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Mr. 202 Turns 202: Mayor Bowser Celebrates Progress on Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge

Thursday, February 13, 2020

(Washington, DC) – Today, on the eve of 202nd anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that construction of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, the largest public infrastructure construction project in the District’s history, is nearly halfway complete.

“The Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge is the embodiment of the man’s work to bring people together,” said Mayor Bowser. “Now, we see that vision coming to life with the first arch nearly complete and hundreds of Washingtonians already employed on the project. This bold and iconic bridge will be a fitting memorial to the Lion of Anacostia.”

Since construction began, the project has created over 200 jobs for DC residents, the result of special approval from Federal Highway Administration requiring 51% of all new project-related jobs to be performed by District residents.

To date, the project has invested over $36 million with Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), on pace to meet the District’s spending goals with DBEs for this project and far outpacing DBE goals on previous capital projects.

“Our team has made incredible progress on the construction of the bridge, which wouldn’t be possible without Mayor Bowser’s leadership and the support of residents, the DC Council, and our partners at the Federal Highway Administration,” said District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Jeff Marootian. “Over the next several months, the team will continue to reach significant milestones in phase one of the project.”

As of mid-February, foundations for the bridge are complete and DDOT expects the first arch to be completed before the end of the month. Construction of the remaining arches is expected to begin in mid-March.

Mayor Bowser officially broke ground on the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge Project to replace the functionally obsolete 70-year-old South Capitol Street bridge in February 2018. Once complete, the new bridge will make it safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and cars to cross the Anacostia River and will feature four pedestrian overlooks, three above-deck arches, and two piers that will appear to float on the river. The project, which will be completed in two phases, will replace the bridge and reconstruct the I-295/Suitland Parkway Interchange.

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.