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Mayor Bowser Breaks Ground on the New Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Project Will Create New Pathways to the Middle Class by Creating Jobs and Improving Transit between Anacostia and Downtown

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Bowser today broke ground on construction of the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge. The work is part of the South Capitol Street Corridor Project, the largest public infrastructure project in the history of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). Today’s event kicked off a week of festivities celebrating the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass. This week marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass.

“As we continue to create new opportunities and expand prosperity across all eight wards of the District, this new bridge will enhance the connection between Wards 8 and 6, with the bridge itself serving as a destination for our residents and visitors,” said Mayor Bowser. “The project is already creating jobs for District residents, and once completed, the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge will have a tremendous impact on our city’s transportation network and economic growth.”

The South Capitol Street Corridor Project, which will be completed in two phases, includes replacement of the 68 year-old Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge and reconstruction of the Suitland Parkway/I-295 interchange. The new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge will be built approximately 100 feet from the existing bridge. The new bridge design includes three above-deck arches that capture the District’s arch history, two piers that will appear to float in the river, and four pedestrian overlooks.

Key project elements also include:

  • new traffic ovals east and west of the river that connect South Capitol Street and Suitland Parkway to local streets;
  • reconstruction of the Suitland Parkway/Interstate 295 interchange, which includes replacing the I-295 bridges over Howard Road, Suitland Parkway, and Firth Sterling Avenue;
  • improvements to bike and pedestrian facilities; and
  • improvements to the drainage and storm water management systems.

The new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge is a prime example of a project that can result from a strong federal-local funding partnership. Federal grants, which make up the majority of the project’s funding, were matched by over $250 million in local taxpayer dollars. The Bowser Administration is hopeful that the federal infrastructure plan being proposed in Congress will expand this direct federal funding to cities and counties in order to repair and modernize streets, bridges, roads, affordable housing, and public transportation, with a continued federal commitment to WMATA.

For Phase One of the project, the District signed a $441 million contract with South Capitol Bridgebuilders (SCB), a joint venture between Archer Western Construction, LLC and Granite Construction Company. AECOM is the lead designer for the joint venture, and HNTB is assisting DDOT with program and construction management. The District received special Federal Highway Administration approval requiring 51 percent of all new project related jobs to be performed by District residents. Additionally, the contractor must subcontract at least 13 percent of the total design contract and 22 percent of the construction contract to certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), far outpacing DBE goals on previous capital projects.

The South Capitol Street Corridor Project is one in a series of transportation, environmental, economic, community, and recreation projects developed by the larger Anacostia Waterfront Initiative (AWI) program. The 30-year, $10 billion AWI program is transforming the shores of the Anacostia River into a world-class waterfront and enriching nearby communities.

For more information about the South Capitol Corridor Project and the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, visit newfrederickdouglassbridge.com. To learn more about the AWI Program, visit anacostiawaterfront.org.