Since January, 2003
 (a random before-and-after moment)
June 29, 2008
September 6, 2015
9th at M, Looking North-Northeast (see more)

There's a lot going on over yonder at 11th Street these days, as the initial 11th Street Bridges project continues toward its expected completion next year while the now-funded Phase 2 work is starting to get underway.
I was able to arrange a tour last week (thank you, bridge folks!), and have put together a photo gallery of the most interesting shots.
However, there's a lot going on and so I'm going to break out some of the information here as well. (But go look at the gallery too!)
New Ramps from/to 11th Street Local Bridge
By the end of the month (or maybe even by the end of the week), two new ramps on the 11th Street Local Bridge will open, providing access to southbound I-295 from the local bridge and to the local bridge from northbound DC-295. There are signalized intersections at both ramps, with turns allowed in each direction. And, once construction is finished to make 11th Street two-way from O Street northward, commuters driving north on 295 will be able to use the new ramp to the local bridge to then arrive directly at the Navy Yard's entrance gate at 11th and N.
Southeast Blvd., and Outbound Freeway Traffic
This week saw the first of the lane closures that within a few months will signal the end of the SE Freeway east of 8th Street. Once all lanes are closed, traffic taking the old two-lane flyover to outbound I-695 will be temporarily routed onto the completed-but-not-opened inbound flyover connecting I-695 and I-395. This will allow for the razing of the old outbound flyover, and construction of a new three-lane flyover in the gap between the old and new ones. The filling of the old sunken freeway will also begin, for the new at-grade Southeast Blvd.
Old Outbound Bridge Demolition
The old outbound 11th Street Bridge is now little more than a bunch of old girders, which are starting to be removed. Soon, all that will be left will be the river piers, though two of those will be used to create viewing platforms that will be accessed via walkways from the new 11th Street Local pedestrian path. (And can be reused if anyone ever decides to pony up the millions needed to create the 11th Street Recreation Bridge.) In the meantime, work continues on the downriver edge of the new local bridge, to get it to its full four-lane-plus-ped-path width.
But there's more than just these items and photos. There's photos of the under-construction ramp that in about three months will take traffic from outbound I-695 to northbound DC-295, plus the big piles of dirt waiting to be used to fill in the eastern part of the Southeast Freeway, and the work on the ramp from 11th Street to westbound I-395, and more. So go look at the entire gallery. (I've also incorporated some of the new photos into my 11th Street Bridges project page, to go with the before-and-afters.) I also wrote in more detail about the Phase 2 projects a few months back.
Comments (6)
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KLB says: (9/19/12 9:35 AM)
From the "entire gallery" page, "However, once the sunken freeway lanes are closed, traffic currently running to outbound I-695 on the ramp seen at far left will be diverted onto this new flyover, which allows for the demolition of the old two-lane outbound flyover and construction of a new three-lane one."

Will the inbound and outbound traffic share the new inbound ramp, or will it just be outbound traffic until the new outbound flyover is completed?

JD says: (9/19/12 9:39 AM)
Dangit, why did you ask the one question I specifically hoped no one would ask, since I forgot to ask myself? :-) My initial guess is that it would just be outbound traffic until the new flyover is finished, but I honestly don't know. I'll see what I can find out, or maybe before long they'll release actual construction documents instead of the concept ones.

bkt says: (9/19/12 9:56 AM)
JD, Do you know what the plans are for the northbound exit onto 295/695 from Howard Road? I take 295 North from Bolling to Rt 50 and the traffic merging from the right side has to merge over 2 lanes very quickly to the left exits for 695 which leads to complete congestion chaos at rush hour. This seems like a fail to me, but maybe there's another phase coming with a 'fix'???

JD says: (9/19/12 10:57 AM)
@bkt, I have to admit that I don't pay as close attention to the design and issues on the east side of the river, so I don't know specifically in terms of the current 11th Street Bridge construction.

Long term, the real solution is probably the huge new *real* interstate interchange at 295/South Capitol Street/Suitland Parkway, to be built with the new Douglass Bridge.

Short term, I do think that they're hoping the new exit about to open to the 11th Street Local Bridge will at least take traffic going to the Navy Yard out of the two left lanes, which I assume would include some of that Howard Road ramp traffic.

Also, there's going to be a ramp from the east side of the 11th Street Bridge to northbound DC-295 (ramp C-2 on the link below) so that maybe some of the local Anacostia traffic wouldn't be trying to get on at Howard Road, but instead there?


Maelstrom says: (9/19/12 11:13 AM)
@KLB - beat me to the question. Personally, I think they could fit everyone on the new flyover without losing capacity, but I don't think they will only do that if they need to tear out the old inbound flyover for the sake of the fill work below. Consider that once you close the old inbound flyover, you have no exits between M street and D street SW on 695/395N. I am somewhat suprised by the announcement that the outbound traffic will be diverted onto the new flyover. It was one of the options I had anticipated, but it's an ugly one because they will have to tear out the shiny new bridge edge that they built between the inbound and outbound freeway bridges and the pile of rocks in between the bridges to divert the traffic. More than the re-purposing of the fill for the off ramp from SE/SW @11th, this is a case where new work will need to be ripped out and re-done later.

terpsichorean says: (9/21/12 9:29 AM)
Hi, I live on upper NE side of the Hill (practically Rosedale). I work in Crystal City, and until Monday I took 17th St and made a left onto the Barney Circle/RFK entrance to get to work every morning. Each day this week I have tried a different route to attempt to cut across the Hill to get to the 3rd St SE entrance, but there seems to be no efficient way to do this (traffic, lights, etc). Does anyone have a recommendation for us NE Hill folks? Should I just start taking 295 to get to 395, and avoid the Hill until the 11th St bridge opens? This has drastically changed my once beautifully short commute. So frustrating...Help!

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