Oregon Avenue, between Military Road to Western Avenue, is an urban collector roadway adjacent to Rock Creek Park. This beautiful parkland/woodland setting in the midst of an urban area is what makes Oregon Avenue a unique roadway and what has attracted homeowners to this area. However, the Oregon Avenue environmental assessment, completed in 2012, identified many existing conditions that pose significant transportation deficiencies.
Volkert is providing multidisciplinary engineering services to transform the approved EA alternative into a practical set of design documents. Services include civil, structural, traffic, and geotechnical engineering; utility relocation and coordination; landscape architecture; environmental; survey; agency coordination; and public outreach services to resolve these deficiencies along a 1.7-mile segment of Oregon Avenue.
Volkert’s design improves the roadway with consistent roadway widths; curb and gutters; and improved line-of-sight, pavement markings, and signage. Traffic calming measures such as narrowing lane widths and slightly curving roadway also help resolve safety issues. Additionally, a new uninterrupted sidewalk connects Western Avenue and Military Road. The sidewalk follows the roadway and avoids many trees and residential landscape features. The exact location of the sidewalk is determined on a case-by-case basis with an emphasis on preserving the park-like character of Oregon Avenue and staying within the existing DDOT right-of-way. Volkert is also coordinating with Pepco for the undergrounding of power lines.
The design minimizes environmental impacts by integrating the stormwater management design with the transportation infrastructure design. The design includes bioretention cells that capture and treate roadway runoff and help improve water quality. Permeable rubber sidewalks are used near trees to avoid damage to root systems and help preserve and protect mature trees. Volkert’s design complements ongoing efforts by NPS and DDOE to resolve current erosion and water quality problems within Rock Creek Park.
Volkert is using a context sensitive solutions approach for the design of the project. This approach has involved numerous stakeholders who have been engaged through public meeting, site walks, individual meetings with larger stakeholders, and via the internet. The project website www.OregonAveDDOT.com has served as a successful communication tool for both delivering information to the public and providing feedback to the team.