WABA has an update on the Monroe Street Bridge rehab and on why the trail isn't being routed under it, as was originally proposed in 2004.
The DDOT engineering team assigned to the bridge rehabilitation says it’s because of the lack of right of way on the south side of the bridge. When design option A1 was presented in 2004, the lot at the corner of 8th Street and Monroe Street NE on the south side of the bridge was a “wooded lot.” Since then, it has been developed, and the trail right of way was not secured beforehand. The engineering lead said that if the right of way had been secured before that building was constructed, then the tunnel beneath the Monroe Street Bridge would have been a possible option, but with the current set up, the trail alignment beneath the bridge is not going to happen because there is not enough space between the buildings and tracks.
As long as the building was within their property line, DDOT should have asked for the easement before the construction happened. That didn’t happen. Now the buildings are built and the alignment is much more difficult.
There were other trail easement issues along the right of way. I'm not sure it is "DDOT's" fault as securing easements isn't really their bag, but then they do probably have to request it. I'm not sure how the sausage is made, actually. I was told that some of the other easement issues occurred because the lawyers who were needed to buy the old Eckington Rail Yard north of New York Avenue, were busy acquiring land for the baseball stadium. Once they were available it was too late, PEPCO and others had already bought it. That's why the trail has the Z-curve at R Street and why it's jammed to one side or the other instead of rolling through a park as was imagined in WABA's Concept Plan.
Anyway, even if they had the easement, there is no plan to rebuild the abutment and no room to go between the abutment and the tracks, otherwise the lack of an easement would possibly be moot.
Still, WABA is hoping for a protected intersection at 8th and Monroe. That would be a great consolation prize.