Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Construction Projects to Snarl Traffic East of Penn Quarter

As anyone who travels from our neighborhood to Union Station or beyond knows, crossing over 395 can be a hassle. We hate to be the ones to tell you this, but the hassle is about to get worse.

Right now, E Street going eastbound is closed for construction of the National Law Enforcement Museum.

And now, DDOT has let us know that construction will be taking place on the Massachusetts, H Street and K Street overpasses to 395, starting in early October. Construction activities are scheduled to take place Monday through Friday between 9 am and 4 pm and may also occur on weekends as needed. At a minimum one lane will be kept open per direction on each of the bridges. The construction will last eighteen months.

The project will rehabilitate these bridges, upgrading the bridge surfaces and improving the drainage system, traffic signals, street lighting and sidewalks. Electrical-mechanical upgrades will also be made to the Air Rights Tunnel below the bridges. The upgrades will provide better lighting and air exchange within the tunnel for travelers who use the tunnel (The Air Rights Tunnel is part of what is commonly referred to as the 3rd Street Tunnel). We're hoping that these upgrades will pave the way, so-to-speak, for the project we reported on last April - developing the space above 395 into green space and retail/office buildings, but we have no official word on that yet.

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