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14th Street Bridge Configuration Continues

When we first told you about the project to rehab the 14th Street Bridges back in May, I said the right lane on the northbound bridge would be blocked off for three months and then the construction closings would move out into the other lanes.

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Turns out the construction schedule changed, so the pattern that drivers encountered all summer long is likely to remain in place for the rest of this year. This probably is good news for drivers, as long as it doesn't lengthen the overall time it will take to complete the repair project.

Shutting the right lane and shifting traffic to the left, while maintaining four through lanes, looked to me like the best of all the configurations for traffic flow. Blocking the middle lanes and moving drivers to the left and right could be more problematic, when the project eventually gets around to those phases.

Phase 1 has the most amount of work, John Lisle, a spokesman for the District Department of Transportation, pointed out to me. It includes the rehab of the operator's tower and the staging area for painting the bridge structure. (A lot of that work takes place out of sight of drivers.)

The other much shorter phases, involving the middle lanes, require work on the bridge deck only. The work on the northbound span began in May and is scheduled to take about a year.

By Robert Thomson  |  September 15, 2009; 8:54 AM ET
Categories:  14th street bridge , Commuting , Congestion , Construction , Driving  | Tags: 14th street bridge, District Department of Transportation, Dr. Gridlock  
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What exactly is involved in the rehab of the operator's tower? Given that the draw span will never open again (ditto for the one on Memorial Bridge) due to the other two spans of the 14th Street Bridge not being drawbridges, this seems like it might be a frivolous expenditure unless it's just general maintenance work.

Posted by: 1995hoo | September 15, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Never mind, I found it on the DCDOT's site via a Google search. General maintenance, but also installation of a light show.,a,1416,q,646887,ddotNav_GID,1778,ddotNav,|34716|.asp

Posted by: 1995hoo | September 15, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I asked the very same question when the project was announced. Any rehab is better than the plywood they have up there. It's on one of the main gateways into the nation's capital...some welcome for tourists...a boarded up building before you even get to the shoreline. That being said, as a DC taxpayer, I hope the rehab isn't too fancy.

Posted by: thetan | September 15, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

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