The District Department of Transportation shut down two of New York Avenue's six lanes Monday morning, starting traffic backups that will last for the next two years.
The New York Avenue bridge is undergoing a major reconstruction project between Penn Street and Florida Avenue starting next month. DDOT estimates commuters can expect delays of 15-30 minutes in the project area for the duration of the lane reductions.
Because of the expected traffic mess, DDOT said it will pay $50 a month toward Metro SmarTrip cards for the first 2,000 qualified commuters who agree to ride Metro instead of driving on New York Avenue.
"When the traffic gets heavy, people start signing up," DDOT's Ali Shakeri said on Monday morning.
DDOT officials said they were inspired to try "Bridge Bucks" after the program worked so well during Woodrow Wilson Bridge construction.
It's first come, first served, so log on to www.fixingnewyorkave.com to apply.
DDOT will post real-time updates on strategically placed message boards constantly to caution travelers about traffic conditions in the project area, enabling them to divert onto alternate routes. You can also start to follow @NYAve411 on Twitter to receive updates and alerts.
Looking for alternate routes? Try these:
- Option 1: Montana Avenue to Rhode Island Avenue to North Capitol Street
- Option 2: West Virginia Avenue to Florida Avenue
- Option 3: South Dakota Avenue to Rhode Island Avenue to North Capitol Street
- Option 4: I-295 to two potential exits: Benning Road or East Capitol Street 5