Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Picture of the day: A milestone ribbon-cutting for the 11th Street Bridge Project

December 16, 2011 - 01:16 PM
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(Photo: DDOT)

Today marked quite the ceremony for our local District government, which proudly assembled a ribbon-cutting at the 11th Street Bridge freeways. As I reported not long ago, the District will be opening the two freeways, which should greatly aid traffic in the area.

The ongoing project is $300 million in total, the largest the District Department of Transportation has ever undertaken, and I can understand why Mayor Vince Gray, D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown, officials from DDOT, and others want to celebrate this milestone, despite the chilly December temperatures. The project began in 2009 and this is one of the first of the benefits promised, now delivered. The local bridge is expected to open next year. Photos have emerged of this morning's ribbon-cutting. The bridge is one of many high-profile and expensive projects that the District has engaged in these days, from its network of streetcars to streetscaping to a growing Capital Bikeshare network, all while worrying about growing Occupy costs (now upwards of $1.6 million, the mayor says) and worrying about Congressional budget crises, not to mention the ongoing concern about ethics. It must be nice to have a demonstrable achievement to offer, one that will ease D.C. transportation. Mayor Gray noted today that the project continues ahead of schedule and under budget.

Expect the inbound freeway open to traffic by Monday morning rush hour, DDOT reports, and the outbound bridge to open by next week. What a wonderful holiday transportation gift, no?

Here's an excellent photo provided by Mayor Vince Gray, which I want to highlight here given the enormity of the project:

Chocolate strawberries
(Photo: Office of Mayor Gray)
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