DDOT to construct new 16th Street NW Bridge over Military Road

The 16th Street NW Bridge over Military Road. (WJLA photo)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) – The D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced plans to replace the 16th Street NW Bridge over Military Road, but progress will mean traffic headaches for thousands of drivers traveling through the District.

Whizzing by on Military Road, you’d never have the chance to look under the 60-year-old 16th Street NW Bridge, but if you did, you’d see cracks galore—some with little stalactites, some of them big and frightening. DDOT says it is replacing the bridge with a new one within months.

“We do need to have something happen,” said DDOT engineer Paul Hoffman. “We don’t want to get into a load restriction here or a closure.”

Hoffman says the bridge has about another year of life in it with no new work done, but the city will start construction in February.

“We’re going to construct this bridge as fast as we can,” he said.

Commuters aren’t complaining.

“It makes me feel more secure when I see something being done about the infrastructure,” said Penny Winslow. “But the reality is that our country is aging.”

This means major construction on and around the bridge, changes in lighting and guard rails, but most significantly, a shrinking roadway. Currently, 50,000 cars go past the bridge each day—30,000 over the bridge and 20,000 under it on Military Road. DDOT will shrink the lanes to one in each direction as it builds.

“It’s gonna be a mess … you wouldn’t believe the traffic that comes through here,” said D.C. resident Stacey Lucien.

The new bridge is expected to cost about $15 million.

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