Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bringing Up The Rear Side of Union Station

New Amtrak plan (pdf) for a major re-do of the rear of Washington D.C.'s Union Station.
Includes future lower level railroad completely below street level.

Removes the existing vehicular parking garage replaces with underground completey below street level.

Constructs new buildings atop with a glass enclosed center spine.

Is an improvement over the so-called 'Burnham' plan though still departs from Union Station's classical architecture and still represents an irrational fear of the Union Station railroad corridor shape; it should have a teardrop shaped glass canopy atop the platforms with buildings designed to compliment rather than contrast with classical Union Station.


Union Station Master Plan, Washington DC

Amtrak & Akridge imagine the future of Union Station

Amtrak makes no little plans with Union Station vision

Saturday, July 28, 2012

DC 295 to I-695 Connection


Jul 27, 2012 4:01 PM
This is a little bit out-of-boundaries, but people who drive into Near Southeast (and Capitol Hill, and Southwest, etc.) may find it of note. Signage first hinted at it earlier this week, and now WTOP reports (and DDOT confirms via e-mail) that on Monday, July 30, the new ramp will open from southbound DC-295 to inbound I-695, i.e., the 11th Street Bridges' freeway span that feeds into the Southeast/Southwest Freeway. WTOP quotes DDOT deputy chief engineer Ravindra Ganvir as saying, "This piece has been missing for about 50 years. We're very excited about it."
WTOP got a sneak preview, and made it from Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue in Northeast to 6th Street SW in about 10 minutes, while another driver at the same time going the old way, via Pennsylvania Avenue, needed 19 minutes.
Of greater interest might be the next big piece of the reconstruction: the new ramp from the outbound freeway bridge to go northbound on DC-295, negating the need for either the ghastly left turn on Pennsylvania Avenue or wandering through Capitol Hill to get on DC-295 at RFK.
UPDATE: The second I posted this entry, I got an e-mail from DDOT with this announcement of the public event opening the span at 10:30 Monday morning, and this flyer explaining the new traffic movements.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Millennial Gateway

An excellent concept
fully consistent with an underground eastern extension of the SouthEast Freeway

This was the Millennial Gateway Project proposed by Atlanta Georgia architect Rodney Cooke

Its centerpiece was an arch de triumph atop the Barney Circle overpass-tunnel of the existing eastern end of the SouthEast Freeway in Washington, D.C.

IIRC, the D.C. City Council rejected this, owing to their reported uncertainty over the electric bills for its lighting.

Monday, July 16, 2012

NCPC Eco District to Lock in Existing I-395

A retreat from their 1998 plan to lower I-395 into a new tunnel beneath Washington Channel which essentially followed the extended Louisiana Avenue axis to a new 14th Street Bridge Potomac crossing.  This new plan instead covers the existing freeway, with buildings to the west of 9th Street SW, and solar panels to the east alongside the 28 notoriously close Capital Square townhouses between 9th and 7th Streets SW.  It would do nothing to add I-395 capacity nor eliminate its dangerous merges.


It would also cover portions of Maryland Avenue occupied by railroad tracks, and extend Virginia Avenue to the west of 9th Street SW.

See the 1998 proposal