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Gray Administration Celebrates Substantial Completion of H Street Construction Project

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(WASHINGTON, DC) -- Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells and District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Acting Director Terry Bellamy today joined community and business leaders to mark the substantial completion of the H Street Reconstruction Project. This week DDOT wrapped up work on the roadway, sidewalks, streetcar tracks and streetlights in the 1300 and 1400 blocks of H Street NE, the final segment of the construction project that began in September 2008.
“When I met with H Street merchants earlier this year they said, ‘Please get this project done -- get it done as fast as possible’ -- because it was having an impact on their ability to run successful businesses,” said Mayor Gray. “So I challenged DDOT to complete the major work by June 30, ahead of schedule, and as you can see, DDOT and its contractors have delivered.”
Major work on the project was scheduled to be completed in August, but DDOT worked with the contractor, D.C.-based Capitol Paving, to accelerate the project and meet the Mayor’s deadline.
“We have now completed the work that has had the biggest impact on businesses, residents and travelers,” said Director Bellamy, “And we want to thank them all for their patience and cooperation during construction. Now we look forward to H Street’s next chapter, which will include the District’s first modern streetcar line. We think H Street will soon be the envy of every neighborhood in the city.”
The H Street Reconstruction Project spans nearly one-mile of H Street NE, from 3rd Street to the 1400 block where it connects to the starburst Intersection and the Benning Road Project completed earlier this year. Together, the two projects are the first corridors in the District’s Great Streets Initiative to be completed. Great Streets is a multi-agency initiative that strategically targets major corridors in the city with infrastructure improvements that are aimed at fostering more livable communities, promoting economic development and improving mobility for residents. DDOT has worked closed with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning Economic Development and the Office of Planning on the Great Streets projects.
The project cost approximately $35 million. It is the first comprehensive reconstruction and redevelopment of the H Street corridor since the devastation of the 1968 riots following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Scope of Work:
• Total rebuilding of old and severely damaged street surfaces and sidewalks;
• Installation of updated traffic signals;
• Installation of new streetlights, replacing the old, poorly-illuminating “cobra-head” lights with twin-globe fixtures on 20-foot poles, throwing more light onto the sidewalks in a more attractive golden glow.
• Installation of streetcar tracks throughout the project, and streetcar boarding platforms at 5th, 8th, and 13th Streets, in preparation for the inaugural streetcar route from Oklahoma Avenue across Benning Road and H Street to Union Station.
• Substantial streetscape beautification – new trees, street furniture, bike racks – and use of “green” technology with solar-powered multispace parking meters.
• Iconic H Street insignia installed on all streetlight poles, branding H Street as a distinct neighborhood and destination.
• Installation of modern, high-capacity underground utilities systems, replacing inadequate, worn-out pipes and conduits as much as 100 years old. In conjunction with the H Street Reconstruction project:
o DC Water installed 8,130 linear feet of new water mains and 204 new service connections. In many cases, the new service connections replaced old lead pipes with new copper pipes.
o Washington Gas installed 6,855 linear feet of new high-pressure gas lines, and 179 service connections.
o PEPCO installed 5,470 linear feet of new electrical duct banks.
The H Street Project also included:
• Excavation of 30,500 cubic yards of old, worn-out street and sidewalk materials that had to be dug up and carried off for disposal before creating the new streets and sidewalks,
• Installation of 138 red aluminum H Street insignia on streetlight poles,
• Installation of 94 new bicycle racks and 20 park benches,
• Planting of approximately 132 new trees,
• Application of approximately 3,420 tons of 12.5mm Superpave asphalt for the new roadway surfaces,
• Installation of 4,420 linear feet of aeration strips and 2,380 linear feet of rooting pipes under the sidewalks to assure proper drainage under treeboxes and guide the growth of tree roots so they do not crack the sidewalks,
• Placing of 2,000 cubic yards of planting soil mix and 100 square yards of mulch in sidewalk planting areas,
• Installation of 96 new traffic signal poles, signal heads, and signal components,
• Installation of 59,600 linear feet of stranded wire for streetlights, and
• Installation of 332 new tear-drop streetlight fixtures.