by Marlene Berlin
Everyone involved in the preliminary planning for DC Water’s sewer rehabilitation project in Soapstone and Glover-Archbold Parks seems to have forgotten or ignored a major player: The District Department of Transportation.
The Soapstone Trail, starting from the trailhead off Albemarle to where it connects with Audubon Terrace, is part of what DDOT refers to as a “paper road,” an area that is marked on maps denoting DDOT property but does not contain an actual road. This paper road picks up again east of Audubon Terrace and ends at Broad Branch Road. Five or six manholes and at least one exposed pipe crossing the stream near the midway point are easily visible along this stretch of the park. And they are either on DDOT land or access to them will be through DDOT land.
On the DDOT map below, the areas between the black lines are DDOT land. The gray within the black lines are actual roads. The green within the black lines is parkland that is owned by DDOT. The green outside the black lines is National Park Service land.
When Heather Deutsch, DDOT’s trail planner, and Jim Sebastian, DDOT’s bicycle and pedestrian planner were queried, they had no knowledge of DC Water’s project, and were very interested in finding out more about it.