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End is near for 14th Street Bridge rehab work

Friday - 7/29/2011, 12:51pm  ET

14thstbridge.jpg
This diagram shows the final lane configuration that will be in place after the lane striping is finished. (Courtesy DDOT)

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

WASHINGTON -- For more than two years, the more than 200,000 drivers who cross the northbound 14th Street Bridge each day have had to deal with construction work.

They'll be happy to know the end is in sight.

The bridge's deck is being ripped out and replaced in sections, meaning lane shifts, awkward merges and backups have been part of the ride.

But the D.C. Department of Transportation says starting next weekend, final lane striping will start. After the weekend, the original lane and shoulder configurations will be in place.

The project has hit some bumps: It was delayed about a year because the road condition under the surface of the bridge deck was in worse shape than first thought.

"We had hoped to be finished with the deck work by the end of 2010," DDOT Chief Engineer Ronaldo "Nick" Nicholson told WTOP recently. "But as we pulled that asphalt back and got to see exactly how bad 14th Street was, it delayed us from what we thought we were going to be able to finish."

In just a little over a week, drivers will be able to once again cross the bridge -- which is the busiest commuter route into D.C. -- without any obstructions.

Some other work will still take place underneath the bridge deck, but that's not expected to impact drivers during rush hours.

The bridge project is costing $27 million. Nicholson says everything is on budget because of contingency funds that have been set aside.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)