These overlooks to the left – built on top of the former bridge’s piers – provide great views of the DC skyline
With two marching bands, a bayonet-tossing Navy drill team, the Washington Nationals’ Teddy mascot and even a fireboat spraying water high into the air, the third and final river span of D.C.’s 11th Street Corridor Design-Build project was inaugurated on Sept. 7. The day was not just to recognize the efforts of our team, which has worked since July 2009 on the project, but to also celebrate the bridge’s improved connection between the Capitol Hill and Anacostia communities.
This bridge for local traffic is the final element of the $284 million first phase of the 11th Street Bridge project, which has improved mobility in southeast D.C. by providing separate bridges for interstate and local traffic; previously, motorists had to use neighborhood streets to connect to and from the freeways, causing much congestion. While this first phase is complete – it was delivered six months early, with the interstate bridges having opened in late 2011 and early 2012 – Skanska’s joint venture team is continuing work on the $90 million second phase, which includes a flyover ramp.
During the ceremony, the marching bands were used to symbolize how the bridge is improving connections between D.C. neighborhoods: the Eastern Senior High School marching band from Capitol Hill to the north started on its side of the bridge and marched to the center, while the Anacostia Senior High School marching band started from the southern end.
Members of the Skanska team were proud to see the city embracing their creation.
“It’s great to give back to the city in this way,” said Brook Brookshire, Skanska vice president. “I give my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has given so much to this project. Their dedication has made this the world-class infrastructure it is.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Terry Bellamy, director of the District Department of Transportation, praised the project stakeholders for successfully delivering this bridge, the largest project undertaken by DDOT.
“This project has been delivered in an exemplary fashion,” Bellamy said.
Focus on more than cars
More than that catering to cars, the bridge was also designed for pedestrians and cyclists. A 14-foot-wide sidewalk connects to trails on both sides of the river, in contrast to the narrow sidewalk of the previous bridge. Additionally, the piers from the former bridge were salvaged and converted to overlooks with great views of the D.C. skyline; this created a great new community amenity while eliminating the need to demolish and dispose of that structure.
“We’re really excited about the connections to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail – it expands where we can comfortably bike,” said District resident Steve Skripnik, who cycled to the celebration. “We’re impressed to see what a priority the bridge places on pedestrians and bikes – a lot of times that’s an afterthought.”
Greening the bridge
Both the bridge and its construction represent green practices. Our team recovered and reused 100 percent of all concrete and asphalt from the demolition and resurfacing phases. Additionally, highly efficient LED lamps will be used for lighting.