, a drill everyone should be getting familiar with: "As part of ongoing improvements to the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge
(sometimes referred to as the South Capitol Street Bridge), the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will continue bridge repairs this weekend, starting Friday, March 30. Following the morning rush hour this Friday, DDOT will temporarily close the inbound lanes on the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge. Inbound bridge drivers will be directed to follow signed detours on Interstate 295 North to the 11th Street Bridge - providing direct access into the District. The inbound lanes will be closed beginning on Friday, March 30 at 10 a.m. until as late as Monday, April 2 at 4 a.m.
All lanes will be reopened in time for the Monday morning rush hour."
Why? (in case you're just joining us) "The off-peak closures and repairs are needed to prepare for a major rehabilitation
that will take place on the Frederick Douglass Bridge in July and August - at which time all lanes on the bridge will be closed in both directions. [...] The one-direction-only weekend closures on the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge are necessary to allow workers to safely replace bridge expansion joints with new joints (joints allow a bridge to flex when temperature changes occur). Joint replacement work requires extended periods of uninterrupted work hours, as it involves removing existing joints from the concrete bridge deck, making necessary repairs, installing new joints and placing concrete to reconnect the existing bridge deck to the new joints. Under-the-bridge steel repair work and painting also will occur. The weekend closures and repair work, which are scheduled to conclude in early June 2007, also may require periodic single-lane closures during weekday non-peak travel times.
"During the July-August closure, the northernmost portion of the bridge will be lowered to become an at-grade roadway with a new intersection at South Capitol Street and Potomac Avenue
. Nearly three blocks of elevated roadway - which currently act as a barrier to access across South Capitol Street
- will be removed and replaced with at-grade intersections that will help knit the neighborhood together. Additional improvements will occur such as paving and painting the entire bridge."