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16th St blocked in NW

Mark Berman

Let us know what you see as a result of the road closures. Post in the comments below letting your fellow commuters know what's going on. And e-mail us pictures at


Now traffic on southbound 16th Street is really picking up. However, there don't appear to be any backups further north on 16th Street. From looking at the traffic cameras, it appears the southbound traffic is moving rather smoothly through the trouble spot. There will still be some delays.

8:30 A.M. UPDATE:

Traffic is still moving on the two southbound 16th Street lanes, albeit slowly. By the time the southbound traffic on 16th Street gets to Columbia Road, it's moving more fluidly.

8:10 A.M. UPDATE:

Traffic is still being let through on southbound 16th Street. It's still slow, but the backups don't look horrendous.

7:35 A.M. UPDATE:

Some lanes have reopened on 16th Street. Southbound traffic is allowed to move in two lanes beginning at Lamont Street and ending after Irving Street. (But note that the two lanes are the northbound lanes.)

Officers are on the scene helping guide traffic, which appears to be moving, albeit slowly.

7:30 A.M. UPDATE:

The Post's Debbi Wilgoren has more on the fire:

The blaze appears to have begun in a common area on the 5th floor of the apartment building, in the 3100 block of 16th Street NW in Columbia Heights, D.C. fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said.

About 125 residents were temporarily displaced, and given shelter in a nearby recreation center. Firefighters escorted dozens of people out of the building after being summoned at 3:45 a.m., Piringer said. Some were carried through smoke-filled hallways or down ladders from upper floors of the eight-story structure.

A total of eight people, including one child, were taken to area hospitals. Piringer said that five or six of the injured were in critical condition, either because of burns, smoke inhalation or injuries sustained while trying to escape. One man who jumped from an upper-story window of the building was in grave condition, Piringer said.


-- Metrobuses are being rerouted, the District Department of Transportation reports.

-- Traffic cameras show a crowded, crowded scene on 16th Street at Irving Street, which is inside the closure zone. Police cars and fire trucks line the streets, with cones and officers blocking drivers from accessing 16th Street.

-- Traffic cameras also show that 16th Street is remarkably empty a few miles to the north and south. So at least at this time, the backups haven't spread too far outside of the impacted area.

6:30 A.M. UPDATE:

-- With 16th Street closed, here are some alternate routes suggested by the District Department of Transportation: Georgia Avenue, 14th Street, 13th Street or 11th Street for traffic heading north or south.

If you need to head east and would normally use Lamont Street as a side road to get to 16th Street, you can try risking the traffic on Monroe Street or head south to Euclid Street.

-- The Post's Debbi Wilgoren reports on Post Now more about the fire:

An early morning fire at an apartment building on 16th Street NW sent several people to the hospital and has shut down a major commuter artery into downtown Washington.

WRC-TV (Channel 4) reported that the blaze appears to have begun in a hallway on the 5th floor of the apartment building, in the 3100 block of 16th Street NW in Columbia Heights. Several people were injured, either in the fire or when trying to escape the building; they were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

About 40 people were evacuated from the building, the television station reported. Police closed 16th Street between Park and Columbia roads. Commuters were advised to seek other routes.


Good morning, commuters! Here's a roundup of things causing you problems during the morning rush hour.

-- Lamont Street is closed from 16th to 17th streets in Northwest. 16th Street is also blocked from Park Road to Harvard Street, right around the corner from the Lamont Street closure.

This stems from an apartment fire reported earlier this morning by TBD/ABC 7 News. The fire occurred at an apartment building on 16th Street between Lamont and Irving streets, across the street from Lincoln Multicultural Middle School.

Commuters should avoid this area if at all possible. Backups on 16th Street and on adjacent neighborhoods are guaranteed, so try to head over to 14th Street (which will also be crowded, but at least it'll be moving) if you need to head north or south.

By Mark Berman  | September 29, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion, Driving  
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