- The Washington Times - Friday, March 30, 2001

I was surprised to see on the front page of your paper such a narrow view of the District Division of Transportation´s unprecedented mobilization to resurface heavily traveled New York Avenue from Bladensburg Road NE to South Dakota Avenue NE (“Chaos on the avenue,” March 24).

You chose to tell of motorist annoyance, including clashes with construction workers, backups that were apparently unrelated to the work actually taking place and the frustration of some of The Washington Times employees who had to be escorted through the job site.

It was unfortunate that you excluded other particulars as reported by other news media. Tie-ups were kept to a minimum, signals were adjusted as circumstances changed, Metropolitan Police Department officers prevented gridlock and kept traffic moving and variable message signs warned motorists of the project, not only in the District but also in Maryland. And workers going to The Times were, for the most part, allowed through the job site.

My senior staff and I were on hand for virtually the entire three days of the project and we are all very proud of finishing the job ahead of our two, self-imposed deadlines. We said we would reopen outbound at 3 p.m. on Friday; it was open at 2:15. We said we would reopen inbound between 3 and 4 p.m. on Saturday; it reopened at 2:40. We also had the support of most motorists as well as the Metropolitan Police Department, the District of Columbia Emergency Management Agency, the office of the public advocate, the mayor´s City-Wide Call Center, the Maryland State Highway Administration, the National Park Service´s U.S. Park Police and local news media to get the word out. I am also delighted with the work of the contractor, Fort Myer Construction Co..

Overall, the District Division of Transportation succeeded in minimizing the inconvenience and risk to both motorists and workers as it sought to improve this part of New York Avenue and protect the roadway foundation for at least another decade.


Acting Director

District Division of Transportation

Department of Public Works


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