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Overview: South Capitol Street

The southern approach to the U.S. Capitol has begun its makeover, but more is still to come.

In the Pipeline
25 M
Yards/Parcel I
Chiller Site Condos
Yards/Parcel A
1333 M St.
More Capper Apts.
Yards/DC Water site
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
Thompson Hotel ('20)
West Half ('19)
Novel South Capitol ('19)
Yards/Guild Apts. ('19)
Capper/The Harlow ('19)
New DC Water HQ ('19)
Yards/Bower Condos ('19)
Virginia Ave. Tunnel ('19)
99 M ('18)
Agora ('18)
1221 Van ('18)
District Winery ('17)
Insignia on M ('17)
F1rst/Residence Inn ('17)
One Hill South ('17)
Homewood Suites ('16)
ORE 82 ('16)
The Bixby ('16)
Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
The Brig ('16)
Park Chelsea ('16)
Yards/Arris ('16)
Hampton Inn ('15)
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
11th St. Bridges ('15)
Parc Riverside ('14)
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Cap. ('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)
An overview of the Near Southeast portion of South Capitol Street, looking north from south of O Street, in January 2006. (01/06)
The same location (honest!), in November 2012, after the July 2007 demolition of the northern end of the South Capitol Street/Frederick Douglass Bridge, bringing South Capitol Street down to grade level from Potomac Avenue north. Nationals Park lines the eastern side of South Capitol Street from Potomac Avenue to N Street, and the Camden South Capitol apartment building is at left. This six-lane-with-median-and-wide-sidewalks motif will be continued northward eventually.  Click to see all available photos of this location.

A basic overview of the plans to revamp the portion of South Capitol Street west of the Anacostia River, as laid out in the South Capitol Street Environmental Impact Statement.
Starting at the top, at South Capitol's intersection with the SE Freeway, the existing ramp that begins at I Street will be replaced with an at-grade intersection underneath the freeway that would have two left-turn lanes to a new ramp (which is seen here at the very top, shaded pale yellow). With the removal of the existing ramp to I-395, the intersection and South Capitol and I would also be reconfigured.
Between I and L streets, a median would be installed, as would wider sidewalks and other improvements.
The existing overpass/underpass interchange with M Street would become an at-grade configuration, seen here with what appear to be multiple left-turn lanes to help traffic flow.
The sections from N to P would see some additional upgrading, but the bulk of the work on these blocks was completed in 2007.
South of P would begin the approach to a new large traffic oval that would regulate the traffic flow along South Capitol, Potomac, Q, and the new Douglass Bridge, seen here in its new alignment to the southwest of the current bridge's footprint. The oval's interior is expected to be configured as a large greenspace/park area.
See my separate Douglass Bridge page for details on the plans and designs for this new South Capitol Street bridge between Near Southeast and Anacostia. And also See the EIS for the additional plans east of the river, including a new traffic circle at Howard Avenue and a revamped interchange with I-295.

A photo from the District Department of Transportation's archives shows South Capitol Street, looking south from just past N Street, circa 1957. The approach to the Douglass Bridge is visible in the next block. At the far end of the street, on the right, is a Lansburgh's department store. (1957)
The same location, in October 2005. The cafeteria at left in 1957 is seen here as the "Heat" gay nightclub. The Lansburgh building became a U-Haul storage facility in 2002. (10/05)
And once more, 2 1/2 years later, after the raised viaduct of the Douglass Bridge was demolished, and as Nationals Park prepares to open. (8/3/08)
Looking at the remade South Capitol Street north of N, from the ballpark's viewing platform, 10 months after the street was revamped in the wake of the viaduct demolition. The underpass/overpass intersection seen to the north (at M Street) is expected to be removed and replaced with an at-grade intersection as part of the plans to revamp much of South Capitol, and the six-lane-with-median motif will be extended northward to the SE Freeway. (5/26/08)
This was the view for many years looking north from Potomac Avenue on South Capitol Street. (10/05)
January 12, 2020 - The same spot, with the viaduct demolished, and the Nationals ballpark at the right. This view will change substantially when a new traffic oval is built on this location to handle the approach to and from the relocated South Capitol Street Bridge  Click to see all available photos of this location.
This is what you saw if you stood in the "center" of South Capitol Street at P Street, looking north, until July 2007. (06/07)
March 17, 2019 - The same location (honest!), after the demolition of the viaduct and 154 months after work began on the baseball stadium. Look at the private homes on the left, and imagine how different their view is now that the viaduct is gone.  Click to see all available photos of this location.
Once you get north of the stadium site, change hasn't quite yet come to South Capitol Street. This is the view from N Street--maybe someday the underpass intersection one block north at M Street will be replaced, but not just yet. (10/13)
The importance of the South Capitol-and-M intersection is not obvious by the buildings currently surrounding it. On the northwest side, a 7-11 and some fast-food options are the main offerings. (02/07)
The northeast corner of South Capitol and M streets, with St. Vincent de Paul as the main focal point, 20 M looming behind, and some big building with a white dome on it visible to the north. (09/06)

The eastern side of South Capitol Street, north of M. At far right is the lot that may eventually be 1100 South Capitol, a 330,000-sq-ft office building being developed by Lawrence Ruben Co.; toward the center, between K and L, is the lot owned by Lerner Enterprises being proposed as 1000 South Capitol, a 320,000-sq-ft office building. North of K is the now-closed Exxon station. In the plans for revamping South Capitol, this underpass will be removed when the M Street intersection is changed to at-grade. There will then be six lanes, and a median. (09/06)
By the time you get far enough north on South Capitol to be close to the US Capitol, the lovely SE Freeway obscures the view completely. This will change when South Capitol's interchange with the SE Freeway is revamped, replacing the existing ramp seen here with an at-grade intersection underneath the freeway that would have two left-turn lanes to a new ramp. With the removal of the existing ramp to I-395, the intersection and South Capitol and I would also be reconfigured. (02/04)
Turning back around and looking south down South Capitol Street, as seen from the SE Freeway in April 2007. If you know what you're looking for, you can see the stadium at left center. 20 M Street is the completed building at left. (04/07)
January 18, 2014 - The same location.  Click to see all available photos of this location.
Another view to the south down South Capitol, this time showing the northwest side of the stadium footprint, from just north of N Street, in February 2006. The five residential properties within the entire 21-acre stadium footprint are at far left. (02/06)
The same location, in October 2013, dominated by the ballpark and its parking garage. (10/13) Click to see all available photos of this location.
There is actually a portion of South Capitol Street that runs south of Potomac Avenue down to S Street (though there's no longer any direct intersection of this stub street with Potomac). This photo, from October 2005, looks north on South Capitol at R Street/Water Street. This location will eventually be the southern tip of the new traffic oval, with the new Douglass Bridge traffic arriving at the oval just to the right of this location. (10/05)
The southernmost part of South Capitol Street on the west side of the Anacostia River, looking south at its intersection with S Street in Buzzard Point. This final block of South Capitol from R to S would be closed down as part of the new bridge-and-oval configuration. (10/05)
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