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Current and Upcoming Projects

This webpage, last updated in December 2017, summarizes the major projects that are planned at Watergate of Alexandria for the months ahead.  The photo at left, taken in late November 2017, shows the Red Maple tree in all its late-fall glory.  Click on any photo on this page to enlarge.


Service Providers

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




First Street Walkway Project

The largest project that we are currently working on involves the First Street walkway that links the construction site at the former Giant/ABC site on North Pitt Street to the west of Watergate, and Montgomery Park on North Royal Street to our east.  Over the years, portions of the brick walkway, some of the adjacent brick retaining walls, and nearby garage steps have shifted and become misaligned (see photo at left).  This is similar to the problem that we addressed in 2016 with the fishpond walkway on the northern end of our property.

This First Street walkway project includes the following work:

  • Stabilization and reinforcement of the ground under the walkway.
  • Rebuilding the affected brick patio retaining walls, garage stairways and planter boxes.
  • Relaying the brick pavers.
  • Installing updated water-proofing and drainage systems

Desman Engineering, our long-serving structural engineering consultant, is currently preparing the detailed engineering specifications and a contractor bid package to be sent to interested contractors.  Desman completed these preliminary tasks on January 10, 2018, and an on-site pre-bid meeting for interested vendors was held on February 7, 2018.

The review of contractor bids will likely take us into late February or early March, vendor contracting and government permitting will take a month or so (we waited several months for permits on the Koi Pond Walkway project), and we hope to begin construction work in the spring or summer of 2018.  Once started, the project will probably continue for a couple of months.  While work is underway, portions of the First Street walkway may be temporarily blocked-off to pedestrian traffic, as will the two adjacent stairwells, but only one at a time.




Fishpond Archway

We have retained Connors Construction to rebuild the masonry archway located nearest the koi pond (see photo at left).  This is the same work that we did for the opposing North Royal Street archway in 2016.

This project includes the following tasks:

  • Exposing and clearing-out the interior structure of the archway.
  • Reinforcing and sealing the firewalls within the archway.
  • Installing new cold-weather insulation.
  • Restoring the exterior of the archway to its original condition.

This project started on January 18, 2018 and ended a week later on January 25th.  This was one of the quickest-completed major projects in recent memory.  And drama free.



Tree Pruning and Removal

We had stunningly temperate and enjoyable weather for most of 2017.  This was good for both our souls and our plantings.  So many of our trees, in particular, went through major growth spurts this past summer and fall, and the Grounds Committee has proposed the following projects, to be undertaken as soon as possible:

  • Major pruning of the 12 largest crape myrtle trees on our property (this is the number 1 homeowner request).
  • Removal of an overgrown and unhealthy arborvitae next to the pedestrian gate between 402 and 404 Second Street.
  • Removal of a foster holly between 412 and 414 Second Street.
  • Removal of a structurally invasive crape myrtle between 412 Second Street and 1053 North Pitt Street.
  • Removal of an overgrown and structurally invasive holly between 1026 and 1040 North Royal Street and its raised circular brick planter, and installation of new brick pavers.
  • Removal of an overgrown and structurally invasive holly between 1058 and 1070 North Royal Street and its raised circular brick planter, and installation of new brick pavers (see photo at left).

Work on the first four items was completed on December 14, 2017.  We hope to complete the rest of the work in the Spring of 2018, when it is warm enough for the brick work to be accomplished.  We have also added more pruning and pest spraying visits by Care of Trees in 2018.




Retaining Wall Near North Royal Street Garage Ramp

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.



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