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Draft VAT Joint Community Letter 04 03 12

Draft VAT Joint Community Letter 04 03 12

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Published by David Garber
DRAFT community letter on CSX / Virginia Ave Tunnel.
DRAFT community letter on CSX / Virginia Ave Tunnel.

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: David Garber on Apr 07, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/07/2012

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1
DRAFT
 
April 3, 2012
 Address letter to:
Delegate NortonMayor GrayTommy WellsChairman Kwame BrownAt-Large Members Orange, Catania, Mendelson, and Michael BrownParson Brinckerhoff (official NEPA project coordinator)DDOTFederal Highway AdministrationTo Whom It May Concern:We, the undersigned organizations, would like to express our joint opinion on theproposed project by CSX to expand the Virginia Avenue railroad tunnel. CSX has proposed toadapt the current Virginia Avenue rail tunnel to allow for an additional rail track and also toallow for double-stacked trains to fit within the tunnel. They have proposed digging an opentrench the entire width and length of Virginia Avenue from 2
nd
St., SE to 11
th
St., SE to widenand deepen the existing tunnel under the roadway and construct temporary train tracks to useduring the construction. These temporary tracks would allow CSX to run trains day and nightfor at least three years in an open trench. The project is currently undergoing a NEPAEnvironmental Assessment and Section 106 review.The number of freight trains utilizing the current SW/SE tracks will likely increaseconsiderably if the capacity of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel is double-tracked and if tracks arelowered to accommodate double-stacked trains. Combine this with the increased capacity of the Panama Canal that is expected to be available by 2015, and all East coast freight willincrease dramatically. We need CSX to provide a comprehensive evaluation of projected freightrail traffic and the impact of additional freight trains on passenger train operations. Theevaluation should address the impact of this increased freight traffic on the rail tracks in the SW
 
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and SE quadrants of our city, including the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, as well as the rail tracks thatare shared with passenger trains, including the Long Bridge.We strongly believe that the best options for our community and the members of ourorganizations are for CSX to either leave the Virginia Avenue Tunnel in its current state or toreroute double-stacked train traffic outside the District of Columbia, instead of in an expandedVirginia Avenue Tunnel. We are highly concerned that any expansion of the tunnel would causea great deal of damage to our homes and businesses during the construction process, andpossibly during operation after construction is completed. We also are troubled by the long-term impact on our community and buildings from increased train traffic.If, however, construction were to proceed, we are greatly concerned about the effect onresidents, businesses, and buildings from any construction method that would allow for trainsto run in an open trench or that would place a new tunnel closer to our homes and buildings.During construction, it is imperative that the health, safety, and economic well-being of ourbusinesses, parks, religious institutions, homes, and buildings must be preserved. If construction were to occur, we look forward to working with CSX and government agencies toensure that our interests are protected and that the community is left better off than it wasbefore.We thank you for your attention to this matter and for consideration of our views. Weare happy to discuss this matter with you further.Sincerely,(These are possible signatories only and will be subject to a vote by each individual group.)ANC 6BANC 6DBarracks Row Main StreetCapper Senior Citizen CenterCapitol Hill Restoration Society
Capitol Quarter Homeowners’ Association
 Committee of 100 on the Federal CityFriends of Garfield ParkSt. Paul A.U.M.P. ChurchCC:National Park ServiceNational Capital Planning commissionNavy YardFederal Railroad AdministrationCommission of Fine Arts

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