Soapstone Valley Park and trail are two weeks into a 1.5-year closure for DC Water’s sewer rehabilitation project. The work so far has included taking down some trees and constructing pathways for heavy trucks and equipment needed to reline the aging sewer pipes, and to bring in materials for stream restoration and “asset protection,” DC Water’s term for armoring the sewer infrastructure against erosion and major storms.
DC Water says the pathways and tree work will continue until the end of the month. Four temporary pathways are being created by laying down black tarps and mulch. Planks of wood will be laid over the mulch to more broadly distribute the weight of the heavy equipment coming in, and to prevent the soil underneath from compacting and further damaging nearby trees. Trees also have been cut down to make room for these routes.
One pathway starts at Broad Branch Road and leads to the nearest stream crossing.
The second pathway goes from the dead end at Audubon Terrace to the first Linnean outfall area.
The third begins near the intersection of 29th Street and Audubon.
It leads to an asset protection area, which includes this manhole.
And here is the fourth pathway, between 29th and Albemarle.
It leads to an asset protection site behind Park Van Ness and Park Connecticut.
Trees are being cut down or trimmed to make room for these paths and the equipment. And some are being wrapped in wooden planks for protection.