December 06, 2012 Update
I`m pleased to report that Mayor Gray, City Administrator Allen Lew and I will break ground tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. on our Northeast Boundary Neighborhood Protection Project, an infrastructure initiative that will mitigate the flooding and sewer backups in the Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park neighborhoods. The ceremony will take place inside the former McMillan Sand Filtration site, through the gate just north of the intersection of First and Channing Streets, NE. I hope you can join us.
During the summer, as we discussed our plans for long-term relief, many of you asked why DC Water couldn`t complete its tunnel system sooner than 2025 or build the section serving Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park first. The answer to both questions is we can, and we will.
The Northeast Boundary Neighborhood Protection Project will be built in three steps, located on and near the former McMillan Sand Filtration site north of Bloomingdale. Each step of the initiative will provide incremental improvements to mitigate flooding. It will reduce the pressure on the undersized section of the Northeast Boundary Trunk Sewer that serves Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park by doing the following:
~ Adding 6 million gallons of stormwater storage from two stormwater lines that run east and west of the McMillan site, using existing and new facilities on the site itself. (Estimated completion: Spring 2014)
~ Adding 6 million gallons of stormwater and wastewater storage from a combined-sewer line that runs west of the Washington Aqueduct McMillan treatment plant, in a new tunnel under First Street NW. (Estimated completion: Spring 2016)
~ Re-aligning the Northeast Boundary section of the Clean Rivers Project, and accelerating construction of this section to reduce risk and provide more certain delivery of flood relief to Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park. (Estimated completion: accelerated from 2025 to 2022)
Preparation for construction on the first phase will begin immediately, with completion projected in spring 2014. This construction will not disrupt the District`s proposed development plans for the McMillan site. Because completion will not come in time for the summer of 2013, we still urge you to take advantage of our backflow preventer rebate program and add sewer backup coverage to your homeowners` or renters` insurance policy.
The Mayor`s Task Force on the Prevention of Flooding, which I co-chair, is meeting this afternoon to discuss its draft recommendations. The Northeast Boundary project will be the largest and most expensive piece of the Task Force`s work. In total, the District and DC Water are preparing to spend close to three quarters of a billion dollars on flood control in the Northeast Boundary Sewershed.
Tomorrow`s Washington Post will have a story about this project. You can read it here:
I look forward to providing more details soon. In the meantime, please visit our new web page for this project - which includes maps and other information - at dcwater.com/mcmillan.
George S. Hawkins