At the last community meeting on the Park Van Ness project last April, Saul Centers predicted it would be able to reopen the sidewalk at 4455 Connecticut Avenue at the end of this year. Now, it says, we will have to wait two more months.
More precisely, the date to circle on your calendar is February 26th. Representatives from Saul Centers and Clark Construction broke the news at the ANC 3F meeting on Tuesday, December 15th.
The B.F. Saul Company’s Richard Houghton explained in a follow-up email the delay is due to “unforeseen deteriorated Pepco infrastructure along the north side of the public right of way.” Four manhole covers and two electrical duct banks had to be repaired or replaced before Park Van Ness could be hooked up to the electrical grid.
In late October, Pepco told Saul Centers the work would take four to six months, so Saul agreed to do it instead, at its own expense, in hopes of getting it done more quickly. Saul completed the work in two months, but that still meant delaying work on the sidewalk.
This will be a partial sidewalk opening. The completed sidewalk will be ten feet wide when it opens fully at the end of April. The partial sidewalk will be five feet wide. A temporary fence will separate pedestrians from the still-active construction project. Periodically, the sidewalk will be closed a few minutes at a time to allow deliveries at the Yuma Street driveway.
Work on the building itself is three months behind schedule. Saul Centers now sees the building opening in April. A representative told ANC 3F the company had underestimated the difficulty of working on a site with a sharp drop-off on one side, as well as the time to install the large amount of masonry used in this project. The weather last winter and June’s heavy rainstorms also caused delays.
While we wait for the sidewalk to reopen, please take the time to cross Connecticut Avenue at Albemarle Street or Windom Place to reach the open sidewalk on the west side of the avenue. We’ve heard reports of an uptick of pedestrians on the east side of the roadway during evening rush hour.