WASHINGTON (WDVM) – The Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge will open to motorists starting Friday evening September 10th. All six lanes will be open by Saturday, September 11th.
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, along with acting director of the District Department of Transportation, Congressman Eleanor Holmes Norton, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and members of the district council held a severing for the new district symbol.
“The new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge is a fitting tribute to an iconic Washingtonian, an ancestor of Black Excellency, whom we continue to emulate and who helped make Washington DC the city we are today. This project was never just about getting people from point A to point B, it was about building a more connected DC – connecting station 8 and station 6, connecting residents to jobs and wealth, and our whole To connect community with the future of multimodal transportation, ”said Mayor Bowser. “Today we celebrate all of the federal, regional, and local partners who helped us get here, including our champions in Congress, Congressman Norton and Majority Leader Hoyer, the Douglass family, and teams from the District Department of Transportation and the South Capitol Bridge builders. “
The Duke Ellington Marching Band played a procession while the tape was being cut, and local soloist Bonnie Burnett played “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Also, Frederick Douglass’ great-great-grandson, Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., was at the cutting of the ribbon.
“Washington, DC has been a very special place for the Douglass family since Frederick Douglass moved his family here nearly 150 years ago. We are excited that this great bridge will serve to educate the public about his legacy, connect DC with the neighborhoods he worked and lived in, and inspire future generations to advocate for change. My mother, Nettie Washington Douglass, represented the family when the original South Capitol Street Bridge was renamed after our great ancestor in 1965, and I am honored to continue that tradition and represent her and the entire Douglass family in the inauguration of the new one Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge, ”he said.
The groundbreaking for the project took place in 2018 on the 200th birthday of Douglass. The new symbol and connector will replace the 70-year-old South Capitol Street Bridge.
The project was a $ 440 million investment, with funding coming from federal grants and more than $ 250 million in local taxpayers. In addition, the project created jobs for more than 200 DC residents made up of at least 45 minority and women-owned companies that represented $ 91 million in contract opportunities.
“The ribbon cut for the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge is a historic event for the borough, especially Boroughs 7 and 8, which were previously cut off from much of DC,” said Congresswoman Norton. “That is why, in my role as a high-level member of the Committee on Transport and Infrastructure and Chair of the Subcommittee on Motorways and Local Transport, together with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, I have spent more than a decade putting together the funds in every draft budget, until we have 60%. Get federal funding. “
“I am excited to celebrate the opening of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge and thank Mayor Bowser for her guidance on behalf of the thousands of workers and families who will benefit from this critical infrastructure priority,” said Majority Leader Hoyer. “I am proud to be working with the Mayor and my colleagues in Congress to raise more than $ 200 million in federal funding for this project. This bridge shows the importance of investing in infrastructure that not only connects communities but also creates new opportunities for local economic growth and well-paid jobs. Today is a wonderful day for our families and workers in the National Capital Region who will use and enjoy this multifunctional bridge for generations to come. “
The bridge design includes three arches above the deck that capture the arch history of the district, two piers that appear to float in the river, and four pedestrian overlooks. The bridge is part of the South Capitol Street Corridor Project.
“This dramatic bridge is a shining example of Mayor Bowser’s commitment to sustainable, resilient transportation that serves not just the district but the entire region,” said DDOT Director Everett Lott. “It will significantly improve the mobility of the more than 70,000 vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians who cross the bridge every day. Thank you to the DDOT and South Capitol Bridge Builders teams for bringing this project to the finish line – a couple of weeks early! “