The District Department of Transportation will be hitting a big milestone in the $300 million, four-year project to build three new 11th Street Bridge
spans, as the new inbound "freeway" span will be opening by Monday morning, Dec. 19.
Mayor Gray will be participating in a ribbon cutting ceremony on the new span Friday morning, then there will be a weekend's worth of lane closures on I-295 and associated roads as the switch takes place, but DDOT expects to have traffic running on this new span by Monday's morning rush hour.
The new outbound freeway span is "tentatively" scheduled to open next week (Merry Christmas, commuters!).
There are still numerous flyovers and ramps that will need to be completed in order to add the highly anticipated new movements between the bridges and the Southeast Freeway and I-295, but that work can't be completed until traffic is moved to these two new spans.
The separate "11th Street Local Bridge" that will connect downtown Anacostia with 11th Street by the Navy Yard (and will include pedestrian/bicycling pathways) will open probably next summer. The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
And here's the information on this weekend's road closures and detours in advance of the lane switches, which hopefully will also be posted on DDOT's web site
· A single lane will be closed on northbound I-295 between Howard Road, SE and 11th Street from 12 am to 10 pm on Saturday, December 17.
· All I-295 northbound lanes between Howard Road, SE and 11th Street, SE will be closed at 10 pm on Saturday, December 17 through 9 am the following morning.
· The ramps from northbound I-295 (Exit 4) and 13th Street, SE to the existing 11th Street inbound bridge (Exit 4) will be closed from 9 am to 5 pm on Sunday, December 18.
· The ramp from the existing 11th Street inbound bridge to the westbound Southeast/Southwest Freeway will be closed at 10 pm on Saturday, December 17 through 5 pm the following day.
· Starting at 9:00 am on Sunday, December 18 one northbound lane on I-295 will be reopened to traffic and starting at 11 am a second northbound lane will also be reopened to traffic.
During the lane and ramp closures, signed detours will be posted.
· During the closure of the northbound lanes of I-295, motorists traveling on northbound I-295 will be detoured via the ramp from northbound I-295 (Exit 4) to the existing 11th Street inbound bridge and M Street, SE to access the eastbound Southeast/Southwest Freeway using the 9th Street, SE entrance ramp. From eastbound Southeast/Southwest Freeway, motorists will access northbound DC 295 via eastbound Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.
· During the closure of the ramps from northbound I-295 and 13th Street, SE to the existing 11th Street inbound bridge (Exit 4), motorists will be detoured onto South Capitol Street to access the westbound Southeast/Southwest Freeway, Interstate 395, and destinations located via M Street, SE.
At 11:38 am on Sunday, Dec. 18
, the inbound span opened. Here's coverage from NBC4
, and DDOT's own blog
. And in all of this I should have mentioned that this opening included the new ramp down to M Street, bypassing the old 12th Street ramp/approach to M. There's now a new light at M for the two lanes of freeway-exiting traffic to turn left.