The project that proposed temporarily widening large portions of Georgetown’s sidewalks is getting underway.
Pitched as “deck” sidewalks that allow for proper drainage as well as wheelchair and stroller accessibility, the additions can also be disassembled once their permit expires by the end of this year.
It’s an effort to invite foot traffic back to Georgetown and support area businesses after interest in dining outdoors increased during the coronavirus pandemic.
The neighborhood’s Business Improvement District (BID) said that installation of the 4,000 feet of deck panels will begin in mid-April and is slated for completion by mid-May.
Businesses can either use the sidewalk extension for dining, or they can use the main sidewalk for dining and allow the extended sidewalk to help with decongestion.
Target areas for the new sidewalks — which will boost the surface area from just shy of 10 feet to an average of 15 feet — will run from 34th Street and 29th Street along M Street, and from Q Street and the Canal along Wisconsin Avenue.
So far, prototype’s of the extension’s are found on M Street outside of Clyde’s, Laduree and Thunderburger. But this isn’t just for restaurants — the District is currently debating if retailers would be allowed to display or sell merchandise in the widened area.
Cost for the project runs about $1.3 million, with a grant from D.C. funding $500,000 and the BID covering the difference.
If there’s enough interest in the extensions, the BID said it would look into permitting for 2022 and beyond.