Contact (Media Only): Erik Linden (202) 671-2004 and Karyn LeBlanc (202) 671-3490
(Washington, DC) 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 during the next two weekends.
Following the morning rush hour at 10 am this Friday, April 13, DDOT will temporarily close the inbound lanes on the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge. All lanes will be reopened in time for the Monday morning rush hour.
Closure of the inbound lanes again will occur on Friday, April 20 after the morning rush hour and be reopened in time for the Monday April 23 morning rush hour. 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.
These closures are part of a series of several weekend bridge closures of all lanes in one direction. 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 first four weekend closures, which occurred the weekends of January 26, February 9, March 9 and March 30 worked smoothly with minimal impacts to the traveling public. As with any major traffic change, however, DDOT continues to monitor conditions through each weekend closure and make refinements as necessary.
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.