14th Street Bridge work zone shifting

The work zone on the northbound span of the 14th Street Bridge is scheduled to move into the right center lane Thursday morning. This will be the next to last phase in the surface rehabilitation that began two years ago.

Drivers still will have four open lanes during rush hours, but the relocation of the new work zone at the north end of the span will require them to learn a new bit of navigation around the island of construction as they head for either 14th Street or the Southeast-Southwest Freeway.

Because the construction island shortens merging distances, drivers heading for 14th Street will want to get left as early as possible, while those heading for the freeway will want to make early moves to the right.

When they reach the work zone, they will find two lanes on the left flowing toward 14th Street, while the right two flow toward the freeway.

Drivers coming from the northbound George Washington Parkway who use the bridge to reach 14th Street probably will face the greatest challenge in the new configuration. Once they come off the ramp from the parkway onto the bridge, they must focus immediately on safely moving two lanes to the left.

To relocate the construction area, workers are scheduled to shut both the left center lane and the right center lane from 10 p.m. Wednesday through 5 a.m. Thursday. Traffic will have three lanes available throughout Wednesday night.

The new configuration will remain for six to eight weeks. The final phase, which will move the construction island one lane to the right, will last about the same amount of time. All the surface work is scheduled to be done this fall.

The District Department of Transportation has an updated map of the project’s phases and maintains a Twitter feed @14thStBridge.

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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