At the March 10, 2014, meeting of the 11th Street Bridge Community Communications Committee, I learned about significant changes to come in 2014. Here’s a summary.
On March 7th, the third lane on I-695 westbound (inbound from Anacostia) was opened, resolving the AM commuter traffic bottleneck. At the same time, outbound traffic was switched to the flyover [Ramp A-2] designed for that purpose. It is hoped that the resolution of the bottleneck will encourage more MD to DC commuters to avoid cutting through Capitol Hill by staying on I-295 and using the 11th Street Freeway Bridge link to I-695. But I am told that commuting habits may be difficult to break.
Demolition of the old inbound flyover has been underway since March 15th and is expected to continue for the next 4-5 months. As the result of this demolition, the exit onto I Street at 10th SE has been permanently closed. Until the new exit is built (see below), inbound traffic on the Freeway Bridge needs to take the exit onto M Street SE to access Capitol Hill neighborhoods. During the initial weekend of the demolition, DDOT was able to keep 11th Street open to traffic. However, for two weekends (March 22-23 and March 29-30) DDOT planned a closure of 11th Street between K and M Streets SE, including the westbound on ramp just below K Street SE. Both north and south traffic was detoured around the closure (see Detour map).
Ramps. Between now and the end of the year, several Freeway Bridge related ramps will open and/or close. (The project designations for these ramps are shown below in [brackets] to help with identification using the 2014 Milestones map posted below:
- New 8th Street outbound on ramp (includes installation of traffic signals for 8th & Virginia Avenue intersection): opening early April [E-2]
- Eastbound exit ramp onto 11th Street [D-4]: open by July 4th
- Westbound 11th Street on ramp [D-3]: temporary closure June 17-August 27
- New westbound exit onto I Street at 9th Street [E-1]: opening by end of 2014
Between 11th Street and Barney Circle. The details are not yet available but DDOT does plan to reopen the portion of the SE/SW Freeway between 11th Street and Barney Circle by the end of 2014. To control the north/south 11th Street traffic and traffic using the on and off ramps [D-4 and D-3] at 11th Street, there will be a signalized double intersection at 11th Street. Note: This reopening, DDOT says, does not affect the Barney Circle & SE Boulevard NEPA study except that the No Build under that study will be to retain this freeway segment.
Between postings here or my Beat26@aol.com mailings, you can follow the 11th Street Bridge Project on DDOT’s AWI website.
BTW, the 2014 Milestones map below shows an extension of 12th Street SE north of M Street. Under the CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel Reconstruction project, plans are to extend the tunnel portal to a point east of 12th Street. This would allow for an at grade connection of 12th Street to a SE/SW Freeway, SE Boulevard, or whatever road DDOT eventual builds between Barney Circle and 11th Street SE. Thus, what is shown on the 2014 Milestones map [S-23] is a long way off.
Will any of the 2014 Bridge work solve any of the current vehicle traffic problems on the Hill? The 11th Street Bridge was supposedly designed to do so. But, all this churning of traffic patterns in 2014 may just complicate matters. Final conclusion of the Bridge project is slated for mid-2015.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? …