Hidden in Plain Sight – Interstate 695

This is really a follow-up to Monday’s post about the opening of the new inbound 11th Street Freeway Bridge. We haven’t heard any complaints about the new bridge (thankfully) but there does seem to be some traffic-stopping confusion (not literally) about new signs posted on the approach to the new bridge and on the span itself. In fact, some folks think we made a glaring – and very visible – mistake on the signage.

New Sign on New Inbound 11th Street Bridge

The signs say “Interstate 695 to Interstate 395 Capitol Hill.” Only problem is there is no I-695 in the District, right? Maybe – some speculate – the signs are referring to the Baltimore Beltway which is also I-695.

Opening of the Inbound Freeway Bridge

Well, actually, there is an I-695 in DC and there has been on for a long time. But while residents and commuters are intimately familiar with I-295 and I-395, you can’t blame them for not knowing where I-695 is located; as far as we can tell it was not previously signed although it was shown on some maps. I-695 has been the designation for a portion of the Southeast/Southwest Freeway, beginning where I-395 enters the Third Street Tunnel and extending to the northern side of the 11th Street Bridge, a grand total of 1.4 miles.

Map Showing New Limits of I-695

In conjunction with the construction of the new 11th Street Bridges, DDOT requested and received approval to extend I-695 across the Anacostia River where it now terminates at the interchange with I-295 and DC 295. I-695 is now a full 2 miles long with mile marker zero located at the junction with I-395. And I-695 is now signed. The map above shows the new limits of I-695 highlighted in green.

There is a method to our madness – we promise – but if you’re still confused maybe Mike DeBonis of the Post or WTOP’s Adam Tuss can provide more clarity.

If only they had signed I-695 way back when the SE/SW Freeway was completed.

Construction of SE/SW Freeway in 1972

Now, who knows where to find the Dwight D. Eisenhower Freeway? Is it signed?

John Lisle
Communications Director

About DDOT Blogger

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) develops and maintains for the District of Columbia a cohesive sustainable transportation system that delivers safe, affordable, and convenient ways to move people and goods - while protecting and enhancing the natural, environmental and cultural resources of the District.
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3 Responses to Hidden in Plain Sight – Interstate 695

  1. OK, I give up! Where is the Eisenhower Freeway in DC?

  2. I can’t remember where, but I have seen it signed as the Eisenhower Freeway.

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