New ramp for 11th St. Bridge

The District Department of Transportation plans to open a new ramp Thursday that will take traffic from northbound Interstate 295 onto the local span of the 11th Street Bridge over the Anacostia River. Some paving and lane marking for the opening is scheduled for Wednesday night, and that will affect overnight traffic in the area.

 From 8 p.m. Wednesday till about 5 a.m. Thursday, the Howard Road SE ramp to northbound I-295 will close for the final work on tying the ramp to the bridge span. Howard Road drivers heading for the bridge will be directed to a detour along Anacostia Park Drive onto the eastbound Suitland Parkway and then onto northbound I-295.

During the same hours, northbound D.C. 295, which is on the north side of the 11th Street Bridge, will be reduced to a single lane between Howard Road and Pennsylvania Avenue SE. All the lanes and ramps are scheduled to be open in time for the Thursday morning rush. (Planners had hoped to open the new ramp Wednesday morning, but Tuesday’s rain forced a delay on the final paving.)

Using the new ramp 

The new link to the 11th Street Bridge’s local span will be a particular benefit to commuters who come up the Suitland Parkway and use the 11th Street Bridge to reach jobs at the Navy Yard. The ramp will allow them to remain to the right on I-295 as they approach the bridge. In fact, all northbound traffic in this area should benefit, because the need for lane changes will be reduced.

But be cautious on the new ramp. It ends at a traffic signal. Turn left to reach the Navy Yard and Capitol Hill across the Anacostia River. Turn right to reach Anacostia. Near this new connection, drivers will see work continuing on the new outbound ramp, which will take traffic from the local span onto southbound I-295. This work should be done around the middle of the month.

Many new links are set to open this fall on the 11th Street Bridge, which consists of two freeway spans in addition to the local span. One of the biggest changes will be the opening of a ramp from the outbound freeway span to northbound D.C. 295. That’s scheduled for around Thanksgiving. (Very appropriate.)

The ramp from southbound D.C. 295 to the inbound freeway opened July 30.

I plan to review all the changes on Sunday’s Commuter page in The Post Metro section.

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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