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In October 2005, the 2800 block of 28th Street in Woodley Park got some crucial utilities upgrades—the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) replaced the block’s lead service lines, and shortly afterward, Washington Gas made some repairs of its own. All this construction left the pavement pockmarked, with a huge gash running along one curb. It was more trench than pothole, threatening to shred tires and making it difficult for parked cars to pull out.
When utility work is done that requires pavement to be torn up, and the D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) hasn’t also scheduled a regular repair, the outfit doing the digging must also repair the street. But almost a year after the repairs, neither had happened.
Bill Mankin, who lives on the street, says a DDOT employee told him repairs weren’t coming because the water and gas companies were fighting over who’d pay. “I was told this was done in a very chaotic way,” Mankin says. “We kind of all lived with the chaos.”
Jane Davis, spokesperson for Washington Gas, says her employers didn’t set new asphalt because DDOT had already planned to repair the road. She said that WASA, which didn’t return calls for comment, held off for the same reason.
DDOT spokesperson Erik Linden wouldn’t say why the repaving has taken so long. “We are actively working to have the road repaved right away and will keep the community posted on when that occurs,” he says in an e-mail.
As of Monday, DDOT is finally paving the block. Workers are busy destroying old pavement, dispensing workmen, rolling things flat. Says Jane Jones, a longtime resident of the block, as she stands on her steps, drinking a cola: “Our homes have been reassessed into the stratosphere. Having the streets so crummy adds insult to injury.”