U Street to Become Construction Zone

Streetscape getting overhaul

One of northwest D.C.'s most popular neighborhoods is about to become a construction zone, just like its neighboring hood around the corner.

Work will begin Monday to overhaul the streetscape along U Street between Ninth and 14th streets, District of Columbia transportation officials said.

"We're starting at Ninth Street," said Monica Hernandez, of the D.C. Department of Transportation. "We're going to move westbound toward 14th Street. We'll start on the north side first, complete that section, and then jump over to the south side."

As part of the streetscape improvements, sidewalks will be rebuilt and widened with new landscaping. Roadways will be repaved and traffic signals and storm drains will be upgraded.

The road will be reconstructed one block at a time, transportation officials said. At least one lane of traffic will be kept open in each direction during construction, but curbside parking will be restricted.

"We're going to keep the corridor open," Hernandez said. "Shops will remain open and sidewalks will remain open and so will the street."

The work is scheduled for completion in spring 2013.

Up 18th Street from U Street, Adams Morgan is already a construction zone. Shops along 18th Street said the construction has disrupted business.

"We're prepared," said Leon King of Why Not Boutique. "And I think most of the folks understand that changes make great things in the end."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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