Friday, May 11, 2007

1966 B and O Route Design Persuit

This railroad “Y” Route concept for the Washington, D.C. North Central Freeway, recommended by the November 1, 1962 “Recommendations for Transportation in the National Capital Region: A Report to the President for transmittal to Congress” by the National Capital Transportation Agency, under U.S. President John F. Kennedy, only become the object of the supplementary (the 2nd) North Central Freeway engineering feasibility in late 1966. That 1966 Supplementary Study explored four variations of this B/O “Y” route concept:

· (1) High-Level option: Elevated freeway over or immediately adjacent to existing Railroad, permitting lower lying commercial and industrial buildings to remain in place under the facility.

· (2) Low-Level option: Freeway generally at or below the Railway, located immediately adjacent to the Railroad. .

· (3) Freeway below the Railroad grade, with the Railroad and transit facilities supported on a structure over the Freeway.

· (4) Freeway approximating the existing Railroad alignment and grade, with the Railroad and transit constructed beneath the Project.

Options 1 and 2 would preserve the existing railroad, while options 3 and 4 would remove and replace it.

It recommended option #2: a “low level” route alongside the existing railroad.

It deleted the reversible median roadway that was a feature of the 1964 North Central Freeway plan (but not its connecting I-95 Northeast Freeway), and that for Virginia’s I-95 (I-395) Shirley Highway.

It was further recommended that the depressed portion in Brookland near Catholic University of America be covered (with what’s been called a lid, cap, or deck), effectively making that segment a cut and cover tunnel, with the space atop devoted to new housing and park and recreation space. It includes an illustration showing such a highway cover extending from the north end of the main Catholic University of America campus, southwards of the Brookland/CUA train station.

Such a cut and cover tunnel would additionally shield the area from noise and pollution.

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