New ramp could shave off 10 minutes from your commute

Adam Tuss,

WASHINGTON – An upcoming traffic change could shave about 10 minutes off your commute.

The new ramp from southbound DC-295 to the Southeast-Southwest Freeway will open by Monday afternoon.

Many drivers have wondered why that connection was never made in the first place. Without it, drivers on southbound DC-295 often have to go Pennsylvania Avenue and backtrack to get to the freeway. Drivers can also get off at the Howard Road exit, go across the South Capitol Street Bridge and then link back up.

The direct connection should ease traffic.

“This piece has been missing for about 50 years,” says District Department of Transportation deputy chief engineer Ravindra Ganvir. “We’re very excited about it.”

This is all part of the nearly $400 million 11th street bridge project, and it’s the first major piece of the puzzle to fill in missing links between DC-295 and the freeway.

WTOP had the opportunity to ride across the new ramp Friday morning starting at Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue in Northeast and ending at 6th Street SW. The trip took 10 minutes. At the same time, another DDOT driver made the old trip between the two points using Pennsylvania Avenue. That trip took about 19 minutes.

The opening of the new ramp is not only good news for drivers on DC-295, but also for the local communities around the bridge.

“They will see that the streets have less traffic (cutting through),” says Gavindra.

The next major piece of the project will be the opening of the ramp from the Southeast-Southwest freeway to Northbound DC-295. That is expected in the fall.

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