The historic U Street corridor in Northwest DC is about to get a makeover.
Not without some pain, according to Ward 1 Councilman Jim Graham, who says, "It's a trip to the dentist. There's no question about it."
The city's Department of Transportation plans to start the streetscape project on Monday, and it won't be finished until spring of 2013.
The plan is to repave the street between 9th and 14th Streets, for starters and from 15th to 18th down the road. Sidewalks will be widened with new landscaping. Street lights will be upgraded -- so will traffic signals and storm drains.
Ben's Chili Bowl has survived major construction before,when the Metro was built. It also lived through the riots of 1968, after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. But newer, smaller businesses may be challenged.
Councilman Graham authored legislation creating a survival fund that will provide interest-free loans to businesses negatively impacted by the project.
Meanwhile, the construction is expected to cause traffic chaos in an area where parking is already scarce.
For more information about the U Street, NW Streetscape Project and to sign up for future updates please visit UStreetProject.com. Questions about the project may be directed to the Public Outreach Contact - Chinaka A. Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-641-6739.