Your new 11th Street Bridge traffic pattern (D.C. Department of Transportation)

If you hear commuters breaking into the “Hallelujah” chorus today, it might not be due solely to the holiday season. Today, the most anticipated aspect of the $300 million 11th Street Bridge project opens to drivers: A direct, no-stop connection between the eastbound Southeast Freeway and the northbound Anacostia Freeway (aka 295). In other words: No more waiting at Barney Circle to turn right over the Sousa Bridge, then waiting to turn left across Pennsylvania Avenue SE traffic to get to 295. Writes Dr. Gridlock: “When the work is done Wednesday morning, the District will have reached a very significant milestone in the reconstruction of the bridge. Commuters will have direct links between the freeways on either side of the Anacostia River, something they’ve dreamed of for decades.”

In other news:

Council says no to Vincent Gray’s request for more cops (PostExaminer)

During ex-offender bill debate, Marion Barry kept it classy (WJLA-TVExaminerWBJWAMU-FM)

Campaign finance reform will wait (WaTimesExaminer)

And Bloomingdale gets its flood relief fund (WJLA-TVExaminer)

MPD offers citywide crime data for the first time in months: Violent incidents up by 3 percent; property crime up by 4 percent (WaTimesPoP)

The D.C. Council quietly removed a key corporate transparency measure (Loose Lips)

Five-year plans are all the latest rage; now the State Superintendent of Education has one (Examiner)

Harry Jaffe compares Vincent Gray to Frank Rizzo (Examiner)

Today: A federal judge is likely to return special-ed busing to city control (AP)

City lawyer describes in court how deleting a file isn’t really deleting a file (Legal Times)

Why doesn’t DCPS require principals to conduct lockdown drills? (D.C. Schools Insider)

David Catania wants to better protect your e-mails from Big Brother (DCist)

D.C. Public Library’s Ginnie Cooper wins major architecture award (DCist)

Airports Authority handed out decent raises this year (Post)

Want a Ward 8 grocery to succeed? Put it by the Anacostia Metro station (RU Seriousing MeHousing Complex)

D.C. schools wonk Mary Levy: School closings will hasten advent of “rump” DCPS (Post letter)

PoPville doesn’t want to pay for their new Supercans (PoP)

Tonight’s Stein Club meeting should be quite an event (BladeDCist)

Jim Graham likes Havana and Ben’s Chili Bowl, hates gum chewing and “ballpoint pen clicking” (DCmud)