Metropolitan Branch Trail – latest update

Based on my own observations and the latest construction manager’s weekly progress report for the week of March 22 – 27, the work on the Trail has ratcheted up significantly the last few weeks. And it appears that FMCC will deliver substantial completion of the project by the April 30th deadline:

FMCC is working additional hours and days in an attempt to complete the project by April 30th, 2010. FMCC is revising their CPM schedule and will submit by March 30th. The overall progress indicates that the majority of the trail work is currently on schedule to complete by April 30, 2010.

My own observations of the work are current through this morning, April 8th:

  • Landscaping at the S Street entrance is almost complete, with sod having been laid and a few more planting beds outlined.
  • Steel pilings and concrete retaining wall north of T Street has been completed for fill-in of dirt, which has been placed and compacted.
  • Grading of section south of R Street continues as the elevation is being raised
  • Concrete coal chutes north of R Street have been removed and replaced by steel covers
  • Solar lights have been installed south of R Street
  • Steel railing installed and the two large dumpsters have been removed at Randolph Street entrance (sign of this being a permanent entrance)
  • Steel railing installed along retaining wall north of Todd Street
  • Fencing is being installed at the northern end of the Trail–however, this is a smooth-rail topped fence (unlike the spiked fence south of T Street) like the one originally installed south of T Street (only to be replace a week later). I’ve notified DDOT of the issue of having such an easily scalable fence along the Trail where people regularly cross the train tracks to the Rhodes Island Metrorail station.

What still remains before substantial completion (from what I can observe):

  • Paving of Trail: 1) small section north of T Street; 2) section just north of R Street down to the New York Ave Bridge; 3) small section just south of Rhodes Island Ave.
  • Drainage work south of R Street
  • Steel pilings need to be cut and retaining wall and railing finished at section north of T Street
  • Fencing north of T Street and south of R Street
  • Remaining solar light poles
  • Fix damage done at T Street entrance (police apprehended the vehicle’s driver)

There will be plenty of other work that FMCC would complete over the next few months after the opening, such as finishing the Trail entrances, installing benches, other landscaping, striping, artwork and other smaller items.  I am unsure what, if any, work FMCC has been charged with performing concerning the old section of the Trail under the New York Ave bridge (which is dark, dirty, and is banked with a rock slide).

One thing I’ve noticed is the large green-space area east of the Trail at the northern end–which is now evident by the placement of the fence.

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