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193 Blog Posts Since 2003
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From DDOT: "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 9. Following the morning rush hour this Friday, DDOT will temporarily close the northbound (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 northbound (inbound) lanes will be closed beginning on Friday, March 9 at 10 am until as late as Monday, March 12 at 4 am. All lanes will be reopened in time for the Monday morning rush hour." This work is part of the preparations for the planned demolition of the raised portion of South Capitol Street (north of Potomac Ave.) this summer.
More posts: Douglass Bridge, Traffic Issues
 

A reminder from DDOT: "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 periodic off-peak bridge maintenance repairs on Friday February 9, 2007. [View a map of weekend detours] Following the morning rush hour this Friday, DDOT will temporarily close the northbound (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 northbound (inbound) lanes will be closed beginning on Friday, February 9 at 10 am until as late as Monday, February 12 at 4 am. All lanes will be reopened in time for the Monday morning rush hour." This is all leading up to: "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." You can also keep track of when the upcoming closures are on my Calendar of Events.
More posts: South Capitol St., Douglass Bridge, Traffic Issues
 

The February Hill Rag has an article about the "complex challenges" of traffic management facing Near Southeast and Southwest as development projects come online over the next few years--including, of course, the new ballpark, which will draw 40,000 fans 80 times a year. The DC Sports and Entertainment Commission is required to provide a Traffic Operations and Parking Plan by April 30; there will then be community meetings for discussion (lots of it, I imagine) of the plan, though DCSEC takes pains to note that the TOPP is just for game day-related traffic, and not the entire surrounding area's general traffic flow. Ward 6 council member Tommy Wells is working on a gathering of representatives of the usual suspects (agencies, DCSEC, business and property owners [including the Navy], and community members) to work toward coordinating plans and solutions addressing the flow of people in and out of Southeast and Southwest. Even before the arrival of thousands of baseball fans and other neighborhood newcomers (including the 7,000 DOT workers scheduled to arrive in Spring 2007), traffic along South Capitol Street is, shall we say, terrible, so coming up with a solution will be an interesting challenge.
If you're interested in traffic issues, you might also want to look at this Transportation Impact Study (PDF, 3.6 MB; for a taste, here's the introduction and conclusions) of the area bounded by South Capitol, First, M, and N streets submitted by Monument Realty as part of its Dec. 2006 Zoning Commission filings for the 55 M Street project (which I just got my paws on). While it primarily deals with Squares 700 and 701, section 5 of the study also has an analysis of projected ballpark weekday evening traffic in 2008. For more background (from a government source), you can also go back and read the 2004 South Capitol Gateway Corridor and Anacostia Access Study prepared by DDOT.
(On another subject, there's also an article in this issue on the soccer stadium and Poplar Point, for those who are interested in that project....)
[Entry UPDATED to add the complete Monument transportation study document.]
 

Today's Post has a big cool graphic showing exactly how the Frederick Douglass Bridge is going to get renovated this summer, with 800 feet of the South Capitol Street viaduct being demolished completely north of Potomac Avenue and another 580 feet of the bridge lowered so that the bridge meets street level at Potomac Avenue instead of O Street. It also shows that there will be new stop lights on South Capitol at Potomac Avenue and at N Street, and pedestrian-activated lights at O and P streets. The graphic (make sure to look at it, it really is well done) accompanies an article about the bridge's renovation. And remember, the northbound (inbound) lanes of the bridge will be closed starting this Friday at 10 am until Monday the 29th at 4 am. And plan your summer vacation to coincide with July and August, when the bridge will be closed entirely for the lowering. And here are some additional views of the portions of the bridge that will be demolished and lowered. (And I'm realizing I'd better create a Bridge Makeover page to pull these all together in one place!)
UPDATE: Yeah, a new page to track the Bridge Makeover, that's a really good idea.
UPDATE II: Here's DDOT's press release on the rehabilitation of the Douglass Bridge, along with a map of this weekend's detours.
More posts: South Capitol St., Douglass Bridge, Traffic Issues
 

Dr. Gridlock's Get There blog has an entry about the upcoming work on the South Capitol Street/Frederick Douglass Bridge, confirming that as expected the bridge will be closed in July and August to demolish the existing viaduct between Potomac Avenue and O Street, so that drivers coming off the bridge will arrive at street level three blocks further south than they now do. This will give South Capitol Street a much nicer appearance, and will mean that the new Nationals ballpark won't have an ancient bridge ramp rubbing up against its western facade (right now at O Street the viaduct is not much more than about 20 feet from the edge of the stadium). There will also be new signals at some of the intersections. The blog post also mentions the first of the weekend closures of the bridge coming up this weekend, with the inbound lanes closing between 10 am Friday and 4 am Monday, detouring traffic to the 11th Street Bridges. (But alas, the demolishing of the viaduct will take with it two of my favorite stadium photo perches, though at least by summer most of the exterior work should be completed.) UPDATE: Here's a short piece from WTOP about the plans for the bridge.
More posts: South Capitol St., Douglass Bridge, Traffic Issues
 

From DDOT:
"As part of ongoing improvements to the Frederick Douglass Bridge (sometimes referred to as the South Capitol Street Bridge), the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will perform periodic off-peak bridge maintenance repairs beginning Friday, January 26, 2007.
"These periodic weekend repairs include expansion joint replacement and under-the-bridge steel repair work. Work will also involve painting and replacing handrails and installation of new lighting.
"Due to the nature of these repairs, DDOT will temporarily close the northbound/inbound lanes starting at 10 am on January 26. The lanes will reopen on Monday, January 29 by 4 am--in time for morning rush hour. During the closure, inbound drivers will follow signed detours on I-295 North to the 11th Street Bridge providing direct access into the District.
"DDOT encourages the use of Metro as a transportation alternative. Pedestrian and bike access will remain on the bridge during the weekend closures. All closures may be subject to change and are weather permitting. In the event of inclement weather, lane closures will be rescheduled to the following weekend."
More posts: South Capitol St., Douglass Bridge, Traffic Issues
 

No doubt there will be more official announcements coming from DDOT, but in my quest to get you information lickety-split, I point you to this post on the MPD 1D message board: "The Frederick Douglass Bridge main span and approach ramps will undergo significant repair work during this year, effective this month. Repair work consists of steel repairs, deck joint replacement, concrete repairs and painting of bridge thus these repairs necessitate the closure of the bridge which will effect the ingress and egress of DC residents, DC govt employees. Traffic will be advised by a Changeable Message Sign Board daily that drivers should use the 11th St. Bridge as a major detour route during times the Douglas bridge is closed. The following schedule has been tentatively put out -- please share with coworkers, neighbors." It shows scheduled weekend closures (from Fridays at 10 pm to Mondays at 4 am) on various dates starting Jan. 26, and also mentions that the entire span will be closed from after July 4 through the end of August--I believe (but do not know with 100% certainty) this will be the dismantling of the viaduct so that the bridge exit onto South Capitol Street reaches street level at Potomac Avenue rather than O Street. As I said, I know more will be coming from DDOT, and I'll post it as soon as I have it. I'll also put all the scheduled closures on my Calendar of Events once they come from DDOT.

More posts: South Capitol St., Douglass Bridge, Traffic Issues
 

Apparently the sign announcing construction on the South Capitol Street Bridge has reappeared, and I'm hearing that this is the beginning of the rehab work on the existing bridge. (No, not the construction of the new one, that won't begin before 2011!) There won't be lane closures right away, but look for some probably on weekends in the near future. DDOT hasn't yet posted anything about it on its web site--when they do, I'll post, of course.
More posts: South Capitol St., Douglass Bridge, Traffic Issues
 

Today is the "on or about day" that the flashing signs on South Capitol Street said would mark the beginning of work on the South Capitol Street Bridge--however, the start has been delayed while DDOT makes changes to its plans. Will alert you to anything I hear.
More posts: South Capitol St., Douglass Bridge, Traffic Issues
 

From the Examiner: "The District is in the last stages of developing a handbook for moving tens of thousands of people in and out of the Washington Nationals new ballpark on game days. The handbook 'will define exactly how everything is going to be done on game days,' one planner said, including traffic and pedestrian movement, police presence, ambulance staging and fan parking. It will put in place specific mechanisms for movement, from when to restrict on-street parking to which roads to close for pedestrians. [...] Under the draft plan, on-street parking would be restricted to residents, while fans would be urged to take Metro or park at one of multiple off-site lots and garages. Season ticket holders could even be assigned a specific lot based on the direction from which they arrive. Variable message signs would be installed to direct traffic to or away from the stadium; sidewalks would be widened to handle the mass of pedestrians; and traffic signals would be adjusted based on vehicle volume and movement." Also, the restaurant in center field, originally a one-story circular structure (visible on many of the renderings), is now a two-story rectangular building, with the Lerners having expressed the desire for the change and then (believe it or not) footing the $2.8 million bill for the cost difference.
More posts: parking, Nationals Park, Traffic Issues
 

An electronic sign has appeared at South Capitol and I streets, warning of road work beginning on or about Nov. 6. There's been nothing about it announced yet anywhere on the DDOT web site, and I haven't heard anything about it through the grapevine; a correspondent reported earlier in the week that he had contacted DDOT to ask when the work would begin to remove the South Capitol Street viaduct between Potomac Avenue and O Street, and he was told that it wouldn't start before early next year, perhaps no later than April. I e-mailed DDOT to ask for confirmation, but have received no reply. There are plans for lots of streetscape improvements along South Capitol in addition to the removal of the viaduct, so perhaps this is the beginning of that work. Will post here as soon as I find out more. UPDATE: A correspondent passes along information received from DDOT that the signs are marking the beginning of the project to rehabilitate the South Capitol Street Bridge, which includes doing steel repairs and railings, and painting of the steel beams, which is what will begin Nov. 6, and which will necessitate lane closures. This DDOT communique with a resident also said that the lowering of the viaduct between Potomac and O would not start until July 2007, and which will see the entire bridge closed while the work is done. Will continue to keep my eye out for the official press releases from DDOT on the work.
More posts: South Capitol St., Douglass Bridge, Traffic Issues
 

Monday's DC Examiner reports: "The Transportation Planning Board added more than $1 billion in projects for the District to the region's long-range transportation plan, according to officials. The stratagem, called the Constrained Long Range Plan, estimates about $4.5 billion will be available each year for the next 24 years to complete projects in Maryland, Virginia and the District. Projects can only be added to the board's long range plan if there is a solid funding mechanism in place. " Three of the DC projects will impact Near Southeast: the rehabilitation of South Capitol Street including transformation of the street into an at-grade boulvard from I Street to N Street and the construction of a new Frederick Douglass Bridge (costing $625 million and completed in 2015); the reconfiguration and reconstruction of the 11th Street Bridges (costing $377 million and completed in 2011); and $3 million for the Anacostia Streetcar Study, which would run light rail across the 11th Street Bridges from Anacostia down M Street SE to South Capitol Street. (The first phase of actual construction of the Streetcar Project has been added to the CLRP as well.) Here's an explanation of the CLRP as well as the Transportation Improvement Plan, which describes the schedule for federal funds obligated to state and local projects.
 

Voice of the Hill reports that ANC 6B "voted unanimously July 11 to support preliminary plans for a project that would connect the Southeast Freeway with the Anacostia Freeway." This is the 11th Street Bridges project, which "would allow southbound motorists on the Anacostia Freeway to access the 11th Street Bridges and motorists on the bridges to go north on the freeway, thereby creating a link between the Anacostia and Southeast freeways." There are public hearings on July 26 and 27 on the project's draft environmental impact statement, and public comment is being accepted until August 28.
More posts: 11th Street Bridges, ANC News, Traffic Issues
 

The National Capital Planning Commission has posted the agenda for its May 4 meeting, which includes an informational presentation on the proposed new South Capitol Street Bridge; the meeting will be at 401 9th Street, NW at 12:30 pm. Note that later that same day is the DDOT South Capitol Street Community Update Meeting, at 6 pm at Van Ness Elementary (1150 5th Street SE).
More posts: South Capitol St., Douglass Bridge, Traffic Issues
 

In today's Post (well, in some of them, depending on which Extra you receive) is "For Commuters, A New Way to Travel Through the District," a good overview piece about the plans for a new South Capitol Street/Frederick Douglass Bridge. The article doesn't have anything new, but it brings together all the bits and pieces that have come out over the past months about the new bridge. It mentions the public meeting scheduled for May 4, and also confirms that sometime this summer two blocks of the "elevated" South Capitol Street (from O Street to Potomac Avenue) will be dismantled, allowing South Capitol Street to be "at-grade" alongside the stadium site. And it also says, as we've heard previously, that construction would not begin before 2011; the final design of the bridge will be chosen this summer, after the Environmental Impact Study is completed. Cost estimates range from $285 million to $392 million, based on the design. Make sure to go to the poll to vote for your favorite design!
More posts: South Capitol St., Douglass Bridge, Traffic Issues
 

DDOT will be holding a public meeting on May 4 at 6 pm to update the public on the latest South Capitol Street Corridor news, and also to allow public review and comment on the latest plans for the street and also the South Capitol Street Bridge. The South Capitol Street EIS and South Capitol Street Bridge Study web sites have more information about what's on tap.

More posts: South Capitol St., Douglass Bridge, Traffic Issues
 

There's more links and information available now about the possible designs unveiled on Wednesday for the new South Capitol Street Bridge.You can see fun 3D videos of the different designs at the South Capitol Street Bridge Study site. (Do you think we can infer from the number of different videos available for each option that the "Cable Stayed Swing Bridge" might be the designers' favorite?) There is also a press release from DDOT, saying that there will be a community meeting in April to solicit comments on the design, and also to give an update on the project. The draft Environmental Impact Statement will be released in June. And, a bit more detail on the interim work that will be done on the existing bridge: "Starting this summer, the bridge will be rehabilitated to ensure its continued safety and use. The work includes new lighting, better sidewalks and a new coat of paint. In addition two blocks of the elevated viaduct will be removed and replaced with an at-grade roadway, greatly improving the appearance and pedestrian access along South Capitol Street." Wow, wonder how that's gonna work?
More posts: South Capitol St., Douglass Bridge, Traffic Issues
 

WTOP reports on four possible designs for the new South Capitol Street Bridge. The article is somewhat confusing (although maybe it's my stadium hangover), but it does say that construction of the "moveable" bridge won't begin until 2011 (for non-bridge-o-philes like me, "moveable" means a drawbridge, not that the bridge itself will move--the bridge needs to be able to allow ships to reach the Navy Yard). However, the existing bridge also needs work so that it can remain in service while the new bridge is built. There's also mention of a "first phase" that will convert South Capitol Street from an expressway to a boulevard--I think that's the improvements to South Capitol Street that are coming this summer, not as a beginning phase of construction in 2011. (I'd tell you more about the plans for work on South Capitol Street this summer, but alas the DDOT web site doesn't have anything, at least not that I can find.) And, if you use the bridge frequently, be prepared, the article says that it's possible it will have to be closed during August 2006. More as I find out.
More posts: South Capitol St., Douglass Bridge, Traffic Issues
 

The South Capitol Street Environmental Impact Statement project has posted its Winter 2006 newsletter with the latest updates on the study. Two build alternatives have been identified and are briefly described--the less costly one would keep the South Capitol and M intersection in two levels, and would create a "traditional" intersection at Potomac Avenue. The second and more wide-ranging alternative would reconstruct South Capitol and M to be "at-grade", and would create a traffic circle interchange at Potomac Avenue (there are differences in the two plans for east side of the bridge as well). The various plans (the two build alternatives, plus a "Transportation System Management" alternative and a No-Build alternative) will be presented at public meetings later this winter, then there will be ANC meetings, environmental analyses, and finally the preparation of the draft EIS. In the meantime, DDOT will be discussing this project as part of its Feb. 25 Open House. Also, both the South Capitol Street EIS and the 11th Street Bridges EIS teams will present their pedestrian and bicycle concepts to a meeting of the Bicycle Advisory Council on March 8. See my South Capitol Street and South Capitol Street Bridge pages for more details, photos, links, etc.
 

ANC 6D has released the agenda for its December 12 meeting. Items of Near Southeast interest include: an update from DDOT on traffic and parking and the new baseball stadium; an Office of Planning presentation on the proposed text amendment to the Capitol Gateway Overlay; a Public Space Permit Application for an emergency generator at Capper/Carrollsburg; and a ABC License Renewal for the 3rd and K Market. The meeting is at 65 I Street SW, at 7 pm. UPDATE: Agenda now posted. UPDATE II: You can read a report on ANC 6D's November meeting (with discussions of Capper/Carrollsburg, the stadium, and Florida Rock) in December's Hill Rag (page 5 of this PDF).

 
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