New ramp to I-395 at Third Street Tunnel opens Saturday

WASHINGTON — The $1.4 billion Capitol Crossing project being built over the Third Street Tunnel/Interstate 395 in Northwest D.C. has reached a milestone: A new ramp to access the highway is opening Saturday.

“DDOT is confident that the new portal will improve downtown traffic,” said Leif Dormsjo, director of the D.C. Department of Transportation.

At about 5 p.m. Saturday, the current ramp at Massachusetts Avenue, H Street and Third Street in Northwest will close.

There will be no access to the Southbound Third Street Tunnel/I-395 southbound from H Street in Northwest. Drivers trying to get onto I-395 south from westbound Massachusetts Avenue might want to examine and choose their preferred route.

Access points to the Southbound Third Street Tunnel/I-395 southbound will be from:

  • Eastbound Massachusetts Avenue at Fourth Street Northwest by entering the new portal/ramp
  • Fourth Street Northwest, which is one way southbound, by turning left into the new portal/ramp on Massachusetts Avenue eastbound
  • New York Avenue at Fourth Street in Northwest
  • D Street at Third Street in Northwest

Work in the area — which will include pedestrian islands, sidewalks, street lamps and public space — is expected to be complete in October.

“We expect there to be even more traffic and mobility benefits later on in the fall, when permanent restorations are made,” Dormsjo said.

The footprint of Capitol Crossing in Northwest is between Massachusetts Avenue and E Street to the north and south, and between Second and Third streets, west to east. It consists of 7 1/2 acres and three city blocks.

By building over the highway, the Capitol Crossing project is not only creating taxable real estate for the city where none existed before, but reconnecting portions of the city long separated by the highway.

“We are reconnecting the street grid at G Street. We are reconnecting the grid at F Street,” Cahill said. For the last two weeks, there’s a sight line from the front door of Union Station to the Treasury building.

Cahill added, “And that’s the first time that view corridor has been opened in 50 years.”

The 200 Massachusetts Ave. property, set to open in mid-2018, is expected to employ more than 5,000 in the building, Cahill said. The 250 Massachusetts Ave. property, expected to be ready in late 2019, also is for retail and commercial development.

One residential building is planned for Capitol Crossing on the G Street block.

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