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District Department of Transportation Announces New Phase of I-395/Third Street Tunnel Construction

Thursday, January 21, 2016
New Traffic Patterns to Take Effect February 1
Media Contacts
Terry Owens — (202) 763-8635, [email protected]
Michelle Phipps-Evans — (202) 497-0124, [email protected] 
Tony Robinson — (202) 439-3277, [email protected] 
(Washington, DC)  – The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) today announced a series of new traffic patterns around the I-395 Center Leg freeway and surrounding areas of the Third Street Tunnel Project in conjunction with the start of a new phase of construction that will include steel erection.
Beginning February 1, the developer will begin installation of heavy steel beams and tunnel decking that will support the foundation of three new city blocks of business and retail space, transitioning from the tunnel construction phase. Installation of the steel elements needed for the deck will involve the use of a 300-ton crane along the I-395 traffic lanes.
“The needs of travelers and their safety through this area has been our top priority and that remains the case today,” said Leif A. Dormsjo, DDOT’s Director.  “This new phase of construction represents a balance of years of planning to complete significant infrastructure upgrades and the safety and convenience of those traveling through this area.”
The following changes in traffic patterns will take effect beginning February 1:
  • Both southbound lanes of I-395, from New York Avenue to E Street, NW, will be closed from 9 pm to 5 am.
  • Most southbound traffic will use one of the northbound lanes, while northbound traffic is diverted to the 2nd Street off-ramp and on to New Jersey Avenue.  Some southbound traffic will be detoured to 4th Street, NW.
  • After approximately five weeks, the northbound lanes will be closed from 9 pm to 
  • 5 am.  Northbound traffic will be detoured to the 2nd Street off-ramp. Southbound lanes will be open and operate under normal conditions during this time.
  • The southbound and northbound closures will continue to alternate through the construction period.
  • Traffic delays are expected and motorists should consider alternate routes.
  • Motorists are reminded that fines are doubled for speeding through work zones.
The steel erection concludes phases of construction that have focused on infrastructure upgrades to the 3rd Street Tunnel. 
“The next phase of construction will provide compelling visual proof that the Capitol Crossing mixed-use development is underway and on-track for 2018 delivery,” said Sean Cahill, Senior Vice President, Property Group Partners. “Much needed infrastructure improvements including significant utility upgrades have already begun to deliver benefits to area residents; steel erection will take this project vertical.”
This development project will enable future growth and attract new small businesses to the neighborhood. Improvements in and around the Third Street Tunnel have focused on utility upgrades along Massachusetts Avenue and new entry and exit portals to I-395 to ease traffic congestion and improve safety; and lastly a continuous deck will be constructed above the existing I-395 Center Leg Freeway.
Completed infrastructure upgrades include the installation of a new high voltage electrical line along Massachusetts Avenue from 3rd to 4th Streets, installation of a new 30” water main on Massachusetts Avenue between 2nd and 4th Streets and installation of a new 8” water main along the east side of 3rd Street from F Street to E Street.
Work scheduled to begin February 1 will continue for approximately seven months, ending in October 2016. For real-time traffic updates, live camera feeds, phasing and Third Street Tunnel project information, please visit www.3rdStTunnel.com.
The mission of the District of Columbia government's Department of Transportation (DDOT) is to enhance the quality of life for District residents and visitors by ensuring that people, goods, and information move efficiently and safely with minimal adverse impact on residents and the environment. Follow us on Twitter; like us on Facebook and visit the website at www.ddot.dc.gov. Visit goDCgo.com for more information on transportation options in the District.