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Mayor Gray, DDOT Officials and Community Leaders Celebrate Completion of the O and P Streets Rehabilitation Project

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mayor Gray, DDOT Officials and Community Leaders Celebrate Completion of the O and P Streets Rehabilitation Project

Project Improved Safety & Functionality While Preserving Historic Georgetown Blocks

(WASHINGTON, DC) -- Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Terry Bellamy, Georgetown business owners and residents today celebrated the completion of the O and P Streets Rehabilitation Project.  The 18-month, $11.8 million project repaired the structural and historical integrity of the picturesque blocks of O and P Streets between Wisconsin Avenue and 37th Street NW in Georgetown. 

“The O and P Streets Rehabilitation Project was a unique effort that vastly improved the safety and condition of these roadways while simultaneously preserving and restoring a rich aspect of our city’s history,” Mayor Gray said. “We knew that construction in this bustling and space-constrained neighborhood would be disruptive, but thanks to the cooperation of residents and merchants, DDOT was able to finish on time. We appreciate the Georgetown community’s patience throughout the duration of the project, and we hope they enjoy the final result.”

As part of the rehabilitation process, DDOT extracted the street pavers, streetcar tracks and yokes. The tracks on O and P Streets are the last visible evidence of the District’s citywide streetcar system, which operated until 1962.  They are set on 350-lb. cast iron yokes beneath the center of the roadway, and besides a small section of conduit system streetcar track in London, the streetcar tracks on O and P Streets are believed to be the world’s only surviving examples of this type of track system.

Salvageable items were refurbished and re-installed along O and P Streets, restoring a uniform surface to the once greatly deteriorated streets. The previously difficult and dangerous roadways now offer a smoother and safer experience for Georgetown residents and visitors.

“In making the trip down these streets smoother, we also made the trip down memory lane easier,” said DDOT Director Terry Bellamy. “We updated Civil War-era infrastructure with modern-day enhancements, making the area safer while preserving and enhancing the indelible history of the neighborhood.”

In addition to the complete reconstruction of the streets, DDOT made critical infrastructure and utility upgrades – including streetlight and drainage improvements – and replaced century-old water mains and water connections to residences and businesses. Washington Gas also took advantage of the opportunity to upgrade gas lines while the streets were under construction. Streetscape enhancements included rebuilding curbs, gutters, and brick sidewalks; installing crosswalks and curb ramps; planting new trees; and building tree boxes.

DDOT worked with a Community Relations Team (CRT) on the project, enabling an ongoing dialogue between DDOT and the community. The system ensured that both project managers and area residents and business owners were kept apprised of the project’s progress and any related issues that arose in the neighborhood.

For more information about the O and P Streets Rehabilitation Project, please visit the project website at www.fixingoandpstreets.com.