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An advisory sent out by DDOT this afternoon (now online) has announced some upcoming changes to the traffic flow on the Southeast Freeway east of 8th Street, SE, as the work begins to get underway for the creation of the new at-grade boulevard that will take traffic to and from the Southeast Freeway and Barney Circle.
Starting Monday, Sept. 17, after morning rush hour, westbound traffic from Barney Circle to the freeway on the current below-grade lanes will be reduced to a single lane. By November, DDOT says, the westbound lanes will be closed completely, and by January the eastbound lanes will be, too.
DDOT also says that, starting Monday, vehicles will no longer be permitted to turn left from southbound 17th Street SE to reach the restricted access lanes under Barney Circle.
Over an 18- to 20-month period, the below-grade area between 8th and 13th streets SE will be raised about 20 feet, and the new boulevard will be created, as seen in this DDOT graphic. Since 11th Street currently crosses the below-grade lanes on a bridge, this means that that "bridge" will become an at-grade roadway as well.
And, speaking of that section of 11th Street, the advisory says that the new entrance to the westbound Southeast Freeway from 11th Street will open by Thanksgiving, allowing people on the eastern side of the Hill to get on the freeway at 11th rather than taking Virginia Avenue all the way to the 3rd Street SE ramp.
This work is all part of the now-funded $90 million second phase of the 11th Street Bridges project, and also will include a new three-lane outbound bridge from the SE/SW Freeway to the 11th Street/I-695 bridge. In addition, 12th Street SE will be extended north from M Street to connect to the new Boulevard, and there will also be a reconfiguring of Barney Circle itself.
In the meantime, work continues on the many Phase 1 connections still being built, including a new off-ramp on the east side of the river from northbound DC-295 to the new 11th Street Local Bridge, which should be opening by the end of this month. Quoting DDOT: "This will allow Navy Yard morning rush-hour commuters coming from Suitland Parkway and northbound I-295 with more of a direct route to their facility as well as local traffic direct access to Historic Anacostia. Traffic will exit on the Anacostia side of the river, travel across the 11th Local Street Bridge and enter the Navy Yard at the O Street Gate."
The much-anticipated ramp to northbound DC-295 from the outbound I-695 bridge is expected to open by Thanksgiving.
You can see more about the coming ramps on the east side of the river on page 31 of this DDOT community communications briefing. There's also my post from a few months ago with more detail on this Phase 2, and of course, my 11th Street Bridges project page.
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Maelstrom says: (9/11/12 5:35 PM)
With the removal of the SE/SW freeway east of 8th and all the cars that had been spending hours on that little stretch of road waiting to turn onto Pennsylvania, I wonder if there will be a marked increase in air quality around here. :P Still, this is an interesting move. I wonder if they will release an updated Phase 2 diagram - the one in their 9/10 presentation is still the Sept 2011 diagram.


Maelstrom says: (9/12/12 9:15 AM)
Apologies for the double post, but I have to call "hand-wavyness" on the "at-grade" boulevard. While the grade on either side of the SE/SW freeway at 11th is the same, the grade past 11th is very different on the north and south sides of the freeway (north is far above, south is far below). One must assume "at-grade" means at-grade with the north side, otherwise there would be no way to fit the double stacked train coming out of the VA-ave tunnel under the planned 12th street overpass. If this is true, then the grade separation east of 12th between the boulevard and the the CSX tracks will become extreme (perhaps 20-30 feet), assuming that they are extending the fill to Barney Circle so that there is no longer an "under the circle" area and the SE/SW boulevard joins at-grade. A isometric view of the planned grade would be much more helpful for those seeking to really understand - which admittedly might be just me.

For those who did a TL;DR, the picture kind-of-shows the fill, but looks like a massive over-simplification.


JD says: (9/12/12 10:37 AM)
Yeah, I think it's just you. :-)


Maelstrom says: (9/12/12 11:18 AM)
Indeed. It's so interesting to know exactly what will transpire and then watch it happen. It makes one feel more connected to such massive changes and their fantastic results. The workers at the bridge project will probably start saying "Oh, HE's walking by here AGAIN".


straightoutof03 says: (9/13/12 12:48 PM)
Based on my read of the Barney Circle/SE project, I expected the entire SE freeway to be brought to grade so that Barney Circle could be made into a true traffic circle. Has any final determination been made on what the final connection will look like or is that part of the environmental assessment that will be started this fall?

link



JD says: (9/13/12 1:19 PM)
I'm pretty sure that's part of the EA coming this fall. Quoting the SE Boulevard press release: "This work is part of the $90M Phase 2 work and will set the stage for the future Barney Circle Project which is an element of the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative (AWI) Master Plan and Vision."


straightoutof03 says: (9/16/12 7:47 PM)
Ok, thanks JD. Wasn't sure if I had missed something.

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