Mayor Vincent Gray speaks at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the a new ramp connecting the Anacostia Freeway and the 11th Street Bridge.
Monday marks a big milestone for the 11th Street District project and the larger 30-year, $10 billion Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, as a new ramp opens from Southbound D.C. 295, known as the Anacostia Freeway, to the 11th Street Bridge.
The new ramp is the District Department of Transportation's largest project in history, and plays a huge role in easing commuter traffic. The ramp completes the missing connection for freeway traffic, and transportation officials hope it will reduce the heavy flow of cars that currently cut through neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River during rush hour.
"The 11th Street Bridge projects are the first of three major components
of the waterfront," says Chief Engineer Ronaldo "Nick" Nicholson. "By providing these huge traffic improvements, we are
able to separate commuters from our local communities. The next phase is the South Capitol
St. Corridor, which is the last key component which connects the
shoreline with both economic development on both sides of the river."
Phase one of the $390 million project is expected to be complete by spring 2013. Phase two of the project is scheduled to be complete by fall 2015, according to DDOT. The new ramp is projected to carry as many as 34,000 cars a day by 2030.