The section of I-395 that will be capped over, with the to-be-removed off ramp circled in red.
At yesterday’s meeting of the Transportation Planning Board, DDOT submitted paperwork necessary to move forward with the transportation-related changes to I-395 as part of the air rights development project. The project is one of the coolest in the region – it will deck over and develop the three blocks of I-395 between Massachusetts Avenue and E Street, repairing a gaping wound in the city fabric, restoring the street grid, and reconnecting the area around Union Station with the rest of downtown.
At the TPB, discussion centered around the reconfigured ingress and egress ramps. Some will be modified to accommodate the deck, but the only real significant change is that the southbound off ramp from 395 to 3rd / E Streets, NW (highlighted at right) will have to be removed. Few drivers get on the highway at New York Avenue just to exit a few blocks south at E, so even fans of urban highways can’t be too upset over the loss of that ramp.
Reconnect Union Station with downtown and remove a ginormous hole in the middle of the city at the cost of a highway ramp used by about 12 people per day? Yes please.