Northeast Boundary Tunnel Project: Meet Trikia Wallace
July 30, 2020
If you look closely, you will find gems in the most unlikely of places.
Trikia Wallace, or Kia as she is known by her family and coworkers, is one of those gems. A traffic control supervisor working on the Northeast Boundary Tunnel (NEBT) Project, Wallace takes the same level of dedication and care she puts into her job into giving back to her DC community. And she does it in a huge way.
Every year Wallace, 51, coordinates – virtually by herself – an event she began nearly nine years ago called the Back to School Jam. It is an event that provides a day of fun, food and entertainment for hundreds of Washington, DC public school students. They come from all over the city to take part in what is really a celebration, which not only feeds the kids, but it also provides essential school items like backpacks, notebooks, rulers – even back to school hair styling – for a population of District residents who might not otherwise be able to afford them. They even offer health screenings, including HIV, for residents. It is an opportunity for Wallace, a native Washingtonian, to give back to a city that has given her so much during her lifetime. Although Coronavirus restrictions have this event on hiatus this year, Wallace looks forward to keeping the momentum going.
I have kids myself,” said Wallace referring to her 18-year-old daughter and eight-year-old Godson. “If I can do something to help other kids, I know I’m helping my own. And that is very rewarding to know you’ve made a difference in someone’s life.”
Wallace’s coworkers have contributed to the Back to School Jam, but, for the most part, she is the funding source. So, she knows a little something about coordination. This skill serves her well as the NEBT’s Maintenance of Traffic (MOT in construction lingo) Supervisor. Wallace makes sure proper signage is in place in advance of construction work that would impact vehicular or pedestrian traffic around all the NEBT’s now 11 active construction sites. This is a large undertaking; in that she must understand how the construction will influence traffic flow and anticipate when the work will begin so neighbors and commuters will be informed about traffic and parking impacts.
Kia Wallace characterizes the quality of hires through the “DC Water Works” program, which encourages the hiring of District residents for the NEBT and all DC Water projects. Wallace works for Lane Construction, the main construction contractor for the NEBT. She has been in her current position for two years, but she has worked in construction in and around the District for more than 12 years. She said she “loves the fact that DC Water empowers city residents with opportunities” that will make them feel a connection to the project that is making the city better.
“My kids and I hang out at Anacostia Park,” said Wallace. “You can really tell the difference in that there is much less trash in the river than there used to be.”
Local residents can also learn more about current openings through DC Water Works by calling 202-787-2304. Visit the NEBT webpage www.dcwater.com/nebt for more information about the project.
Northeast Boundary Tunnel Project
The Northeast Boundary Tunnel is the largest component of the Clean Rivers Project. It begins south of RFK Stadium and will extend north to Rhode Island Avenue NE and west to 6th Street NW. When complete, the approximately five-mile long tunnel will significantly reduce chronic flooding in areas it serves and virtually eliminate combined sewer overflow to the Anacostia River.
If you would like to receive future notices regarding this project electronically please send an email to the NEBT Outreach Team at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request.