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Rehab and Landscaping Work Starting on Connecticut Avenue Median Above

By Paul K. Williams*

Accompanying images can be viewed in the current issue PDF

These projects have been a long time coming due to their multiple layers of complexity. The Connecticut Avenue median between R and S Streets project was not fully funded until late January 2011 with an $85,000 grant from the District’s transportation department (DDOT) and its Urban Forestry Administration. Early fund-raising efforts by the business community adjacent to the 600-foot long, raised median between R and S Streets paid for an extensive set of professionally-produced plans for existing conditions, irrigation, fencing (between planters), planting, and even traffic control measures required for the installation. Its design was guided by a local committee that selected hearty, non-evasive  plants that will provide vivid colors and year-long blooming to provide maximum visual impact.

Following the final approvals from the Federal Highway Administration, Urban Forestry and DDOT, the District’s public works department, as well as the affected utilities, and the selection of a contractor, the work has already commencing with the installation of irrigation nearing completion. And, with the removal and replacement of the significant amount of soil built up over the years on the 4,800 square feet of planting area, actual landscaping is scheduled to start shortly. The existing Magnolia trees planted 30 years ago will remain.

The long-term planning of this project will ensure that it is done correctly and not rushed without regard to watering needs or inappropriate plants. Dupont Main Streets will pay for automatic and continual watering, and future maintenance of this important community project. 

The Little Park at 20th and Connecticut

This heavily used park is located across from the north entrance of the Metro at 20th and Q Streets, and is also very close to fruition after several years of careful planning. The planning and execution of this project has been especially complex, largely because it is located on land owned and controlled not by the District government but by the National Park Service (NPS). Local realtor and Main Street volunteer Ingrid Suisman has diligently worked with the NPS, PEPCO, and potential contractors to refurbish in keeping with its historic, 1920s design –- as required by the NPS –- and with the installation of a new fence, benches, sidewalks, plants, trees, and flowers. The design has been approved by the NPS, the contractor selected and, following the 30-day comment period that closed on September 12th, work is to start this month.

Editor’s note: Financing was made possible by the Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA) which had transferred funds received from the developer of a Planned Unit Development (PUD) project south of Dupont Circle that had met its PUD-required “community amenities” contribution by its grant to DCCA.

*Paul Williams is the Executive Director of Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets.

Copyright (c) 2011 InTowner Publishing Corp. and Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets. All rights reserved.