Let’s start with a recap:
At 7 a.m. Tuesday, neighbors heard a series of loud booms, and the noise didn’t stop until about 9:30 a.m.
Suspect #1 was the Park Van Ness project at 4455 Connecticut. Sally Gresham, the ANC 3F commissioner whose single member district includes the Park Van Ness site, reached out to BF Saul and Clark Construction. It wasn’t them.
Photos by David Jonas Bardin
That led us to suspect UDC’s student center project now under way at Connecticut Avenue and Van Ness Street. The project includes the installation of geothermal wells, which can involve pile drivers. This lead was also a dead end.
Says Erik Thompson, UDC’s director of real estate and capital construction: “We actually do not have any pile driving equipment operating on the geothermal field effort or any of our other projects. If you hear reports of similar noises in the future, please contact my office and I will have it investigated.”
But another lead emerged, along with a new suspect: DC Water. David Bardin reported this week on DC Water’s work on to create more accurate maps of water mains and taps in the area. He also found workers digging a trench for a new water main on Appleton Street Tuesday. They were using a hydraulic hammer (a.k.a. breaker) attachment to break up concrete. He provided a video of Thursday morning’s work:
But there are a couple of problems with this theory as well. The start time, for one. David notes that the workers on this project didn’t start up until 9:30 a.m. Thursday, so we can’t assume they were responsible for Tuesday morning’s noise, which ended around that time. And the sound of the hydraulic hammer, at least up close, might not exactly match the “booms” neighbors reported. But we’ll add DC Water to the list of suspects until a better lead comes along.
David also collected these photos of DC Water’s work on Appleton Wednesday:
David also has a suggestion that he passed along to DC Water: More signs explaining the water main work. As he says, the “required DDOT ‘no parking’ sign (see below) does not tell the full story. People are interested in and will care about all the work DC Water is doing.”
And one way to pique the neighbors’ interest is to make some noise.