The first span of the new 11th street bridge is now open to open to traffic. Drivers from interstate 295 can now use the new span over the Anacostia River to get into the downtown area.
Mayor Vincent Gray's administration announced the completion last week, after about two years of construction. The bridges connect the Southeast/Southwest Freeway and the Anacostia Freeway.
A second new span will open for outbound drivers within the next two weeks. When that happens, drivers will no longer be able to access Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue or Good Hope Road from 295 for a few months.
A third span will open by this time next year. When the bridge project is complete, drivers on the Southeast-Southwest Freeway will be able to get on the northbound lanes of I-295 without having to get off onto Pennsylvania Avenue.
The mayor's office said in a press release that crews were working over the weekend to shift traffic to the inbound bridge.