Controlled Blasting Planned for Square 75 on Pennsylvania Avenue

Blasting will occur once daily Monday through Friday.

Square 75 construction
(William Atkins/GW Today)
June 27, 2016

Controlled blasting is scheduled to occur once daily at 2112 Pennsylvania Avenue on Square 75 beginning in late June or early July. The site located on Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 21st and 22nd streets is currently under construction. Blasting is part of necessary excavation.

Detailed updates on Square 75 and scheduled blasting activities are available online.

2112 Pennsylvania Avenue is located on Square 75 and leased by Skanska USA Commercial Development, a leading national development group. Skanska will manage controlled blasting activities as part of the excavation of the 25,000-square-foot site. This type of work is common in D.C. where rock formations are close to the surface.

Controlled blasting will likely occur once daily between 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, for approximately six weeks to three months, depending on the weather and condition of the soil.

Members of the Foggy Bottom Campus and surrounding community should take note of scheduled air horn signals that will sound 15, five and one minute prior to blasts. Air horn signals also will sound at the conclusion of daily blasting to indicate that the area is clear.

When an air horn sounds, pedestrians in close proximity to the project site should heed the direction of site personnel and obey all posted signs. At the five-minute air horn, sidewalks adjacent to the site will close to pedestrians.

During controlled blasting, the 2100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue and the alley behind the site will close to all vehicular traffic, except emergency vehicles. D.C. Metropolitan Police will provide traffic direction. 

While the air horn signals have a noise impact comparable to a passing ambulance, blasting activity itself will produce limited sound and vibrations. The sound of a blast is similar to that of a door slamming or a large truck in motion. Vibrations caused by blasts will last no longer than a few seconds and will only be noticeable to those within close proximity to the site.

The impact of blasts will vary depending on weather, the location of work on site and other factors.