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Work Begins On D.C's 11th St. Bridge

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Work begins on the new 11th Street Bridge over the Anacostia River. The new bridge is expected to cost $300 million and be completed by the summer of 2013.
Davud Schultz
Work begins on the new 11th Street Bridge over the Anacostia River. The new bridge is expected to cost $300 million and be completed by the summer of 2013.

A handful of men in jumpsuits are on a small barge underneath the bridge, as winds whip the choppy water beneath them at nearly 50 miles an hour. They're beginning work on a $300 million project to build a new 11th Street Bridge and tear down the old one. James Brookshire, one of this project's many consultants, says working on water makes everything more complicated. "Yes, it does add a new element," he says. "You're certainly concerned about the weather when you're working on the water, and you have to be careful of that." The new 11th Street Bridge will actually be two bridges: one, an extension of I-295 and the other, a seperate, local bridge for pedestrians, cyclists and neighborhood car traffic. Or, as the D.C. Department of Transportation's Bart Clark puts it: "This downstream bridge will essentially be a city street that happens to go across the river." Clark says the second bridge will make it easier for people in Southeast D.C. - as well as Prince George's County - to travel into Capitol Hill and downtown. The completion date for the bridge project is scheduled for mid-2013. In the meantime, the existing bridge will remain open.

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