IMF reopens H Street block after six years of construction

Cars can now drive down the 1900 block of H Street for the first time in nearly six years.

The International Monetary Fund closed the street section in 2013 to make room for machines needed to renovate one of their headquarters buildings. The Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission passed a resolution in April calling on the District Department of Transportation to stop renewing IMF’s permit to close the street and called for the roadway to be in full use by December.

IMF officials said in April that the organization planned to re-open in 2016 but renewed construction permits to address the safety conditions in the building, like asbestos. Alistair Thomson, the IMF’s chief of media relations, said the re-opening is the result of “strong collaboration” with DDOT.

“We would like to thank DDOT, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2A and the local community for their patience and support while we completed the vital renovation of our headquarters building,” Thomson said in an email.

Senior and ANC commissioner James Harnett said the ANC can more accurately evaluate traffic patterns on streets near the building now that the 1900 block of H Street is open again.

“We’ve been in this state of suspended animation for six years,” Harnett said. “If we did a study of H Street, and we didn’t really understand what the conditions were going to look like, we would have gotten pushback from DDOT and from the city on accepting our recommendations.”

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