14th Street Bridge work wrapping up

The lane closings on the northbound span of the 14th Street Bridge are about to end after two years of rehabilitation work. The District Department of Transportation says that the final resurfacing work is scheduled for next weekend. After the permanent pavement markings are laid down, all lanes will be open in their original configuration.

During the project, drivers have had to adjust to periodic shifts in the lane configuration. The plan kept all four lanes open during rush periods but caused some confusion among drivers as they adapted to the changes and tried to figure out when they needed to change lanes to reach either 14th Street NW or the Southeast-Southwest Freeway.

The rehabilitation was necessary for the safety and preservation of the bridge, but like most other bridge projects in the D.C. region, it won’t markedly increase capacity. Drivers who have endured the lane closings will now enjoy a smoother ride, but probably not a faster one.

Here’s the plan for wrapping up the job:

At 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 5, crews are scheduled to begin the job of laying down the permanent pavement markings. (This type of work is highly dependent on favorable weather.)

Work will continue through the weekend until all striping is done, finishing no later than 5 a.m., Monday, Aug. 8.

During that weekend, temporary traffic controls will guide traffic through the shifting work zone. Two lanes will be open to through traffic during the striping.

While this will complete work on the road surface, activity will continue on the underside of the span. That involves retrofitting piers and other elements of the substructure. Placement of equipment for that work may require periodic lane closures, but these would take place during off-peak hours.

Robert Thomson is The Washington Post’s “Dr. Gridlock.” He answers travelers’ questions, listens to their complaints and shares their pain on the roads, trains and buses in the Washington region.
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