November 28, 2011

A hidden route, unhidden

Most of my regular readers are probably aware of DDOT's 11th St Bridge project, which is replacing the existing 11th Street Bridge over the Anacostia with three new for each direction of freeway and a new local bridge that'll link 11th St SE with Martin Luther King Ave SE.

A few of you may know that the Southeast Freeway between the 3rd St Tunnel (I-395) and the 11th St Bridge has carried a hidden Interstate designation: I-695. As part of the 11th St Bridge project, DDOT requested in 2009 to truncate I-295 (which had crossed the bridge, the ramp connections above M St SE that were taken out last year, and extended to Barney Circle) to Anacostia and extend I-695 across the 11th St Bridge.

This past weekend, I found visual proof that DDOT intends to at least partially sign I-695:

This is quite likely the first I-695 shield in DC in 40 years, if not ever. I-695 was originally slated to follow both the Southeast Freeway and also the cancelled "West Leg" of the core freeway system, from I-395 at Maine Ave northwest to I-66 near the Roosevelt Bridge. Though it's possible that the covered panel here may have had an I-695 shield at one point, it's hard to say for sure.

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