If You Thought Traffic on 16th Street Was Rough Now – “Significant” Closures coming for 16th Street Bridge Construction Starting March 27th

From the Mayor’s Office:

“Construction of the 16th Street Bridge will require significant closures on 16th Street, NW and Military Road, NW. Starting March 27 for up to four months, weather permitting, the bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction, and eastbound and westbound Military Road NW. One lane will be maintained in each direction on these two roadways, except for several weekends when there will be full closures of Military Road, NW to replace the 16th Street Bridge.

DDOT will inform the public in advance of these closures. Residents and visitors are encouraged to use Georgia Avenue as an alternate route to bypass construction on 16th Street, NW. Additionally at this time, the 16th Street ramp to westbound Military Road, NW will be closed. A detour will be posted. Drivers can expect turn restrictions at 16th Street ramp intersections; and they are urged to obey posted signs.”

Full press release after the jump.

Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced the start of second phase construction to replace the 16th Street Bridge over Military Road, NW. Construction will begin on Friday, March 27 at the end of the morning rush hour and will last up to four months, weather permitting.

Second phase construction will involve the complete replacement of the 16th Street Bridge over Military Road, NW. In addition to replacing the existing, 57-year-old bridge structure, DDOT will refurbish the roadway, install new drainage infrastructure and upgrade traffic signals and street lights on 16th Street, NW.

“The 16th Street Bridge has served District residents and visitors for more than 50 years, but now is the time to make it safer and more reliable for drivers. This project represents an aggressive effort by the District to improve the infrastructure throughout our transportation system and strengthen this critical crossing point that carries over 50,000 vehicles per day moving around our great city,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser.

From March to July 2015, residents and commuters are advised to prepare for major traffic impacts on 16th Street and Military Road, and adjacent arteries during this project. During this period, there will be ongoing single-lane closures on northbound and southbound 16th Street, NW and eastbound and westbound Military Road, NW. One lane will be maintained in each direction on these two roadways at all times, except for several weekends when there will be full closures of Military Road, NW to replace the 16th Street Bridge. Commuters are encouraged to use Georgia Avenue as an alternate route to bypass construction on 16th Street, NW.

Using innovative planning, design and construction methods, the District will cut more than six months off the total construction time.

“DDOT is constantly working on ways to minimize disruptions,” said DDOT Acting Director Leif Dormsjo. “We’re doing everything we can to reduce the time it takes to complete this project.”

11 Comment

  • “that carries over 50,000 vehicles per day,” 47,000 of them from Maryland. Can the construction plan include an EZPass toll scanner?

  • jim_ed

    This is fine considering the inconvenience of a lane closure is worth getting a bridge that isn’t a risk to collapse on itself anymore. That said, they really need to put emergency no-parking restrictions on all of upper 16th St for the duration of the closure.

  • So then what project started 2 weeks ago at 16th & Military? It’s impossible to travel south in 16th as early as 7:45 am traffic is backed up to Somerset & 16th, if not further north. Also, it’s impossible to go west on Military. I can’t believe they plan this shit during Cherry Blossom Festival and that they must do this work during rush hour, or even during business hours? Why can’t DC have road work done during evening hours? You know the same as San Francisco, Los Angeles, NYC, Philly and other cities who are aware of the marvels of electric light bulbs which voila! turn night into day, so as to lessen the inconvenience to residents and visitors alike. Doesn’t anyone at ddot or within DC govt know about these wondrous modern technologies?

    • west_egg

      This isn’t a repaving project, they’re tearing down the bridge and replacing it — one half at a time, it sounds like. Peoples’ homes are in the immediate vicinity, so not only would night work disturb them but it would have absolutely no impact on your commute. In other words, it would be pointless.
      It’s four months. You’ll survive.

      • I don’t think making my 1 hour commute to Old Town Alexandria to 1 hr and 45 minutes each morning is going to do it for me. If residents in other cities can deal with road work at night then so too can the delicate Washingtonians. That;’s what white noise machines and black out curtains are for.

        Not only is Military Road completely useless during the morning commute but so too is Beach Drive from just south of Joyce Road to the Zoo is mercilessly blocked. I can’t even get to Broad Branch.

        Again I ask, is this a different project or did the project start earlier than planned?

        Either way, planning reconstruction of the 16th St bridge AND Military Rd at the same time during morning rush hour is just ridiculous.

  • Georgia isn’t really a viable alternate until they calibrate the light cycle between Walter Reed and Piney Branch, if not father south. Granted, there aren’t many alternatives…

    • It’s almost impossible to get cross town (the only way we’ve found is to take East-West Highway which is way north of our normal route). And it’s suicide getting to Rock Creek Pkwy to Potomac Pkwy to Memorial Bridge (repairs started on the bridge last week). We used to take 14th to Arkansas to Piney Branch and the first left and go through Mount Pleasant but now that route is totally screwed up every morning for the past 2 weeks. Georgia Ave is ok until you get to Petworth/GA Ave metro and becomes worse heading south until complete standstill at NY Ave.

    • I don’t find problems with the light at GA and Piney Branch but agree with you about the lights along Walter Reed on the GA Ave side. Although sometimes the lights on the 16th St entrance suddenly seem strangely calibrated.

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