O and P Streets Project to Mark Completion in a Few Weeks
Workmen were seen at O and Potomac Streets pressing down the last stones for the O and P Street Rehabilitation Project which began two years ago this September. A closing ceremony is set for mid-September to celebrate the completion of the work, which inconvenienced residents of O and P Streets for a time. The project closed streets and sidewalks, caused dust and noise and took away parking spaces. All of this is nearly over.
O Street and P Street, west of Wisconsin Avenue to 35th Street, are the last spots in Washington when trolley tracks can be seen. This tracks and street stones have been refitted or replaced, along with street lamps and other curb work. The decision was made to preserve the streets as they were to maintain the historic look of Georgetown. Sett stones were used instead of the original cobble stones which had moved or drifted along the surface of the street, making driving difficult for some.
There is just a bit more to do. Here are questions and answers from the project's website -- FixingOandPStreets.com -- about the remaining work:
What is the blue-gray dust left on the roadway? Does it serve a purpose?
The blue-gray dust material left on the roadway does indeed serve a purpose. This dust continues the process of filling the gaps between pavers, as the initial filling settles. In this final stage, the dust is repeatedly swept over the area, wet down and swept over again after it dries. This material will be swept off the roadway once it is determined that gaps have been adequately filled. This process also applies to the brick sidewalks.
How about the grout for pavers and the rails?
The area between the rail track and the granite pavers must be filled in with an elastomeric grout. (See rendering below.) This is needed due to how each of these very different materials behaves under various weather conditions and other physical processes. Temperature and moisture greatly impact how the grout pours and cures. Ideally, the temperature should be between 70 degrees and 80 degrees, with no rain for 12 to 24 hours. Areas of the project already open to traffic may experience temporary closures to allow for grouting when the weather allows for these conditions.
How about new street lights?
As part of the O&P Street Rehabilitation Project, street lights within the project zone are being updated or, in many cases, added. In response to public concern for safety, the finalized lighting plan increases current lighting by 40 percent while still preserving the historic feel of the area. You may notice a new light fixture or foundation for a new light fixture near an existing light. In many cases, the existing light will be removed at a later time. Many of the new foundations are covered with orange drums. These drums are in place for pedestrian safety and will be removed once the light poles are installed. Once the new light has been installed and is operational, should the brightness of the light interfere with your evening routine, please contact us. DDOT will send a team to evaluate the light and will be able to make recommendations on how to lessen the impact to your home. Different options could include a shade or adjusting the wattage. Please keep in mind that there could be unusual brightness the first night or two once the new lights are turned on. Per DDOT’s policy, any existing street lights designated for removal will stay turned on until we verify all of the new lights are fully operational. Once they are deemed as such, the existing lights designated for removal will be turned off.