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Current Projects

This webpage summarizes the major projects that are planned, underway or recently completed at Watergate.  Click or tap on any photo on this page to enlarge.  Last updated January 2017

Service Providers

A current list of the association's business partners can be found on the Service Providers page of this website.





Gutters and Downspouts (Completed)

In mid-to-late summer 2016, Katchmark replaced virtually all the gutters and downspouts, and repaired or replaced the damaged fascia, at Watergate for the first time since our community was originally built nearly 40 years ago.  Leaf guards were also installed on gutters along the raised berm area at the southernmost edge of the property.  The project started on July 29, 2016 and took approximately 6 weeks for it to be completed. Work began in the southern half of the community and moved toward the northern half.  Katchmark is also our primary roofing company.



Exterior Painting (Completed)

Throughout the summer and fall of 2016, Painting By Rick & Company began a nearly three-month project to patch, repair, clean, prime and re-paint all the non-brick and non-concrete above-ground exterior elements of our community, including the stucco walls, archway ceilings and entryways, decorative columns and other architectural features, doors and door frames, door and directional signs, window trims and frames, deck posts and railings, patio fences and gates, wrought iron fences and gates, wrought iron lightposts and light fixtures, fascias and eaves, and decorative balusters and railings on widow walks. 

The painting started on July 25, 2016 in the southern half of the property (known as Phase 2 of Watergate) and progressed around August 29, 2016 to the northern half of the property (known as Phase 1 of Watergate).  Work iwas completed in late October 2016.  Rick Elrod and his team are very familiar with our property as they did all the painting on our property the last time we undertook it.


Window & Door Shutters (Completed)

In the summer of 2016, Oscar Giron conducted a comprehensive survey of the condition of Watergate's window and door shutters.  He identified 51pairs of shutters that were damaged beyond repair and needed to be replaced.

We are currently soliciting and negotiating cost proposals for the manufacture, priming, painting and installation of these replacement shutters.  This project was undertaken and completed in 2017.




Retaining Wall Near the Fish Pond (Completed)

For several year now, it has become apparent that the series of brick retaining walls that run continuously along the brick walkway behind the back patios of 1036 through 1060 North Royal Street and 402 Second Street (between the red maple tree walkway to the south and the Second Street sidewalk to the north), and the two brick walls that flank the access stairs and ramp located nearest the fish pond (see photo to left), were starting to topple over and collapse.

We brought in Watergate's long-serving engineering consultant, Desman Engineering, to assess the problem, develop an appropriate and affordable solution, draft the necessary technical plans and specifications, prepare and circulate a request for proposals, solicit and review the submitted contractor bids, and manage the entire demolition and reconstruction project on a turn-key basis.  Based on its written proposal and Deman's recommendation, the board selected Consolidated Waterproofing Contractors for this project.  Onsite demolition began on September 21, 2016 and was complated by December 22, 2016.

CWC worked under the direct supervision of Desman, and rebuilt the brick façades of the patio and planter retaining walls along the affected walkway starting at Second Street, moving south past the fish pond and two of the stairway entrances to the North Royal Street garage, along the plant-lined allée, and ending at the Red Maple Tree walkway.  The brick pavers closest to the base of the existing retaining wall were also temporarily removed and later replaced.

The quality of our existing bricks and pavers is very high and their condition, as assessed by both Desman and CWC, is excellent.  Accordingly, CWC recycled and reused as much of the original buidling materials as they could, and intersperse new bricks and pavers to replace any originals that were either damaged or too worn for re-use.

In the Spring, the Grounds Committee and Oscar Giron will begin rehabilitating and replanting the planter beds along the entire work area.  Fortunately, the construction was performed in a manner that allowed us to save a number of larger trees and plants. We will also be addressing several drainage and grading issues that have come to light after the completion of this project.


Retaining Wall Along First Street Walkway (Preparation of RFP)

The board has retained Desman Engineering to conduct a structural engineering assessment of several mis-aligned brick retaining walls, posts, patios, planter beds and steps along the First Street walkway.  The assessment focuses on units 951 and 953 North Pitt Street, the garage stairs behind 955 North Pitt Street, and units 994 and 996 North Royal Street.

The engineering assessment was completed in the summer of 2017.  Through the fall of 2017, Desman will be preparing the engineering specifications and bid solicitation materials.  The board hopes to select a vendor during the winter of 2017/208, and start the repair work sometime in 2018.



Retaining Wall Near North Royal Street Garage Ramp (Evaluation Completed)

The board asked Desman Engineering to examine a brick retaining wall that separates the descending vehicular access ramp to the North Royal Street garage and the ground-level east-west brick sidewalk alongside the homes at 1016 through 1020 North Royal Street (see photo to left).  The wall appears to be in the very early stages of collapsing, as there are readily visible signs of vertical camber or tilt away from the sidewalk and towards the garage ramp (see photo to the left).  In other words, the wall is no longer completely straight down and plumb.

At its June 2016 meeting, the board approved a proposal from Desman to provide engineering and technical services, advice, and recommendations regarding this retaining wall.  The proposal includes on-site investigatory work that was performed by Consolidated Waterproofing Contractors and Desman on November 22, 2016.  They discovered that the wall was built atop two adjacent but unconnected sub-surface concrete foundations, the separate shifting of which has contributed in large part to the canting of the brick wall above. 

The board reviewed Desman’s formal engineering report, with recommended actions and cost estimates, at its February 2017 meeting.  Based on the available information, the board decided to continue monitoring the situation and defer remediation work until it becomes necessary.



North Royal Street Garage Wastewater Pipes (Not Scheduled)

Update:  This project was started in spring 2017, but delayed due to vendor problems.  We re-bid the project, and hope to complete the work in late fall 2017.

In the Spring of 2016, the board solicited and evaluated detailed proposals from several vendors to service the 4-inch wastewater pipes running along the ceiling of the North Royal Street (Phase 1) garage.  With one exception, the bidders recommended that we first install additional service access points (or clean outs) in the wastewater pipes, and then snake (or clean out) the wastewater lines.  One company recommended that we instead powerflush the lines.

The board accepted a proposal submitted by Triple State Plumbing to install over 40 clean-out/service access points in and then snake out the wastewater pipes located in the North Royal Street garage.  This work has been tentatively scheduled to take place the week of March 20, 2017..

Cars parked near garage work areas will need to be relocated from the garage while this work is being done.  In addition, homes located above or near the North Royal Street garage will not be able to use their bathroom and kitchen sinks, bathtubs and showers, dishwashers, washing machines, and toilets during work hours, which are likely to be from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, when the project is fully underway.  We will endeavor to provide ample advance notice to all affected residents and garage users once the project has been scheduled.


North Pitt Street Garage Stormwater Pipes (Work Begins October 8, 2017)

Several of the overhead stormwater pipes in the North Pitt Street garage are cracked and need to be replaced.  Earlier in the spring of 2016, the board solicited and received cost estimates from several reliable companies for this repair work, but all the bids were deficient on technical and/or financial grounds.  Accordingly, and in light of all the other projects underway, the board decided to postpone further consideration of this repair work to the new fiscal year.

In the interim, Oscar Giron has patched and sealed a number of the damaged storm water pipes.




Update from the Grounds Committee -- September 8, 2016

Care of Trees was on property today to prune overgrown shrubs around the perimeter of the property along North Royal, Second and North Pitt Streets, with particular attention paid to trimming the Burford hollies that run from the garage entrance on North Royal Street all the way to Second Street so that the painters can paint the wrought iron fences.  Care of Trees will be back later in the fall to prepare the planter beds for winter.

Days earlier, Oscar Giron also trimmed back several of the shrubs in the Northern Mews, especially those fronting the four stucco units, to give the painters access to the walls for painting.

Joanne Agresta
Priscilla Aycock

Update from the Grounds Committee -- June 28, 2016

In addition to general maintenance – watering, weeding, trimming, planting – below is a list of some of the projects the Grounds Committee has spent the last few months on and will continue to do so until late fall/early winter.

Retaining Wall Project

Reconstruction of the brick retaining wall along the fishpond and allee area of Phase 1 will require removal of most of the landscaping. The Committee has transplanted some of the smaller hydrangeas to the cul-de-sac and will attempt to save what we can of the rest but there really isn’t a logical place for cherry laurels, cherry trees, roses, hakone grass, ivy, and oak leaf hydrangeas to go. We will be starting over in the fall or whenever the project is finished.

Another Landscaping Renovation

At the March 7 Meeting the Board requested that the Committee renovate the bed near unit 1019 in the courtyard so that it mirrors the opposite corner near unit 1020, which was replanted in order to make room for a larger HVAC. The Care of Trees removed several huge, overgrown hollies, Oscar removed everything else (with some help from the committee), and leveled the plant bed. Skip Laurels have been planted and we will finish the border with Liriope this week.

New Tree/Dead Tree(s)

A new tree, Styrax Japonica, Snowbell, was planted in front of Unit 404, replacing a dogwood that fell on hard times several years ago. And several dead trees were removed from the berm, one by our Care of Trees crew and several by the owner of the office building that shares upkeep of the berm with Watergate. For the first time in a long time this Pitt to Royal stretch doesn’t look so shabby.

Plant Health Care

Starting last spring, our health care technician has made several trips to spray for pests and fungus, mostly in the Royal Street mews and near the fishpond. These are normal occurrences in our hot and humid climate, fortunately the dogwoods and crape myrtles have responded well. We expect another “check to see how they are doing” visit in a few days.

Joanne Agresta
Priscilla Aycock

Routine Pruning (Ongoing)

As long-time residents of Watergate may know, we schedule regular seasonal pruning of our larger trees and shrubs.  When our team from Care of Trees are on property, they also perform a thorough assessment of all our major plantings, and provide important advice regarding their care and upkeep.  If you are aware of anything that should be discussed with Care of Trees or have any other concerns about our landscaping, please contact the Grounds Committee (click here to send them an email).



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