Monday, March 1, 2021

Security fences around the U.S. Capitol


After the January 6th insurrection, security fences were put up around the U.S. Capitol building.  Last Saturday, I took advantage of a break in the rain to walk around the perimeter and take some photos.  In this first photo, fences and trucks block Pennsylvania Avenue.

There are several different types of fences in different areas.  This is one of the less common ones.  It is on the National Mall, directly in front of the Capitol.

Here's another view of the Mall and the Capitol.  People have adjusted to the fences and still come down to walk around and play on the Mall.

National Guard troops are monitoring the fences, there are a lot of them standing around and keeping an eye on things.

I find this juxtaposition of a high end restaurant and fences with barbed wire so close to each other.

I went down expecting the fences to be just around the United States Capitol building, but they were much more extensive. The closed off several parks, all the buildings related to the the legislature and a few more places. The fences go to Union Station, behind the Supreme Court, and even block off the Botanic Garden.  It took me an hour and a half to walk the perimeter.

Here's a reflection of the top of the Capitol dome in the windows of the Teamster's uniton.  The first floor of the building was still boarded up.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Little Falls Trail construction update



 The construction on Little Falls trail that started in September continues and significant progress has been made. One of the bridges has been fully replaced and re-opened for people to cross. This is bridge P17-01 near the Dalecarlia tunnel that connects a neighborhood to the Capital Crescent Trail.

The trail between the two bridges is closed, however there is a marked detour so you can still traverse the area, just not on a paved trail.

The other bridge has been fully removed and has not yet been replaced. You can not cross the stream here.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Was "The Hulk" here?

 I was walking by the old Ourisman dealership on Motor City Drive up by the Home Depot and Montgomery Mall and saw this. It sure looks like the Incredible Hulk busted through this door to escape.



Monday, November 30, 2020

Another accident at the big curve


Another rainy day, another accident on the outer loop of Interstate 495 at the "Big Curve" in Bethesda, MD. Traffic is backed up past Old Georgetown Road and the backup continues to grow, even though some lanes do get by. According to WTOP, this happened about 10 minutes until 1pm and the two left lanes are blocked.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Construction closes a portion of the Little Falls trail


The Little Falls Trail bridge closest to the Dalecarlia tunnel has been closed for some planned improvements.  I posted about this construction back in September, and it has now started.  This bridge (P17-01) is being replaced, the trail in the area will be repaved, and there will be drainage improvements and stream channel stabilization.  More information is available on the county website.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Removing the demolished WMAL radio towers

 After the WMAL radio towers were demolished Wednesday morning, they almost immediately started cutting them up and removing them.  The three near Greentree Rd were removed on Thursday and Friday, then on Monday they returned to remove the tower near Renita Ln.  By Monday evening there was just a small amount of cut-up steel lying on the ground.

 The powerful machine you see here would cut through the tower, breaking it down in to a managable size.  It could then pick it up and move it out of the way. the segment looks small, but notice at the bottom part you can see the ladder that went up the tower, this is a good sized chunk of metal.

 While one machine was cutting the tower up, another would scoop up the cut metal debris and move it to the edge of the property for pick-up.

 Here the machine reaches out and takes a bite from the tower. Another tower lies in the background.

 As powerful as the machine is, it can also gently grasp the fallen metal and pick it up, moving it away from the main tower. At this point there is just a stub remaining.

 After the tower was completely cut up, the only thing remaining was to pick up piles of metal and move them to the edge of the property.

 The once majestic towers are reduced to piles of metal like this, just waiting to be picked up and disposed of.


If you missed it, you can read my post about the demolition and the field of fallen giants

Friday, November 6, 2020

The Field of Fallen Giants (WMAL Radio tower demolition)


The towers were demolished on Wednesday the 4th and for the past couple of days I have walked around the field checking out how things are going.  This post is about the towers now that they are down on the ground.  Here are the three of towers closest to Greentree Road,  they used to stand majestically, all in a row.  Now they have been knocked down and lie in the field.

Here is the tower closest to Renita Lane, this former colossus looks like it is relaxing on the ground, having gotten tired of standing.

These two towers fell across each other and lie in the field.  In the background you can see a smaller tower that has also been knocked down.

This tower bent over as it fell.  It also took out part of the roof of the small building that was at it's base.  Three of the four towers bent like this.

Unlike the others, this one pulled away from its mounting pad as it fell, like a tree ripped up by the roots.

This machine will cut the towers into pieces.  Here they are getting it ready to go.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The WMAL radio towers have been demolished.


Promptly at 9am this morning  the WMAL radio broadcast towers were brought down with carefully timed explosive charges.  There were a reasonably sized group of people at the Renita Lane entrance to the towers where I was.  Earlier in the morning I spoke to one of the people who was detonating the charges and he said that the plan was to do a quick perimeter sweep right at 9am and set them off as soon after that as possible.  He was planning to be safely behind his truck, out of sight of the towers.  Everyone was kept well behind the fence, right at the edge of the property so the chance of any debris coming that far was very small.

In addition to the normal neighborhood people, there were several who grew up in the area but no longer lived there, including one person I talked to who had climbed all four towers as a teenager, and been arrested as he came down from one.

The towers were removed so that the Amalyn Bethesda project consisting of 309 single family houses and townhouses can be built in this area. 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

The WMAL radio towers are coming down this week


After a long delay, the WMAL radio antenna towers on Greentree Rd in Bethesda, MD are scheduled for demolition later this week.  The towers will be brought down in a controlled explosion no earlier than Wednesday November 4th.  The original plan was to demolish them earlier this year, but they hadn't done all the needed conservation work on the site.

All the permits are posted at the entrance to the site. From left to right: Explosives permit, Demoliton permit, Sediment Control Permit, Right-of-way construction permit.

They have the notices posted at several entrances to the field so no one misses them.

The towers are being removed so that the Amalyn Bethesda project consisting of 309 single family houses and townhouses can be built in this area.  In order to get planning board approval they also donated a portion of this field as a potential school site.

This project has been in progress for a number of years.   I first posted about it more than 5 years ago, in July of 2015.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Hawk beacons at Democracy Blvd and Walter Johnson H.S. are now working

I noticed that the new  HAWK beacons are now active along Democracy Blvd near Walter Johnson High School.  HAWK beacons are normally dark, but when activated by a pedestrian, they turn yellow, then red.  This provides a safe opportunity for people to cross the street.

This is a very important place to have them since (in normal years when children actually go to school buildings) many kids cross this busy street on their way to and from school.  They also make it easier to walk from the neighborhood to the Giant Food store and other shops at Georgetown Square. These signals are a big improvement over the old flashing yellow crosswalk signals since those were always active even when no one was around.  These only activate when a person pushes the button for the walk signal.

There are two of them, one for each of the two crosswalks that flank Davis Library.  When activated you have 30 seconds to cross the street, which is more than enough time for most people to cross.