Street, is currently undergoing testing, and the M Street project may need to accommodate its route which is yet to be determined. Hopefully, if a new soccer stadium becomes a reality, it could be served by the proposed trolley line.

Submitted by Joe Scheibeler, Chapter Secretary

Engineers Week

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