DC to Rebuild 11th Street Bridges over Anacostia
In Virginia, drivers can see new lanes coming on the Beltway. In Maryland, they see signs of the Intercounty Connector. On the banks of the Anacostia River this morning, Mayor Adrian Fenty announced that the District is beginning a massive road project of its own: the reconstruction of the 11th Street Bridges, one of the region's major commuter arteries.
Kathleen Penney, the District's chief engineer, said the megaproject has something for everyone. It will create a seamless link for highway commuters, the type of link abandoned when the original Interstate plan for Washington was abandoned decades ago. And local travelers, including bikers and walkers, will have their own span to connect neighborhoods on both sides of the Anacostia River.
Work in the river is scheduled to begin in mid-August, so this isn't a construction project that drivers are going to encounter right away. In fact, much of the detailed plans for the three-span structure have yet to be drawn in this design-build program. When it does reach the level of span construction, there will be no interruption in access to the bridge, Penny said.
Think Wilson Bridge on this: Build a new span next to an existing span, open that to traffic and start demolishing an old span. The $300 million project is scheduled to be done in 2013.
The two 11th Street Bridges in southeastern Washington are a vital link and an enormous frustration for travelers. Drivers heading southbound on the Anacostia Freeway don't have a direct link to the bridges, which connect with the Southeast-Southwest Freeway. A direct link would ease travel to downtown Washington, Georgetown and Northern Virginia. Now, those southbound drivers get off the Anacostia Freeway and make elaborate U-turns through neighborhood streets to reach the Southeast-Southwest Freeway.
The new bridges will connect the two freeways. They also will connect local traffic to the Navy Yard, the Marine Corps Barracks, Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, Anacostia Park, and Historic Anacostia.
The contractor team selected for the project is Skanska/Facchina. While the District has carried out some major roadwork projects in recent years, such as the rehabilitation of the Douglass Bridge over the Anacostia, this will be the largest in at least a generation.
DDOT provides this cross section view of the new bridge, looking west toward downtown Washington.
April 24, 2009; 10:41 AM ET
Categories: Construction , Driving
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