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18th Street Reconstruction Work to be Suspended on Saturdays Through Holidays

By Kristen Barden*

In an effort to accommodate requests from business owners who depend on Saturday business during the holiday season, on December 7, 2010 the Adams Morgan Partnership Business Improvement District (AMPBID) announces that the District’s Department of Transportation (DDOT) had agreed that work on the 18th Street Streetscape project will be suspended for critical shopping Saturdays in December (the 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st). And, going forward in 2012, Washington Gas will no longer perform work on Saturdays. Barring any emergencies or unforeseen circumstances, maintenance of this holiday schedule is paramount and will have no negative impact on the Streetscape’s completion date.

The AMPBID has been working closely with the District Department of Transportation, Washington Gas, Pepco, and DC Water and others to help ensure that the concerns of Adams Morgan’s business community are heard and addressed.

This isn’t the first time that accommodations in the Streetscape project –- which will provide a new roadway, wider sidewalks, new lighting, landscaping improvements and other features to better serve the Adams Morgan community –- have been made by the various agencies and contractors working together on 18th Street. [Editor’s Note: For background, see our report of nearly two years ago describing the project’s initial, Massachusetts to Florida Avenue stage: “Major 18th Street Reconstruction Underway; Tree Canopy to Get New Plantings and Special Attention,” InTowner, Feb. 2010, PDF page 1; available in Current & Back Issues Archive.]

Among other changes made to better serve the business community in Adams Morgan:

‏■ Intervening to make sure water service was not turned off on a Thursday evening in June 2011 for 10 hours  – because Thursday is a big evening for area businesses – and insisting that a temporary patch be placed on a faulty valve to delay required work until Monday, when fewer would be impacted by the repairs;

■ Rescheduling work to accommodate the Bastille Day special event for L’Enfant Café;

■ Acceleration of completion of east side of 18th Street in front of the Marie Reed School for the Crafty Bastards / Washington City Paper Event;

■ Adams Morgan Day major demobilization and removal of all construction materials and equipment along the entire work zone;

■ Frequent rescheduling of water service connections to less busy days by request of business owners or managers (Violet, Black Squirrel, L’Enfant Café);

■ Customized signage for sidewalks to allow pedestrians to access storefronts during sidewalk work, as opposed to the usual “Sidewalk Closed”;

■ Ramp access to businesses while concrete is curing during new sidewalk installation;

■ Multiple tweaks to the engineering plans to shift locations of tree boxes or lamp posts due to property owner concerns;

■ Placement of a full-time safety officer on site to address any concerns over pedestrian and vehicular safety;

■ No work outside of barriers after 4 p.m.;

■ Communications liaison available for any questions or updates with same day (usually within the hour) resolution of issues.

For progress updates, visit DDOT’s website for the Adams Morgan Streetscape project at


*The writer is Executive Director of the Adams Morgan Partnership Business Improvement District who has noted that “Saturday shopping is a crucial part of success for [the] community’s businesses and [that the AMBID] worked hard to bring all the parties responsible for the streetscape project together to address this issue.”


Copyright (c) 2011 InTowner Publishing Corp. & Adams Morgan Partnership Business Improvement District. All rights reserved.