D.C. Replacing South Capitol Street Bridge

Project will cost $80 million

Commuters who cross the South Capitol Street Bridge know what a headache the backup can be every morning and afternoon, but the District is taking new steps to build a brand new bridge that could ease that traffic flow.

The 60-year-old South Capitol Street Bridge -- AKA the Frederick Douglass Bridge -- carries about 50,000 vehicles a day into and out of the city.

D.C. Department of Transportation Director Terry Bellamy said the bridge is one of the highest priorities of DDOT, but it's estimated to cost $800 million, and that will require a major commitment from the federal government as well as the city.

 “If I had my way and we had the money, we could possibly see a new bridge in about six to seven years,” he said.

In the scheme of infrastructure things, that's not a long time.

This week the city was notified that it is getting $68 million now in federal funds to buy the riverside land for the new bridge, which will be built just south of the old one. Some initial work already has begun.

The new bridge and traffic flow is expected to help boost the already booming economic redevelopment of the Southeast Waterfront near the baseball stadium.and to ease traffic on to Interstate 295 and the Suitland Parkway.

Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin said the new bridge also will bring new jobs to the region.

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