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Six More Weeks of Blasting at Lot 31

Excavation continues at the project site where a public parking garage and two residential developments are under construction.

Construction blasts at Lot 31 are expected to last six more weeks, according to a project update from the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.

The blasts began on Dec. 5 after crews conducting excavation encountered a level of dense, hard rock. The blasting was halted temporarily Dec. 18 and resumed again in early February.

The construction project has taken out a popular Bethesda Row surface parking lot with about 270 spaces. An underground parking garage with 940 public spaces and two mixed-use residential buildings—one five stories, the other nine stories—are planned for the site, located at the intersection of Bethesda and Woodmont avenues on busy Bethesda Row and across the street from Bethesda's iconic Barnes and Noble.

Some residents taken aback by the work mistook the blasts for an earthquake, a car hitting a building, and even a meteor strike, The Washington Post reported.

Excavation, sheeting and shoring and excavation support continues to comprise most of the construction work at the site, according to the Regional Services Center. Excavation was about 80 percent complete in early February, The Gazette reported.

Blasting to remove rock is currently focused in the northeast corne of the site, according to the RSC, and the blaster will move to other areas of the site beginning Friday.

Typically, there are two blasts per day, according to the RSC. The blasts occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., with the majority between 10 a.m and 2 p.m. 

Have you been affected by the construction work at Lot 31? Tell us in the comments.

Malcom J February 15, 2013 at 11:54 AM
The warning system- and policy requirements - for these blasts has been completely inadequate. I live in a building on Bradley boulevard and had no warning when my apartment shook violently last December. And on several times since then. I was told that "adjacent properties" were warned. The rules need to be revised for more densely-populated urban areas.
Eric S. February 15, 2013 at 05:29 PM
I blame the groundhog.

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