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DC alerting drivers about NY Avenue work

The District Department of Transportation has launched a radio advertising campaign to warn drivers about upcoming work along New York Avenue between the Maryland line and Florida Avenue NE. Two projects already are underway, but three others will be starting soon.

Two of those are particularly noteworthy: reconstruction of the New York Avenue Bridge over the railroad tracks and the redesign of the New York Avenue/Florida Avenue intersection.

DDOT says it expects the effects on traffic will reach a peak next spring and continue into summer 2011. So just as we've seen with so many other high-impact projects in this decade, planners are urging drivers to consider alternative routes or take transit, unless they're retiring very soon.

I'm sure we'll talk a lot more about this one, and I'll plan on doing a Commuter page soon to give you more details, but here are a couple of attention-getting highlights.

DDOT expects the biggest impact on drivers will occur in the half-mile stretch where New York Avenue will shrink from six to four lanes at the bridge over the CSX tracks. Delays will likely add 15 to 30 minutes to trips through that zone.

More generally, DDOT says, drivers are likely to encounter these conditions along the avenue:
-- Lanes will split and traffic will be routed around barriers.
-- Approach and exit ramps for the 9th Street Bridge sometimes will be closed during the construction.
-- Closed lanes will create shorter distances to change lanes or to turn onto side streets.

These are some of the alternative driving routes suggested by DDOT:
-- Montana Avenue to Rhode Island Avenue to Lincoln Road to North Capitol Street
-- West Virginia Avenue to Florida Avenue
-- South Dakota Avenue to Rhode Island Avenue to Lincoln Road to North Capitol Street
-- Bladensburg Road to Florida Avenue
-- Kenilworth Avenue to Benning Road, East Capitol Street or Howard Road

The bailout traffic from New York Avenue is likely to crowd those routes, too. But I bet we're also going to be talking about how early commuters would need to reach the New Carrollton, Greenbelt and Largo Metrorail stations to find parking if they want to try the transit alternative.

By Robert Thomson  |  October 20, 2009; 8:03 AM ET
Categories:  Commuting , Congestion , Construction , Driving  | Tags: District Department of Transportation, Dr. Gridlock, New York Avenue  
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