Contact (Media Only): Erik Linden (202) 671-2004; Karyn LeBlanc (202) 671-3490
(Washington, DC) Improvements to the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge over the Anacostia River will begin this Friday, January 26, 2007. As previously announced, following the morning rush hour on Friday, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will temporarily close the northbound (inbound) lanes on the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, sometimes referred to as the South Capitol Street Bridge. This off-peak closure will make way for repairs and help prepare for a major bridge improvement initiative this summer.
The temporary closure of all northbound lanes on the bridge will begin on Friday, January 26 at 10 am until as late as Monday, January 29 at 4 am. 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. All lanes will be reopened in time for the Monday morning rush hour. Electronic message boards will advise motorists of the closings.
“Improvements to the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge are critical to providing the public infrastructure necessary to support extensive and exciting development underway in the near-southeast area,” said Emeka Moneme, acting Director of DDOT. “The bridge rehabilitation will accelerate the transformation of the South Capitol Street corridor and Anacostia Waterfront into an urban gateway to the District of Columbia.”
This weekend’s inbound closure is the first in a series of approximately nine weekend bridge closures of all lanes in one direction (see details below) to make needed repairs. In July and August, the Frederick Douglass Bridge is slated to be closed. The two-month closure will enable DDOT to complete major rehabilitation that otherwise would require more than one year to finish with temporary closures.
The weekend closures, which are scheduled to conclude in early June 2007, are necessary to allow workers to safely replace approximately 19 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 will also occur. The repair work also may require periodic single-lane closures during weekday non-peak travel times.