More sleuthing has revealed who is behind the period closings of Broad Branch Road near Linnean Avenue and 29th Street.
Remember, DC Water did not know anything initially (they eventually found the permits). Nor did the District Department of Transportation, and searching through TOPS, DDOT’s online permit site, provided no information about work on Broad Branch Road. I also contacted Steve Saari with the District Department of Energy and the Environment, and there I found my answer. He told me this was part of the expansion project at Ingleside at Rock Creek.
Searching for Ingleside in DDOT’s TOPS system reveals permit number PA203806 for water line excavation and installation between May 1 and June 29, but the address it gives for the location of the work is 3050 Military Road NW.
I have also read Ingleside’s traffic study and there was nothing in it about the impact of the Broad Branch Road closure. There may have been one sentence about the need to close the roadway. The remainder dealt with construction vehicles.
Ingleside is located within ANC 3/4G, so I reached out to Commissioner Randy Speck, who represents the single member district. I have not yet received a response. I did speak to Ingleside’s head of facilities, Chris Swedish. He told me to contact Steve Van Dorpe, Ingleside’s construction manager. I called him twice and left two messages, and finally got his email address. I sent him my questions, and he replied with the notice that had been posted on the ANC 3/4G listserv:
“What’s Happening Now”
– Broad Branch Road – closure/detour
Van Dorpe goes on to say, “Admittedly, it can be confusing. What I can tell you is that our contractor is doing all they can to minimize disruptions (meaning: closures) of the road, so as to maximize traffic flow throughout the area. This means that there are some times when the signage doesn’t match up to the conditions found at the crossing; however, this is typical for work done in DDOT right of ways.”
As for the work, he explains, “The work encompasses new domestic water, sanitary and storm sewer connections for Ingleside, plus, widening of the driveway (to allow for larger emergency vehicle access, as required by code nowadays). I hope this is all helpful info for the neighborhood, but please let me know if you have any further questions.”
I reminded him that that the road closure impacts a wider area than Chevy Chase, and that they should get an announcement up on Alert DC because it is a commuter route and connects Ward 4 neighborhoods to Ward 3.
And I remained puzzled that DDOT did not DC Water did not know about this project, so I sent another query to John Lisle, the head of communication for DC Water, about how this could be. He wrote back that they had continued digging and did unearth records of the project.