Saturday, March 10, 2007

And I made one last attempt at burying the Capital Beltway in Old Town Alexandria:

In November 2001, I telephoned an important entity that owns property adjacent to/or in the general area of the Alexandria, Virginia approach to the Wilson Bridge.

Within 24 hours the entity’s lawyer contacted me with favorable regard for my idea of a lengthier urban deck as permanent noise mitigation. He invited me to a meeting, scheduled to be held before that month’s end, at his law offices for the various consultants being hired for a case that this entity was bringing, or considering bringing. (I don’t know if this law suit was ever filed). I attended this late November 2001 meeting, and everything appeared to go quite well.

I naturally brought copies of my Alexandria Orb materials, the AUTOCAD drawings, the brochures, perhaps some buttons, and copies of the December 18, 2000 Fairfax Journal. I had ample time to make my case for both concepts of a lengthier urban deck and for the underground helical interchange.

The entity’s lawyer enthusiastically endorses the idea of a lengthier deck.

The others – about 15 people – are additionally intrigued by the “orb” interchange design, elsewhere referred to as an “urban helical”. Their sentiments ranged from about 50% “that the way it’s got to be”; 25% skeptical; and 25% simply silent.

It was a 4 hour long meeting. The entity’s lawyer and I parted on excellent terms.

But then within about 8 weeks I never heard back from anyone regarding this potential law suit, which to my knowledge was never media reported.

Perhaps it was settled out of court?

Or simply dropped?

Who knows?

Whatever happened, did not include any lengthening of the Washington Street Urban Deck, not even just a portion of that deleted in 1999 or 2000.

The only planning changes that I am aware involved the sound barrier walls for the new spans through Jones Point Park, changing them to a see through design with translucent panels. This would reconcile the interests of the National Park Service, which had opposed sound walls for blocking the view, and perhaps the entity. However this would be less likely for those further away from the highway, due to the proximity of Hunting Towers, which would bounce noise northwards from a highway that was not covered.

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