WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- The District Dept. of Transportation (DDOT) starts its four-year bridge project. The $300 million project is the largest in DDOT's history.
The current two bridges will be replaced by three new ones that separate local and freeway traffic. The local lanes will include plans for pedestrian, bicycle and streetcar commuters.
The new traffic pattern will allow commuters to go northbound or southbound on I-295 from all three bridges, says Project Manager Bart Clark, DDOT.
"The many commuters in DC, MD, VA rely on the 11th Street Bridges, so we see it as major connection regionally," says Greer Johnson Gillis, Acting-Chief Engineer, DDOT.
Clark says DDOT had a set budget of $300 million. The agency chose a construction plan with minimal disturbances to traffic patterns. He says commuters should expect two major traffic shifts after 18 months and minor closures during off-peak hours.
The project has been in the works since 2003. Federal and District agencies funded the project, says Clark.
One of the contractors on the project says he drives on the 11th Street bridge everyday.
"The weave patterns are opposite of what they should be," says Dan Bell, Project Manager at Skanska.
Clark says the future freeway lanes will bypass local streets to help ease the congestion.
Written by Elizabeth Jia