At the meeting on the Turtle Park renovation project last night with the DC Department of General Services and the Department of Parks and Rec, the agency and contractor reps said the last part of the project (the basketball and tennis courts) would be completed in spring 2017.
According to the presenters, the project has been delayed by a change of mind by the Army Corps of Engineers (which was not represented at the meeting). The Corps is responsible for a sewer line and at least one water main that run under the park. (DCWASA is also involved.) The Corps originally imposed a 10-foot easement (the lateral distance required between any of the pipes and new construction). Permits were issued and work was going forward, but the Corps then made a walk-over inspection (for the first time) and insisted that the easement had to be 15 feet. As a result, the new building planned for the park has to be positioned 10 feet north of the spot originally authorized in the original permits; and a new permitting process for this is necessary.
According to the contractor, even the Corps did not know exactly where the sewer and water lines (which were installed in the 1920s) were located, or how deep in the ground. That was only determined when the contractor located them by digging.
The contractor says it has now received “oral” approval of the new permit, which is supposed to be issued shortly in written form. The contractor is exploring the possibility of completing exterior parts of the project ASAP so that those parts can be used before the entire project is completed.
Updates and diagrams will supposedly be posted on DGS’s website: dgs.dc.gov. Also please visit Department of Parks and Recreation website: dpr.dc.gov. Friendship – Turtle Park Recreation Center Project