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As I wrote a few days back, the portion of the Southeast Freeway between 8th Street SE and Pennsylvania Avenue will be fully closed after the evening rush hour on Thursday, Jan. 31, to both begin work on the new Southeast Blvd. and to demolish the existing outbound flyover ramp and replace it with a new three-lane one.
One thing I didn't mention in that post is that, with these closures Thursday, both the 8th Street SE on-ramp to the outbound I-695 freeway bridge and the 9th Street ramp toward Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed.
As the helpful graphic at right from DDOT shows, if you're wanting to get on I-695 outbound, you'll need to use the ramp on the southeast corner of 11th and M.
Since this closure now makes the Southeast Blvd. project truly seem underway, I've been spurred into an unexpected burst of action, and have created a Southeast Blvd. project page, separate from my recently refreshed 11th Street Bridges page. Right now it's mainly drawings, "before photos," and links to my previous posts on the project, but I will keep it updated throughout the expected 18-to-20-month span of construction:
I also threw together a new 11th Street Bridges Progress Photo Gallery with some new shots from this past weekend, when I traipsed around N and O streets and up on the local bridge for the first time in way too long.
And now I think my guilt over some long-neglected photos is assuaged, at least for a little while.
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KLB says: (1/31/13 9:36 AM)
Even since the new outbound ramp to 295 North opened, I've still been surprised at how many cars I see daily using that portion of the Southeast Freeway between 8th Street SE and Pennsylvania Avenue. This is both in the morning and evening rush hours. I feel like it's going to be a shock to some people tomorrow when that road is close.


JD says: (1/31/13 9:42 AM)
Routine can be a tough thing to beat. You hope it's people who were continuing on Pennsylvania, not still doing the dumb left turn to DC-295. But sometimes people have to be beaten over the head.

(I'm surprised how much traffic there still is coming down Virginia Avenue to the 3rd Street ramp, though the new 11th Street ramp is pretty hidden.)



dcgent says: (1/31/13 9:56 AM)
I'm still confused on the local exit options coming east from Virginia. Is the 6th/8th st exit, going through Barracks Row, the only option now for someone getting to Hill East or has an 11th St exit opened that will let me go north toward Fragers. I like the new 11th St entrance from our house at 15th & A, but we miss the secret RFK parking lot exit (that's what i assumed people were still on pass 8th St fro)


JD says: (1/31/13 10:04 AM)
Yes, right now, you'll have to get off at 6th, until Southeast Blvd. is finished (they're saying 18-20 months). I don't know anything about how the construction will proceed, but I wonder if it could happen that the approach from the west to 11th Street could be finished and opened first, since it seems to be an smaller amount of, um, fillage, compared to building up the area to the east of 11th. But again, I don't know.


stricevics says: (1/31/13 11:32 AM)
@dcgent You can actually continue on 695 east, cross the river, merge on DC 295 North, and immediately take the Pennsylvania Ave West exit. That puts you at Barney circle, right where "super-secret" RFK exit used to. :-)


JD says: (1/31/13 11:39 AM)
@stricevics Oooh, great tip! Even if it takes roughly the same amount of time, the sensation of being in (mostly) continual motion rather than the starting and stopping of getting across the Hill on local roads would seem to be a benefit.


KLB says: (2/1/13 8:09 AM)
Transition wasn't too bad this morning, though there weren't a ton of cars on the road. Some brake lights on 695 East as some cars were in the far right lane and have to move over to the 3 left lanes to the new bridge. Bridge was good, though when it got down to the 295 South/North split there seemed to be a lot of people diving over to the right at the last minute to go 295 North. (I guess that's the beginning of the "beating over the head" process.) As a 295 South person, I probably just need to stay in the far left lane. Additionally, there was a back-up on the Howard Avenue exit on 295 South. Not sure if something else was going on there, or if that many people missed the 295 North exit they were going to turn around at Howard Ave. I guess I'll get a better idea next week.


kthrilla says: (2/1/13 11:28 AM)
Has DDOT changed the signs from the 395 approach to 695 or is it still signed "To 295 South" and if so does DDOT plan to change them?


JD says: (2/1/13 11:55 AM)
They haven't been changed yet. There needs to be a huge renovation of all signage on pretty much the entire eastbound SW/SE Freeway, so perhaps they're planning to do all of it at once.

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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / WALTER T JONES
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BAKER DCLLC / CHRISTINE LONG
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