One good thing about having so much construction around town is there’s enough work to go around for contractors to set up shop all over town. But when you don’t live in the District, things get a little more complicated. As construction zones get torn up, pedestrians are instructed to check the work at least 15 feet ahead. But they should know a few tricks:
Where in DC can you expect work every day?
Anyone who lives in Alexandria, Del Ray, Potomac River, Merrifield, Kensington, Falls Church, and Reston, as well as anyone who goes there now, is a native of this area.
Those who work there need to deal with this. Carpenters will be working on Old Town’s Franklin Square all day and night from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. near the intersection of Vermont and Battery streets. The Washington Post’s city-guide spotlights the work continuing at Alexander Hamilton’s former house near the corner of 15th and Massachusetts streets, S.E.
In Orange County, Virginia, thoroughfares like the Tredegar and Colonial Turnpike were reduced to one lane each way in January to improve drainage. In Annapolis, work around the Naval Academy has slowed traffic. Mornings on the GW Parkway can be loud, as trucks and rail cars are stopped throughout the day. And Bethesda, Reston, Potomac River, and Purcellville are among Northern Virginia’s favorites for construction-related construction.
What’s the best way to deal with construction and when should I head off the grid?
Here’s one: Once traffic cones and cones come down, act quickly. But when they come down, keep an eye on them and think on your feet. Look at the grass at least 15 feet away, and be as vigilant as possible in case construction crews might not realize how far ahead the cones have gone. It’s not a smart idea to walk alone — just watch out for oncoming crews and be ready to cover your eyes when something dangerous happens.
The best way to keep the infrastructure working smoothly is for construction crews to be of good behavior. Accidents cost money, and by changing how workers are supervised, contractors can be sued later.
So, whether you’re one of the 8.2 million-plus who live in the District, in Arlington or Falls Church, Alexandria, Northern Virginia, Georgetown, Silver Spring, Bethesda, Reston, Potomac, the Capital Beltway or the streets near it, know your rights. If you see a work zone and want to stop or slow down, or if you see a detour sign or construction, avoid the area.
The one “tough one” is when someone dies. But that one is a no-brainer.
UPDATED | Washingtonian has updated its list of construction zones. There is zero construction activity from today through Friday in the nation’s capital, but it’s already begun again.