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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Southeast Blvd.
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Ballpark Square
Homewood Suites Hotel
82 I Street
1244 South Capitol
Yards/Parcel A
Virginia Ave. Tunnel
New Douglass Bridge
Southeast Blvd.
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Yards/Icon Theater
1333 M St.
909 Half St.
Akridge/Half St.
Ex-Monument/Half St.
Capper Apts.
250 M St.
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
Congressional Square
1000 South Capitol
SC1100
Completed
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Capitol ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)
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17 Blog Posts Since 2003

ANC 6B commissioners Brian Flahaven and Kirsten Oldenburg have both written about a new batch of design concepts for Southeast Blvd., the planned stretch of road between 11th Street SE and Barney Circle where the sunken far eastern portion of the Southeast Freeway used to run.
Almost a year ago, DDOT presented five designs for the new road that basically, as Flahaven puts it, "replaced the freeway with ... a freeway completely separated from the neighborhood grid." The designs were not well received, and with a push from councilmember Tommy Wells, the Office of Planning stepped in to conduct a "rapid response" study of the neighborhood and the project. And on Aug. 4, these new designs were unveiled at a public meeting.
The boards show both two-lane and four-lane designs for the road, some with direct access to the Anacostia Waterfront and extension of the street grid to the boulevard, some without. The Office of Planning now plans to take community feedback--which apparently was considerably more positive this time around--and move forward with three final concepts that can be presented to the community and to DDOT this fall.
However, it also turns out that DDOT is planning to go ahead and reopen this stretch of road by the end of the year, with the traffic flowing through the new signalized intersection on 11th Street SE where the exit ramp from the Southeast Freeway recently opened. Oldenburg describes what she see as the "major implications" of this move: "First, this freeway segment becomes the No Build option in the study. Second, in my view, it will take the pressure off city officials to get the NEPA study completed in a timely manner, hopefully, incorporating some of the fresh ideas generated by the OP study."
Flahaven is urging residents to contact Mayor Gray and council members with their thoughts on this.
Comments (11)
More posts: Southeast Blvd., Traffic Issues
 

Despite it being four weeks after the fact, JDLand's strict operating requirements still dictate that I document the new exit ramp to 11th Street SE from eastbound I-695.
With thanks to Mr. JDLand for chauffeuring, here's what it's like to venture along this new route, if you haven't done it. (And sure, I could have Vined it, or YouTubed it, or whatever, but what fun would that be?)
The view driving east on the Southeast Freeway (which is now I-695, if you haven't gotten the memo). If you always get off at or before the 6th Street SE exit, this may be an unfamiliar vista to you. The left lanes head toward the outbound 11th Street Bridges, while the right two lanes are the new movement that didn't exist before this whole project got underway. (And is that hidden part of the 11th Street sign maybe an eventual pointer to Southeast Blvd.?)
Behold, the new ramp! You also get to see the two new flyovers at left that have been built as part of this project, which has been underway since 2009. Sneaking up in between is the new on-ramp from 8th Street SE, which opened not long ago. At right is Virginia Avenue Park. Note also the sign pointing toward Anacostia Park--this would take you down 11th to the new local bridge and to the park that-a-way.
And now you come to the intersection at 11th. Turning left takes you north toward Pennsylvania Avenue and Lincoln Park, while turning right takes you to M Street, the Navy Yard, and the local bridge. Note the blocked-off third lane that is striped for left turns as well--I assume there will come a time when the middle lane will be for traffic continuing straight on Southeast Blvd.
Wrapping up our little journey, here's a quick look backward at the road just traveled.
Need a reminder of what this spot used to look like? Remember the phrase "sunken freeway"? Here's a reminder, from street level and from above.

And, because I am a complete nutcase (which we already knew), here is a bunch of photos--strung together as a slideshow--that I took just as the 11th Street Bridges project was getting underway in early 2010, showing what it used to be like to drive across the Anacostia on that route. Apologies for the dirty windshield.
(I know, my archive just gets more and more alarming.)
Comments (2)
More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Southeast Blvd., Traffic Issues
 

On Sunday I ventured out for a long overdue survey of the 11th Street Bridges project. While I know that pictures of ramps and flyovers don't elicit quite the swooning that images of new residential buildings do, the changes at street level and above since this project began in 2009 are as wide-ranging as anything else in the area short of probably Nationals Park. Here's what I saw (click on photos to embiggen):
On 8th Street just north of Virginia Avenue, the new ramp to outbound I-695 (aka the 11th Street freeway bridge) looks pretty far along, as seen at right. This ramp has an "early spring" projected opening, and it doesn't appear to be too in danger of missing that.
The lanes to the left of this new freeway entrance carry the outbound I-695 traffic, while the ramp to the right that used to lead to the old outbound flyover and bridge will now be the new exit from the freeway to an intersection at 11th Street SE north of L. You can also see this new exit ramp from 8th and Virginia (below left), running next the footprint of the now-demolished old entrance ramp. The 11th Street interchange still has a ways to go (below right), but is projected to open in early summer.
I also finally checked out 12th Street, which no longer lives quite so deeply in the shadow of the ramp from the old inbound 11th Street Bridge to M Street. The in-water piers of the old bridge are still standing, as you see at left, but otherwise the ramp's footprint has been cleared. (I kind of miss the staircase, though.)
The 12th and O intersection still needs a lot of love even with the embankment gone, but it's at least somewhat less apocalyptic now (below left)--and it will be seeing more traffic with M Street east of 13th temporarily closed, which has also moved the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail route onto its "real" Water Street path. Meanwhile, one block to the north, there's about to be an actual intersection with N Street (below right), allowing for traffic to access 11th Street in either direction without having to go up to M. (You can see the rest of the new 12th and N angles and how they've changed, too.)
So many of the new 11th Street Bridges movements are finished--the bridges themselves, the new inbound and outbound flyovers, the two-way traffic up 11th Street from the local bridge, and the on- and off-ramps at M Street. This also means that the centipede-like old inbound flyover seen in the two photos below can now be demolished like three others before it (the RFK ramps and the outbound flyover), for one final change to the skyline above 11th Street.
It's pretty hard to pull together these changes into a single page, so if you really want to get a feeling for the progression over the past four-plus years, I'd dive into these parts of my photo archive:
* 12th and M, especially looking north and northwest;
* 11th and N, looking north and south; and
I know, it's exhausting. But for someone enamored of striking before-and-after shots, it's a goldmine.
Comments (11)
More posts: 11th Street Bridges, photos, Southeast Blvd., Traffic Issues
 

* CSX NEAR: The Kojo Nnamdi Show hosted on Monday a roundtable on the Virginia Avenue Tunnel project, with David Garber and others. You can listen to it here.
* CSX FAR: Heads will explode, but I will pass along that CSX's J&L Tunnel Modification project has recently won two engineering awards. What is this tunnel? "The J&L Tunnel was constructed in the 1880s as part of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad to allow trains to run beneath the former J&L Steel Company’s Pittsburgh Works Southside facility." And what was the project? CSX "increased the vertical clearance of a 130-year-old tunnel running through Pittsburgh’s SouthSide Works, a mixed-use residential and commercial development. CSX worked closely with public officials, local businesses and residents to minimize noise and disruption during construction. Upon completion of the tunnel work, CSX restored trees and plantings, and invested in landscaping improvements that left the overlying Tunnel Park a more usable recreational space."
* HAMPTON: The building permit has been approved for the 168-room Hampton Inn just north of Nats Park. (The shoring permit was approved back in December.)
* THE MASTER PLAN: DDOT has officially released its update to the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative Master Plan. This covers projects like the new Douglass Bridge and South Capitol Street makeover, the Barney Circle/Southeast Boulevard redo, the M Street SE/SW transportation study, the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, and all other manner of projects and studies for infrastructure updates and improvements in the area. (Though, at 194 pages, maybe the Executive Summary will be a good place to start.) If I were a good blogger, I'd write a big in-depth entry about this, but, well, we know the answer to that these days....
* POLITICS: The Post grades the recent Southwest/Near Southeast Mayoral Forum, and the Hill Rag looks closely at the Ward 6 council race. Primary day is now less than a month away, on April 1. And note that tonight (March 4) there is a forum with the candiates at 7 pm at Westminster Church at 400 I St. SW, and there will be a Ward 6 candidate forum on education issues on Thursday, March 6, at 6:30 pm at Stuart-Hobson Middle School.
* DE-W'ED: Have you noticed that the Curly Ws are gone from various freeway signs? Here's why.
* PASTOR MILLS: Unfortunately, a sad piece of news to mention is that Karen Mills, pastor of the St. Paul's church at 4th and I SE, passed away on Feb. 21. I only met her a few times, but she was a very welcoming and pleasant presence, and condolences go out to her family, friends, and members of the church.
Anything else catching peoples' eyes?
 

Cleaning out the pending file:
* DIG IT: The shoring and sheeting permit has now been approved for the residential building currently known by the spiffy moniker of Parcel N at the Yards, which means that the parking lot on the southwest corner of 4th and Tingey should start being dug up any time now (beyond just the DC Water digging up that's been going on for a while). This building will have 327 residential units and 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail when completed in either late 2015 or early 2016.
* MMMM, BEER: Bluejacket is going to start offering tours of its brewery, beginning Jan. 31. The offerings range from a free tour with one complimentary taste of a Bluejacket brew to a $22 "tasting tour" to the $75 "Beer and Food Experience Tour." See the web site for more details.
* A REVIEW: Alas, the Post's Tom Sietsema did not have particularly good things to say about the food at the Arsenal (but he did like Bluejacket's brewed offerings).
* ANC VACANCY: The Board of Elections has officially certified the vacancy in 6D02 after Ed Kaminski's resignation, and the wheels are now turning for a special election. Petitions may be picked up at the BOE and circulated until Feb. 3, with challenges to those petitions allowed through Feb. 12. If more than one person successfully makes it through the petition process, an election will be held, most likely at 6D's March business meeting. If only one candidate qualifies, that person automatically fills the vacancy. So, if you're itching to be an ANC commissioner and you live in Capitol Hill Tower, or Velocity, or 909 New Jersey, or across the way in the northeastern sections of Southwest, here's your chance.
* SOUTHEAST BLVD: ANC 6B's Brian Flahaven has posted the commission's draft comments on DDOT's initial plans for the rebuild of Barney Circle and Southeast Blvd. Spoiler: "The committee recommended a number of clarifying changes to the comments including the addition of an opening sentence that conveys the commission’s opposition to the design concepts presented to the community on Nov. 21, 2013. The committee also wanted to make it clear that other stakeholders besides DDOT need to be brought into the project discussion."
 

DDOT is hosting another public meeting tonight (Thursday, Nov. 21) on its project to both turn the old sunken portion of the Southeast Freeway into "Southeast Blvd." and also to remake Barney Circle.
This meeting will "seek community feedback on updated design concepts" that "illustrate ways to transform the Southeast Freeway between 11th Street SE and Barney Circle into a boulevard that integrates with adjacent neighborhoods and provides new connections to the Anacostia River."
The meeting is from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Payne Elementary School, 1445 C St., SE.
This is a study that I'm actually pretty interested in, but I missed the previous meeting and ensuing discussions owing to my Annus Horribilis, so I can't give you a whole lot of details on how it has all gone up to now. The project web site has the basics, including the presentation slides from the first meeting, and ANC commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg posted 6B's first comments on the concepts back in April.
Some of the work on Southeast Blvd. has of course already begun, with tons and tons of dirt already having filled in the former underpass beneath 11th Street, so that traffic coming from the freeway will be able to exit to a signalized intersection at 11th. But little work has been done east of 11th, which is good since it's this study that is to determine exactly what that work should be.
Also, if you can't get enough of public meetings on transportation issues, you can also mark your calendar for an upcoming DDOT meeting regarding updates to the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative Transportation Master Plan. It's on Dec. 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Capitol Skyline Hotel at South Capitol and I streets, SW.
Comments (4)
More posts: meetings, Southeast Blvd., Traffic Issues
 

I was otherwise occupied on Sept. 7, the day of the big celebration on the now-completed 11th Street Local Bridge, but I finally wandered down to that neck of the woods a few days ago with my camera to capture the current state of affairs. And one might say that the landscape at 11th and O has changed a bit thanks to this project:
before
after
But there's more than just the newly wide open spaces at 11th and O. The girders for the new flyover that will carry traffic from the Southeast Freeway to the outbound I-695 bridge are all now in place; couple that with the demolition earlier this year of the old outbound flyover, and you have a very different vista at 11th and L than what's been there up to now:
before
after
(The low height of the flyovers above 11th does make that little stretch a bit claustrophobic, though, especially on foot.)
You also now have two-way traffic on 11th between O and M, so that vehicles coming across the local bridge from Anacostia can drive straight north on 11th.
And the dirt-fill-in work for Southeast Blvd. has progressed enough that the west side of 11th at the freeway no longer feels like an overpass, just the regular road.
Plus there's also work at 8th Street and Virginia Avenue to create a new on-ramp and also fashion the new exit to Southeast Blvd./11th Street.
If you don't feel like clicking on each of these photos, just head to my 11th Street Bridges and Southeast Blvd. pages to see them alongside a few other new shots. You may also want to dig into my photo archive to check out the before-and-afters at 11th and the freeway, 11th and L, 11th and M, 11th and N, and 11th and O. Though the photos don't quite seem to do the changes justice, especially if you're someone who has walked those blocks of 11th many times over the past few years.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, photos, Southeast Blvd., Traffic Issues
 

The showiest demolition in the neighborhood in years is coming to an end, and while I haven't been able to document it in the obsessive-compulsive way I would have liked, I did manage to make it to 11th Street this weekend to see the gator tail-like final remnants of the old flyover to the outbound 11th Street Bridges before it completely comes down.
At the same time, I was able to check out the progress on the filling-in of the sunken eastern portion of the Southeast Freeway to build Southeast Blvd., and dang if they haven't already piled the dirt up so that 11th Street is now level with the "land" just to its west.
Needless to say, I had to create a photo gallery of the remants and the progress, where you'll also see that work is speeding along on the new flyover to the outbound I-695 bridge.
But I wasn't just interested in the tearing down and filling in, so I continued down to O Street, where not only is the 11th Street Local Bridge inching ever closer to getting all of its lanes and pedestrian path opened, but the new asphalt Anacostia Riverwalk Trail path to the river has been laid, which also takes you to the spiffy new landing just completed by the riverside. And from that landing you can see the spiffy new overlooks that reach out onto the old bridge piers from the new local bridge. (For the record, I could have easily sidestepped the construction barrels and ventured onto the overlooks, but I am a good little citizen.)
Lots of images of the new trail, the landing, the bridge, and the surroundings are in a second new photo gallery.
If these two galleries aren't enough, you might take some time to browse my before-and-afters all the way down 11th Street, from the freeway to L to M to N to O to the river, as nearly four years of construction have altered the vistas from a maze of flyovers and embankments to, well, a completely different maze of flyovers and embankments. (But the new flyovers are a little lower on the horizon, at least.)
I also checked out the other projects that are in various stages these days, from Twelve12 to the Lumber Shed to the leafed-out and fountain-ed Canal Park to the hole in the ground that will be the Park Chelsea.
There's new pictures on each of those pages, but I also couldn't help myself and pulled together a third photo gallery, with photos from those spots and a few others that were particularly photogenic on a particularly photogenic day. (It even includes my very first visit to the footprint of one of the neighborhood's most central locations. Where might that be?)
[A postscript: I truly think Sunday was the most perfect day for taking pictures in the 10-plus years I've been wandering the neighborhood, with the achingly clear deep blue sky perfectly matched with the late-May sun strength and positions. I ended up walking more than eight miles in three separate treks, and came home with a smidge more than 1,000 photos, about 300 of which are now in my photo archive.]
 

With the reconstruction of the old Southeast Freeway east of 8th Street into the new Southeast Blvd., DDOT is running a transportation planning study that is looking how best to integrate this rebuilt stretch of road with the adjacent neighborhoods between 11th Street and Barney Circle. To that end, there is a public meeting about this "opportunity for adaptive reuse" being held this Thursday, Feb. 21, at 6:30 pm at Payne Elementary School at 1445 C St., SE. Representatives of DDOT and the technical team working on Southeast Blvd. will be there to provide details about the study and future plans for the area, as well as to answer questions.
This would probably be the perfect forum to ask some of the questions that have been posted in the comments here, such as whether the new boulevard will have an intersection with 13th Street, and how the pedestrian/cycling trail planned to be built alongside the boulevard will be handled.
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More posts: meetings, Southeast Blvd., Traffic Issues
 

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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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, photos, Southeast Blvd., Traffic Issues
 

The next step in converting the sunken portion of the Southeast Freeway between 8th Street SE and Pennsylvania Avenue to the eventual at-grade "Southeast Boulevard" is coming, as DDOT has announced that on Jan. 31, "all eastbound lanes along this stretch will be closed to traffic for approximately 18-20 months while crews fill the roadway to restore it to the local street elevation."
This will be preceded by for a week or so beginning around noontime on Tuesday, Jan. 22, with the route being reduced to only one lane.
Not only are these closures to allow for the filling-in of much of the old roadway, but also to start construction of bridge piers for "a new bridge over the SE Freeway," which I believe will be the new three-lane flyover ramp from the freeway to the outbound 11th Street Bridge, replacing the current one (seen at top left in the photo).
If you're worked up about this closure because you're using the route to Pennsylvania Avenue to then use the left-turn-to-DC295, you should already be using the new exit ramp from the outbound 11th Street Bridge directly to northbound 295 anyway!
The work of bringing in lots and lots (and lots and lots) of dirt to build up the sunken route has already begun on the old westbound side of the road, as seen in this photo I took earlier this month, when I also updated the before and afters for the 11th Street & not-yet-Southeast-Blvd intersection.
If you haven't been following this project, which is part of the $90 million second phase of the 11th Street Bridges project, the filling-in is so there will be an at-grade signalized intersection at 11th Street, SE. Drivers will arrive at the new intersection from the SE Freeway (or Pennsylvania Avenue) and have the option of getting onto 11th Street, or continuing straight. There will also be a new stretch of 12th Street north of M to Southeast Blvd., so that drivers exiting the 11th Street freeway bridges can continue north across M to the new boulevard, instead of turning left onto M and then right onto 11th.
There is also supposed to be a new pedestrian/cycling trail alongside this new Southeast Blvd., creating another connection between Virginia Avenue Park and Barney Circle than using the currently-ripped-up-by-DC-Water M Street route.
This construction drawing shows all the new intersections, ramps, flyovers, and whatnot for both phases of the project on the west side of the river, if you need some help visualizing.
There are also supposed to be public meetings coming this year as part of studies now underway on how to remake the Barney Circle-not-yet-Southeast-Blvd interchange.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Southeast Blvd., Traffic Issues
 

UPDATE, Dec. 19: A tweet from DDOT confirms that the new ramp is "slated to open this afternoon, possibly in time for evening rush hour." UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: According to NBC4's Adam Tuss, the ramp is now open.
Original post: Just out from DDOT, an announcement that the long-awaited ramp from the outbound 11th Street freeway bridges (now known as I-695) to DC-295 northbound is expected to open "on or about December 19." This means that vehicles traveling eastbound on the southeast freeway can now remain on the freeway for their entire trip to DC-295 northbound, instead continuing along the stub of the Southeast Freeway ending at Barney Circle, then traveling across the Sousa Bridge to then endure a nightmare left turn onto DC-295.
Not mentioned in the announcement is whether at the same time the old route to Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed--if it doesn't close the 19th (see Update II below), it will be closing soon, as part of the two-year reconfiguration of that road as "Southeast Boulevard."
{I'm psychic!}
UPDATE: I should also note that, according to the graphic at right, eastbound freeway traffic will start being routed (temporarily!) on the new flyover built during the past few years that will eventually carry inbound traffic; but using it for outbound traffic at this point allows the existing older outbound flyover to be demolished to make way for a new outbound flyover. Photos and additional explanations here and here.
UPDATE II: However, if you're used to getting onto the eastbound freeway and 11th Street Bridges via the ramp at 8th and Virginia, be advised that ramp will close when demolition begins of the old outbound flyover, which is expected to start in late January. And, to answer another lingering question from this post, that's when the eastbound freeway east of 8th will be closed, which also means that the little ramp from 9th and Virginia to the eastbound freeway stub will be closed as well. (This all from @DDOTDC on Twitter.) You'll be able to access the new ramp to DC-295 northbound by getting on eastbound I-695 via the new-ish ramp on the southeast corner of 11th and M; in fact, the entrance lane from that ramp I believe puts you directly in the DC-295 NB exit lane. Or, if you're on the western end of the neighborhood, you can get on the eastbound freeway at South Capitol Street (only in my fever dreams).
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Southeast Blvd.
 

A release just out from DDOT is announcing that the new ramp from 11th Street SE to the westbound Southeast/Southwest Freeway wll be opening on Thursday, Nov. 29. This means that vehicles from the eastern ends of Capitol Hill and Near Southeast won't have to drive along Virginia Avenue to the 3rd Street SE on-ramp anymore; it will also give easier westbound freeway access to traffic coming inbound on the 11th Street Local Bridge.
Also on Nov. 29, the westbound portion of the sunken SE Freeway between Pennsylvania Avenue/Barney Circle and 8th Street SE will be fully closed, as work continues on creating the new "Southeast Blvd." Drivers heading south on DC-295 who have long exited onto Pennsylvania to go west on the SE/SW Freeway will be directed to use the inbound 11th Street Freeway Bridge.
I wrote a lot about these changes back in September, so I'll just point you to those three posts for additional information and photos, or you can wander through my 11th Street Bridges project page.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Southeast Blvd.
 

The 11th Street Bridges folks were nice enough to pass along a more recent drawing (March 2012, Concept Only! Not for Construction!) that shows the 11th Street Bridges' project Phase 2 plans.
They were also nice enough to pass along a very large version of this more recent drawing, enabling me to post a very large image in on the new ramps and lanes along and over 11th Street on the west side of the Anacostia River, and how the new Southeast Boulevard with a new signalized intersection at 11th Street will be built along what used to be the eastern end of the Southeast Freeway. It also shows the extension of 12th Street north of M to the new boulevard, along with all of the turn lanes and other movements. (All of this assuming the designs don't change.)
It's also handy if you haven't committed all the Phase 1 ramps and flyovers and lanes and paths to memory--they are shown in yellow and orange, while the Phase 2 plans are in blue and pink, and decommissioned roads and ramps are in a subtle x'ed-out motif. So, for the heck of it, here's a not-quite-so-enlarged image showing the entire project, on both sides of the river. Also, if you missed it, my photo gallery of the project's current state, from earlier this month.
(I should note that this map doesn't include how upcoming changes to Barney Circle might look, because that's still under deliberation.)
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Southeast Blvd., Traffic Issues
 

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.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, photos, Southeast Blvd., Traffic Issues
 

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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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, Southeast Blvd., Traffic Issues
 

The intersection of 11th and O has changed a bit over the past few weeks:
On the left is the old 11th and O looking south-southeast, while the picture on the right shows the new view, with the overpass for the old outbound 11th Street Bridge now a pile of rubble, and the new bridges at left and center, far more visible in person than in this low-res photo, of course. (At right is the path down to the Riverwalk, with the Navy Yard fence at far right.)
Speaking of rubble, there's no shortage of it at 11th and N (at right), where the on-ramp to the old outbound bridge is getting torn down.
These and a number of other new photos from Sunday are now posted on my 11th Street Bridges page. The full photo archives for 11th at M, N, and O may also be of interest to construction and demolition geeks, to see exactly how much this stretch of road has changed over the past few months. (Users of the Riverwalk who haven't ventured to this spot in a few weeks might also like checking it all out.) While I finally made my first trip across the new local bridge by bike on Monday, I haven't gotten up there with a camera yet, but hope too, soon.
(If you like these sorts of disappearing-overpass images, be sure to step into the time machine to see my photos from the demolition of the South Capitol Street viaduct five years ago.)
The rest of the 11th Street bridges project continues to move forward, with the next big milestone being the opening of a new ramp on the east side of the river from southbound DC-295 to the inbound 11th Street Freeway/I-695 bridge. (Page 16 of this June 11 presentation packet says "on or about June 27" for that opening, so maybe this is going to happen really soon, though as of now there's been no announcement.) Then, sometime in the fall, the next big "missing movement" will open, which is the ramp from the outbound freeway/I-695 bridge to northbound DC-295. Following that will be ramps to and from DC-295 and the local bridge. Also in there at some point should be the new ramp from 11th Street to go westbound on the freeway, replacing the long trek down Virginia Avenue to 3rd Street for many people.
And, the wheels have started to turn on the project's second phase, with a $90 million contract awarded to Skanska/Facchina. Page 17 of the presentation packet (seen at right and here) shows in red and blue the additional ramps and movements that will be built by late 2015, including:
* The new "Southeast Boulevard" that will replace the sunken part of the Southeast freeway between 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, with signalized intersections at 11th Street;
* A new extension of 12th Street north of M to allow traffic exiting I-695 to continue north to the new Southeast Boulevard and then turn right to go to Pennsylvania Avenue/Barney Circle or left to 11th Street;
* A new flyover ramp from the eastbound Southeast Freeway to outbound I-695, adding an additional lane of volume and presumably being built at the same level as the new inbound flyover, which will allow the taller old outbound flyover to be demolished;
* Additional lanes on northbound 11th between M and the new Southeast Boulevard interchange;
* And probably a few other items that are hard to discern in the drawing.
As I posted a few weeks ago, the new Anacostia Waterfront web site mentions that an environmental review will be coming this fall of a combined Barney Circle/Southeast Boulevard Project that will "reconstruct Barney Circle from a misnomer into a true traffic circle, while transforming the easternmost dead-end section of the Southeast/Southwest Freeway into a boulevard between the circle and 11th Street, SE." It also describes the Southeast Boulevard reconstruction as "converting the roadway from a below-grade freeway into a four-lane at-grade boulevard with a green median and adjacent new multi-use trail to allow bicycle and pedestrian travel not currently possible in this area."
(You know what would be keen? If the improvements to Virginia Avenue that CSX is looking at post-tunnel construction would include bike lanes all the way to Virginia Avenue Park, which could then maybe hook up with some sort of bike path across the north side of the park to 11th Street, where it would then access the Southeast Boulevard trail. Then there'd be a complete bike route from Barney Circle and points north on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail all the way to Southwest, via a one-block jog from Virginia over to I Street SE at 2nd or 3rd or 4th, since I Street will be built between 2nd and New Jersey within a few years. This also might alleviate the issues with the Navy Yard and Yards portions of the Riverwalk not really being open to bikes.)
For more information on all of this, see my project page, the AWI 11th Street Bridges section, and the latest "Eleventh Street Ledger" newsletter.
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More posts: 11th Street Bridges, photos, Southeast Blvd.