Friday, July 5, 2024

Amalyn Townhouse updates


Roughed out

And now for the status of townhouses in the Amalyn Development of houses in Bethesda, Maryland.  See my last post for the status of single family homes.

This row of townhouses are still just wood with holes where the windows will be.

Further along

Houses covered in Typar and with installed windows. The balconies and garages are still just holes.

Further still

Getting close. Lots of Typar but stonework is going in too. All the windows and doors are installed.

Very close

Close to being done. Landscaping is still needed and some interior work too.






Amalyn Single Family house updates


Just the first floor

Here's an update on new single family homes at the Amalyn development in Bethesda, Maryland.  A lot of the houses have been built and people have moved in to them, but there are still a bunch under construction and a lot of open land that they will put houses on in the future.  There's a lot to cover, so this post will just be about the single family houses, I'll post about the townhouses separately.

Some of the houses along the eastern edge of the development will be quite a bit bigger than the rest.  This is one of those larger houses that is just the first floor right now.

The full house, but in wood

This is another, the house walls and roof are up but are just plywood.

Yet a third

Here's a third one, even further along.  This was the first of the really big houses and they were making fast progress but for some reason that progress has slowed down.

A house in green

This house is in a different part of the development and has a ways to go. It's walls are covered in green ZIPsystem.

Rows of tightly spaced houses

Here are a couple of rows of tightly-spaced houses. The green ones are along one road, and the white/tan ones are on another road.  They really are fully detached houses even though they don't look that way.

That's a tall ladder

They have been painting this house and have some really tall laddders that stretch from the ground to the top of the roof.

Almost ready

These houses are almost ready to be moved in to. Most of them are in some variation of depressing gray.


Tuesday, June 25, 2024

A new sound wall at Amalyn


The new Amalyn housing development in Bethesda is nestled against Interstate 495and the Interstate 270 spur.  This means you can get a lot of road noise.  Most of the road already has sound walls, but since this area wasn't already developed there isn't any here.  With over 300 houses and townhouses going in, there is a need for some sound abatement and a sound wall is being installed between the development and I-495.

This stretch of the outer between Fernwood Rd and Greentree Rd has temporary jersey barriers closing the shoulder. In a couple of places the trees have been removed all the way to the road.

A surprisingly wide swath of trees have been removed so the wall can be installed.

In a few areas ground up tree parts and root balls are piled up. Most of the tree trunks have been removed in long segments and are stacked up in other areas of the development.

The new sound wall will connect to the existing wall here.  Someone had moved a couch and a chair here to make a smoking area where you could enjoy the smell of cigarettes and burned gasoline while taking in the sounds of heavy traffic. How enjoyable.

Monday, June 24, 2024

Stormwater vault at Amalyn


Preparing the site

In the Amayln development of new houses and townhouses in Bethesda, they are installing a very large underground stormwater management vault.  After digging out the whole area and prepping the site, the actual installation is going very quickly. The vault is made up of pre-cast concrete so they can rapidly bring them in and set them down.

This is how the area looked on June 18th. The vault is going on the gravel pad that was built.

Precast sections

The individual segments of the vault look like this.  These will be moved into place and set two high.

Amalyn is a development of over 300 houses and townhouses being built on what was the 75 acre WMAL radio transmitter site. I have made numerous posts tracking it's progress over the past few years.

Building the vault

Here are the ones in place as of Friday night.  It doesn't look like there is any way for water from the vault to infiltrate the ground and recharge the aquifer.

The vault from another angle

You can see there is quite a lot of volume in this vault. It is also surprisingly close to the surface.  I expected it would be deeper so they could plant trees on it, but it looks like it will only be a couple of feet below ground.



Sunday, June 23, 2024

Sophia Bethesda construction update


 Sophia Bethesda from St. Elmo Avenue near Old Georgetown Rd.

Sophia Bethesda apartments seems like it has been under construction forever. And it has been a long time. I first posted about it when it was called St. Elmo Apartments back in 2022, at that time they had already dug the hole for the foundation. More recently, I gave an update in January after their name change to "Sophia Bethesda".

The building is right next to Bistro Provence

The Sophia Bethesda website is sparse, but they do say that apartments will be renting this fall. The Duball website has more details. When it is done there will be 276 apartments along with a small amount of retail (including outdoor dining areas).

The view of the top

This building fronts both Fairmont Avenue and St. Elmo Avenue. The street address is on St. Elmo but it is easier to get photos from Fairmont since I can get a good view from a parking garage.

The bottom floors look pretty much done, but there is still a lot of work going on near the top floors of the building.

Ground level on Fairmont Ave

 Lots of construction is going on at ground level.


Saturday, June 22, 2024

The Cecil apartments construction update


The Cecil from the southwest

When I last posted about "The Cecil" in February the building was at full height but not all the windows were in and there was no cladding on the building. The building, on the corner of Glenbrook Rd and Old Georgetown Rd, will have 297 apartments. 

The building is close to being complete. Almost all the cladding is on, there are just a few spots on the north and southwest sides that are still being worked on.  Landscaping and paving hasn't started though.

The Cecil from the Northwest

From this angle you can see there is still a significant amount of cladding still needed on the north wall.  The road in the foreground is Old Georgetown Road, MD-187.

Sidewalk's closed

Kind of annoying, but they have closed the sidewalk in front of the building.  You now have a choice of crossing Old Georgetown twice to get past this block (which I did) or walking in the road, which is dangerous because people are sometimes going fast. I did see someone take the walk-in-the-road option while I was taking pictures.

According to the posted sign, it closed on June 17 and will stay closed through August 16. They do have a permit from the state for this closure.



Friday, June 21, 2024

Old Georgetown Road fully open for the first time in years.


This is northbound Old Georgetown Road (MD-187) right at Wisconsin Avenue (MD-355). Notice anything odd about this photo?  I won't make you guess, I'll just tell you.  The right lane is open here for the first time in years. It had been closed because of the construction of Solaire Bethesda apartments at 7607 Old Georgetown. Before that, it was closed for the construction of Element 28. I don't recall if it opened between those projects.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Scotland AME Zion church rennovation


I was reading an article about how the Scotland AME Zion church on Seven Locks Rd in Potomac got a gift from the Marriott Foundation to help rebuild it after severe damage in 2019 and decided to see how the restoration work was going. It is much further along than I expected, with a large wall behind the church and a new roof on the structure (and, raised up higher and placed on a waterproof foundation). Work is progressing fast, I first drove by on the 9th and there were no shingles on the roof, when I took these photos on the 13th the larger roof was in the process of being shingled, I'm sure it is done now.




Sunday, June 9, 2024

Water is back in the canal

Top of Lock 22 (Pennyfield Lock)

In mid May I was at Great Falls along the C and O canal and noticed that the canal had been re-watered there.  I didn't know how far north they had put water back in the canal.

The canal hasn't had water in it for a few years. I actually don't remember the last time I saw it with more than a trickle of water.  The park service was replacing the locks and doing other canal maintenance all last year, I even posted about it once last year.  In 2018 and 2020 I posted about the canal at Great Falls tavern, but I think some parts of the canal to the north had water at the time.

The canal is at least mostly full between Great Falls and Lock 23 Violett's Lock. That is also the location of Inlet Lock 2, and the canal hasn't had water in it above that spot in my memory.  The water does look low, Above Swains lock it could use another foot or two of water. I'm not sure if it is still in the process of being filled or if this is the new normal.  Some spots, mostly where creeks flow into the canal are shallow enough that you can see the running water.

Islands of plants growing in the water of the canal.

Muskrat swimming in the canal

This is the first time I have ever seen a muskrat in the wild. They look alot like narrow-tailed beavers. This one totally ignored my while it swam, dove, and nibbled on grass.

 I'll also note that I drove on Canal Road on Sunday and the part of the canal near Georgetown still has no water in it.




Friday, May 31, 2024

Trees removed at the Tidal Basin

 To the right of the inlet bridge they have cut down all the trees and piled them up.  The Jefferson Memorial is in the background.

he project to rebuild the seawalls at the Tidal Basin in DC has started.  I have been watching this closely all year and went to see the cherry blossoms a couple of times this spring since for the next 3 years there will be fewer trees and fewer walkways while the project progresses.

They started removing the trees on Friday and I went there on Sunday, hoping to pay my last respects to the fallen trees, to walk amongst the stumps and maybe lay my hands on the rough bark.

 It wasn't that easy though.  an eight foot tall fence surrounds the construction area, which runs from the Jefferson Memorial to the FDR memorial.  You can't get anywhere close to the trees. The fence is covered with black fabric so it is hard to see through as well.

I particularly wanted to see "Stumpy" the scraggly tree that was in the news so much this year.  I couldn't get within a hundred feet of it due to the fence. I couldn't even see the stump since a second privacy fence surrounded it.

The small portion of fence in the middle is where Stumpy grew. All you can see of it is fence around it's stump.  The tide was coming in while I was there and you can see part of the walkway has flooded. This is part of the area where the seawalls are being raised.

To the left of the inlet bridge they have also cut down trees.  You can see the white railings of the sidewalk that goes to the walkway around the tidal basin. To the right of them were a couple of beautiful trees that hung low over the walkway and necessitated warning signs about low branches. These trees have been removed.

In addition to the area around the tidal basin, one of the fields to the west of it has been fenced off any there is a giant crane and other construction equipment therer. Also, areas along the Potomac River that are also getting rehabilitated have been closed.