Correction to This Article
The Dr. Gridlock column in the June 10 Metro section incorrectly said that work on the Douglass Bridge will close East Capitol Street over the Anacostia River next month. The work will close South Capitol Street over the river.

Bridge Shutdown Clouds Commuters' Summer Break

By Robert Thomson
Sunday, June 10, 2007

These are just a couple of the letters I've been getting about this summer's biggest construction project: the Douglass Bridge rehabilitation scheduled to shut down East Capitol Street over the Anacostia River for about two months beginning July 6.

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I commute from Southern Maryland into the District every day, and I'm astounded that the best alternative anyone has come up with is the 11th Street Bridge.

As anyone who drives on Suitland Parkway or I-295 into the District knows, funneling everyone onto the 11th Street Bridge will produce gridlock all summer.

There are other bridges that should also be suggested. However, there's also a transit solution that the Maryland Transit Administration, Metro and the District Department of Transportation should be contemplating.

That solution is to divert the MTA commuter buses from Southern Maryland to the closest Metro stations, rather than pushing them through the gridlock to their regular stops in downtown Washington. I take the MTA's 904 commuter bus route into the District. When the bridge is closed, couldn't it run more frequently between the Suitland Metro stop and the pickup points in Anne Arundel and Prince George's?

If MTA, the D.C. government and Metro would make a temporary arrangement like this, the summer from hell might not materialize. Yes, it will probably cost commuters more money, but it will mean less time commuting and a lot less stress.

Sarah Brozena


Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Traffic coming from Indian Head Highway and far Southeast Washington will have to take an alternate route: South Capitol Street/MLK Avenue to the 11th Street Bridge and will meet up with traffic at Good Hope Road SE. This traffic is already distressed.

Will the 11th Street Bridge be able to accommodate the increased traffic?

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2007 The Washington Post Company