District Department of Transportation

DC Agency Top Menu

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

I-395/Third Street Tunnel Construction Update

Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Traffic patterns to continue as construction shifts to next phase


Media Contacts

Terry Owens — (202) 763-8635, [email protected]
Michelle Phipps-Evans — (202) 497-0124, [email protected]

(Washington, DC) – The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) today approved continued nighttime, single-direction closures around the I-395 Center Leg freeway and surrounding areas of the Third Street Tunnel Project to maximize the safety and efficiency of construction of three new city blocks of business and retail space above the highway from Massachusetts Avenue, NW to E Street, NW.

As the project moves from the tunnel construction phase to additional phases of work, current traffic patterns and detour routes will remain in effect five nights each week until July 2017 as follows:

Southbound Detour, 9 pm to 5 am:

  • Northbound lanes will be diverted off the highway at the 2nd Street exit.
  • Both southbound lanes of I-395, from New York Avenue to E Street, NW, will be closed.
  • Some southbound traffic will use one of the northbound lanes, while some of the southbound traffic will be detoured to 4th Street.

    Northbound Detour, 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.

The Northbound detour will be used for approximately six weeks. Then the southbound closure will be in effect for approximately six weeks. 

Following this time, the detours will alternate as needed to complete construction on major structural elements.

Motorists should expect moderate delays. According to the traffic studies, during the southbound closures, motorists will experience up to five minutes of additional travel time for a small portion of the detoured traffic, compared to existing conditions.

The northbound closures will add about two minutes of travel time for northbound traffic.

Steel erection activities began in February 2016 and will continue through January 2017.  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.

Completed infrastructure upgrades include the installation of new high voltage electrical lines 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.

A continuous deck is under construction above the existing I-395 Center Leg Freeway. The deck will support the new vertical development, with the first building scheduled for delivery in December 2018. For real-time traffic updates, live camera feeds, phasing and 3rd 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.