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Jersey Barriers to Make Way For Planters, New Trees

The House approved a perimeter security plan last week that will replace the makeshift Jersey barriers with decorative planters, hydraulic vehicle barriers and police shelters.

The blueprint also calls for the revitalization of the trees along Independence Avenue between the Capitol and the House office buildings.

“The perimeter security project is an essential element of the House’s larger security initiatives, and will provide a secure and tasteful alternative to the current barriers,” House Administration Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio) and ranking member John Larson (D-Conn.) said in a “Dear Colleague” letter.

The removal of some trees is a necessary part of the new infrastructure, but the contractor will plant new trees that are more tolerant of urban environmental conditions such as heat, pollution and soil compaction. The soil itself will also be enriched with a new soil mixture, installation of root paths under paved areas and an automatic irrigation system. Most of the trees to be removed are dead or dying.

The construction will necessitate closing 150 feet of one eastbound lane of Independence Avenue traffic from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily for the duration of this phase of the project, which is set to be completed in June.

Additionally, at times intersections on Independence Avenue at South Capitol Street and New Jersey Avenue will have only one lane open for two-way traffic. Intersections on First Street Southwest at Independence Avenue and C Street will be closed one at a time.

“Perimeter security installations … will take place in concert with previously scheduled steam-line repairs, thus minimizing the impact of construction,” Ney and Larson wrote.

Pedestrian traffic will be maintained at all times, and workers will be directing traffic as needed.

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