Contact (Media Only): Erik Linden (202) 671-2004 and Karyn LeBlanc (202) 671-3490
(Washington, DC) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) held a briefing today to kick off its informational campaign aimed at educating the public about plans to shut down the Frederick Douglass Bridge (sometimes referred to as the South Capitol Street Bridge) during July and August 2007 for a major renovation.
This “extreme makeover” is the first phase of an initiative to transform the South Capitol Street Corridor into a grand urban boulevard that will improve mobility and access and provide a fitting and beautiful gateway into the nation’s capital.
Beginning immediately after the July 4th holiday, the Douglass Bridge will be completely closed to traffic and pedestrians throughout July and August.
During the bridge closure, DDOT will be lowering a 200 foot section of the bridge’s northern approach, which currently is a major barrier to pedestrians and cyclists. This portion of the bridge will be lowered by up to 10 feet from its current elevated position to create an at-grade roadway with a new intersection at South Capitol Street and Potomac Avenue.
“The lowered bridge will significantly improve access for motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and commercial vehicles heading to and from new development and major employment centers along the Anacostia Waterfront,” said DDOT Director Emeka Moneme. “Additionally, a lower bridge and an improved streetscape will result in a more attractive profile for the surrounding neighborhoods.”
Additional improvements will occur this summer such as paving and painting the entire bridge. Other near-term improvements to the overall South Capitol Street Corridor are slated to occur immediately following the summer, such as streetscape improvements along South Capitol Street, new environmentally sensitive lighting and pedestrian access improvements such as handicap ramps and new sidewalks.
DDOT is taking numerous steps to minimize the impact of the bridge renovation on the driving public. The plan includes creating a detailed detour map; paving an additional travel lane on part of the northbound detour route to increase capacity; placing highway message boards advising motorists of the bridge closure and the available alternate routes, and giving incentives to commuters to take mass transit.