Foxhall community residents expressed frustration Thursday over on-campus construction despite recent university efforts to minimize inconveniences. At the bimonthly resident meeting, Linda Greenan, Georgetown’s assistant vice president for external relations, and John Strong, representative of Clark Construction, addressed concerns and proposed solutions in an attempt to avoid future problems. Clark Construction has been commissioned by the university to build its expected $168.5 million Southwest Quadrangle.

Residents said they have seen university construction trucks take inappropriate shortcuts through narrow residential streets, speed through traffic lights and release debris because of failure to properly secure their loads before leaving the site.

According to an information sheet released by the Office of External Relations, the university has met with Metropolitan Police Department and asked them to inform the school when any of its trucks are stopped for traffic violations. Greenan said Second District Commander Peter Newsham told her no speeding tickets have been issued at this point. One traffic accident has occurred, and the police charged the other driver with the responsibility for the incident.

Additionally, Georgetown and Clark Construction have been working with PEPCO and city agencies since November to make a temporary light at the Canal Road entrance operational so trucks will be able to make left turns across Canal Road. Expected to be ready by early February, the light will discourage construction trucks from traveling through the residential streets.

In a meeting last month, Strong said up to 1,000 trucks per day would run in and out of the site during the first month of excavation. The increase in traffic was not expected to affect traffic in the Georgetown neighborhood, according to Strong.

“I routinely walk my dog in the mornings and without fail, I see construction vehicles come in convoys down the streets making so much noise I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I were trying,” Foxhall resident Ethna Hopper said. “On one occasion, I even received the finger from one of the drivers.”

Greenan suggested residents write down the truck’s license plates and report them to the Southwest Quadrangle Hotline so the university can take appropriate action. Strong also reported that mechanical sweepers will be working eight hours a day to clean the debris from the streets, and employees will manually sweep the sidewalks at either side of Canal Road.

“We know we are in your backyard, and we are doing everything we can to keep everyone happy and accommodate them in this situation,” Strong said.

“The residents brought some of these problems to my attention, and I don’t even think Georgetown is aware of many of the things that are going on,” said Pete Ross, president of the Foxhall Community Citizen’s Association. “We understand that Georgetown and its students need the things they are building and so do we, as their neighbors.”

Begun in late Oct. 2000, the Southwest Quadrangle Project is a building initiative that will feature a new 780-bed residence hall, dining hall and Jesuit residence that will sit atop an underground parking garage. According to the Office of Public Affairs, every effort is being made to complete the residence hall portion of the project by the fall of 2003.

Because of time restraints, Ross said he will organize a special meeting within the next week to further address the issue.

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