Utility Work Could Cause Lengthy Delays Through Georgetown

WASHINGTON — If you commute through Georgetown, get ready for lengthy delays over the next week as a utility project goes into high gear.

D.C. Water said a work zone will block the left outbound lane of Canal Road between the Whitehurst Freeway and Foxfall Road from late Wednesday, June 21 through next Wednesday, June 28.

The work zone will be in place all week long. Drivers could experience lengthy delays on M Street and the Whitehurst Freeway, particularly during the afternoon commutes.

D.C. Water said the work comes after intense rains in 2015 led to sewer overflows at Foundry Branch. Upgrades to the sewer system near Georgetown University have been ongoing for several months, mostly during overnight hours.

According to a press release, an 18-inch sewer under the C&O Canal will be repaired as a part of the work to prevent future sewage discharge into the Potomac River.

Crews also plan to block part of the inbound left turn lane from Canal Road to Georgetown University.

The closures were initially scheduled to be put into place earlier this week but thunderstorms late Monday forced crews to postpone the work.

Although the work zone on Canal Road is expected to be lifted by the middle of next week, utility work will continue to affect pedestrians on the nearby Chesapeake and Ohio Towpath throughout the summer, according to Vincent Morris, spokesperson for D.C. Water.

“The sewer line in question … runs parallel to Canal Road and then dips down under the canal and actually to the C&O Canal trail. In fact, there will be more impact on the trail because more work has to happen at that lower section.”

Morris said the agency wanted to avoid closing the towpath due to heavy usage during the summer months.

“Bikers, walkers, joggers will be able to make use of a detour that we’re constructing around the trail so that there’s no interruption in the use and enjoyment of the C&O trail during the construction. We did this because we know that trail is hugely popular in the summertime and we really wanted to avoid a closure,” Morris said.

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