D.C. narrowing lanes on eroding road in Rock Creek Park

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After discovering further erosion on a small but important connector route in Rock Creek Park, the District Department of Transportation plans to narrow the travel lanes on the Kalmia Road Culvert.

Crews are scheduled to shift the jersey barriers on the problem-plagued roadway after the Thursday morning rush. That will narrow the travel lanes to 11 feet in each direction.

Lanes will be closed periodically during the work. The job should be done in time for the afternoon rush, said DDOT spokesman Reggie Sanders. The portion of the roadway that remains open will be the strongest and safest, DDOT said. It’s made of concrete. The outer, eroding portion is made of brick.

This has been a problem since spring 2010, when about 15 feet of the south portion of the culvert collapsed beyond the roadway, which connects East Beach Drive and West Beach Drive in the park.

Though the roadway itself was deemed safe for traffic, the erosion problem set off planning to replace the culvert and the crossing. That was continuing when DDOT’s monthly inspection for September found further erosion and cracks within the roadway that led to Wednesday’s narrowing of the barriers.

“We are preparing the culvert for its eventual replacement very soon,” Sanders said in an e-mail. DDOT is working on selecting a contractor for the project.

Robert Thomson is The Washington Post’s “Dr. Gridlock.” He answers travelers’ questions, listens to their complaints and shares their pain on the roads, trains and buses in the Washington region.



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Mark Berman · September 25, 2013

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