DC Water is rehabilitating one of their sewer lines in the area of the Capital Crescent Trail
DC Water will begin the rehabilitation of the Upper Potomac Interceptor, which is the 48" sanitary sewer main that runs along the Capitol Crescent Trail, as well as cleaning and inspection of the 18" sanitary sewer starting at Canal Road NW.
In order to do this work, the sidewalk on Canal Road NW between Foxhall Road NW and the Key Bridge has been closed for pedestrians. Unfortunately, there isn't any good alternative for pedestrians (and cyclists) travelling this route. A "detour" told sidewalk users to cross the street, but there's no crosswalk or curb ramps there, and the "sidewalk" on the other side of Canal doesn't pick up for several hundred feet. Even then, it quickly narrows down to about 1 foot wide and isn't really a viable option. The only alternative that doesn't involve ignoring the signs is to go all the way up to Reservoir Road, about 5 blocks away.
The whole sidewalk was blocked at one point
And people who ignored the sign (because they couldn't see the large boxes) eventually crossed to the median.
Seems like a case where closing a lane of the road might have been in order. I wonder if DDOT approved this configuration, as it doesn't seem to be in compliance with the rules for "complete closure of a sidewalk."
When closing a sidewalk adjacent to a roadway with more than two travel lanes and where at least one end of the sidewalk closure is more than 150 feet from the nearest signalized crosswalk, the Traffic Control Plan showing the closure of the sidewalk requires the written approval of the District Department of Transportation Pedestrian Program Coordinator or work zone technician assigned to review the traffic control plan
Thanks to Brett for the photos and notifying me of this.