City delays roadwork for GW construction

The city has pushed back roadwork on New Hampshire Avenue to avoid disrupting University construction.

Following talks with the University, District Department of Transportation officials decided to wait until 2014 to move forward with a project for 24th Street and Washington Circle, which would have interfered with construction on the School of Public Health and Health Services, also on 24th Street.

The 18-month, $10.5 million New Hampshire Avenue project began last month, and will span from H Street to Dupont Circle and up New Hampshire Avenue. It would have stretched down to Washington Circle and the SPHHS site by the end of the year.

Monica Hernandez, a spokeswoman for DDOT, said eliminating the overlap in construction work would help to minimize impact on the University’s work and traffic concerns.

“At this time, we are planning to wait for GW’s contractor to complete work on the west side of the street in the public right-of-way before we address street improvements in our project,” Hernandez said.

DDOT was unaware of the GW construction until officials from the agency attended a neighborhood meeting in August. University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said the public health school’s project team later met with DDOT officials to “share the status of GW’s ongoing work and also discuss any implications that might arise from both projects occurring at the same time.”

DDOT agreed to postpone its work in the area that might interfere with GW’s construction following the discussions, she said.

Hernandez added that the work is now targeted to begin in spring or summer 2014 – almost a year and a half after expected.

Construction on the $75 million public health building began in May. It is expected to complete in 2014 and will centralize the school’s seven departments under one roof.

Project coordinators will also ensure the GW Hospital’s emergency vehicle exit is not impacted by the construction, Hernandez said. She added that one traffic lane and one sidewalk would remain open “at all times.”

Eric Stokes, associate administrator for the GW Hospital, said the hospital coordinated with DDOT to maintain full use of DC EMS vehicles.

“We have been assured by DDOT officials that their work will impact one lane at a time and have little impact on the hospital’s emergency exit,” he said.

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