Revitalization project closing lanes of D.C. thoroughfare

WASHINGTON — A revitalization project expected to begin this week in Ward Seven will mean lane closures on portions of Minnesota Avenue in D.C.

Traffic will be reduced to a single northbound and a single southbound lane in work zones along Minnesota Avenue, from A Street Southeast to south of Benning Road Northeast.

The project was supposed to start Monday, but got postponed to Tuesday because of bad weather,  District Department of Transportation officials said.  Weather permitting, the roadwork is expected to take place weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on weekends and night, as needed.

Dawit Muluneh, District Department of Transportation’s interim deputy chief engineer, said the scope of the lane closures would be limited to the area being worked on a given day.

“So if we’re working in two-blocks, the restrictions will be in those two-blocks. The restrictions will not be end to end,” Muluneh said.

This is the first of eight phases of the Minnesota Avenue Revitalization project, which is expected to continue for 18 months. Construction is expected to conclude by spring 2017.

Muluneh said the corridor was very congested for cars and pedestrians. In certain locations, it’s almost impossible for pedestrians to get across Minnesota Avenue, Muluneh said. He said crews will add a traffic signal at the intersection of Blaine Street and Minnesota Avenue, the site of a large senior housing facility.

Other improvements include: roadway replacement, sidewalk widening, new traffic signals, ADA-compliant ramps, improved bus stops, lots of trees, and a new water main.

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