Walk along any block in D.C.’s downtown core and you’re bound to see lots of plywood covering up storefronts. Some of it has been there for months now, the result of damages suffered during demonstrations over the summer.
But a lot of the plywood went up as a precaution ahead of Election Day, and D.C. leaders are hoping to see all of that go as soon as possible.
“Some of the boardings have already started to come down, and I think will be coming down over the next week or so,” said Leona Agouridis, the executive director of the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District. “It took a little while to get the boards up — this is usually done by third-party contractors — and so it’ll take a little while to get them down.”
It’s starting to happen already. On Monday morning, a bank at the corner of 21st and L streets was flanked by wooden beams that served as the frame for a couple piles of plywood that leaned against some light poles along the sidewalk. Several other nearby windows were still boarded up.
This weekend, D.C. leaders said they’ll be working with different business improvement districts in the city to help get all the wood out of here.
John Falcicchio, deputy mayor for planning and economic development, said D.C.’s public works department will work to provide roll-off dumpsters for all the plywood.
Businesses can also drop them off at the D.C. Department of Public Works’ sorting facility, located at 3200 Benning Road Northeast.
“I think the buildings will start to bring the boards down as the week goes on,” Agouridis said.
Businesses were meticulous in installing the boards, Agouridis said, so the buildings wouldn’t be damaged.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a Monday news conference that she “never suggested that businesses should put up the boards” as a security measure.
“And while we can never ensure that there’s no one person or small group of people who want to cause havoc in the city, we believe that we put out the necessary resources to keep D.C. safe,” she said.
“And we will be able to monitor very closely if we think we have a specific problem. … So that’s why I think they should come down,” Bowser said.
WTOP’s Will Vitka contributed to this report.