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Plenty of road work coming to DC's eastern side

At one point or another during the next several years, drivers on the eastern side of the District will navigate these: Five projects along the New York Avenue corridor, reconstruction of the Eastern Avenue bridge over Kenilworth Avenue, the rehabilitation of Pennsylvania Avenue between 27th Street and Southern Avenue and construction of a new 11th Street Bridge.

Blame the stim. Many of these projects are on track because the District went after the available federal money for projects considered "shovel ready." The D.C. government did a good job collecting the economic-recovery money, so now it has to spend it.

I'll be talking a lot more about the specific projects in upcoming postings on Get There and in my Dr. Gridlock columns in The Post, but I'd like to make two points here. One is that the broad impact of these projects will require transportation managers in DC, Maryland and Virginia to coordinate their traffic management efforts to a degree we may not have seen before. They can't be diverting drivers toward each others' projects. And they'll need to devote more resources toward clearing incidents and keeping travelers informed of their options.

Drivers, too, can take control of their destiny, as WTOP's Bob Marbourg was pointing out to me today. As you study the details of the upcoming projects and figure out how much they'll affect your travels, plan what Marbourg calls a "weekend reconnaissance."

Grab a map and go for a Sunday drive. While avoiding the tensions of a weekday commute, figure out how you would handle lane closings and detours along your main route. See what the nearest alternative route would be like. How many lanes does it have? Is there a reversible lane for rush hours? Are there rush hour parking restrictions to open up an additional lane? Is there a nasty left turn somewhere along the route?

One example for you New York Avenue drivers: Rhode Island Avenue is the least congested of the main commuter routes near New York Avenue, and during the peak of construction next spring on the New York Avenue bridge over the railroad tracks and at the 9th Street Bridge, it might be a good alternative for many drivers.

The District has launched a Web site on the New York Avenue projects that explains their impact and suggests some travel alternatives: www.fixingnewyorkave.com.

By Robert Thomson  |  November 4, 2009; 1:47 PM ET
Categories:  Congestion , Construction , Driving  | Tags: District Department of Transportation, Dr. Gridlock, New York Avenue  
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Comments

When are they going to repave 4th Street NE and Franklin from 4th to N Cap? I mean, you would think if for anything else the ambulances that go to Washington Hosp. Center.

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | November 5, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

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