By Senora Green
Construction seems heir-apparent across the District these days. No matter which highway, freeway, bridge or street corner you drive, there are cranes and trucks blocking, stopping and re-routing traffic.
On January 31st, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) closed the Eastbound Southeast Freeway, between 8th Street, SE and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE for renovation. The full closure will remain in place for approximately 18 to 20 months, while crews work to complete improvements to the freeway as part of the $90 million 11th Street Bridge Project.
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.
As part of this closure the 8th Street, SE on-ramp to outbound I-695 and the 9th Street, SE ramp that connects to the eastbound SE Freeway will also closed on January 31, 2013.
A new pedestrian/cycling trail alongside the new SE freeway is also in the drawing plan for the bridge’s renovation, which will help the connection between Virginia Avenue Park and Barney Circle.
Public meetings are slated to occur that hear suggestions from residents and city leaders about how to remake the Barney Circle/ Southeast-Blvd interchange.
During the road closure, motorists will be redirected to the new I-695 Inbound Freeway Bridge from southbound DC-295 (Anacostia Freeway) to reach the Southeast/Southwest Freeway and I-395.
Signage will be in place to provide motorists advanced notice of the scheduled detour.
In the event of inclement weather or other unforeseen conditions, this work will be rescheduled and an updated advisory will be distributed.
This closure is in addition to the previously publicized off-peak closures of the 11th Street bridges, related ramps, local streets, Southeast/Southwest Freeway and I-295/DC 295.