DDOT’s Project to Automate I-395’s Air Rights Tunnel

A worker stands atop a vast network of air ducts inside the Air Rights Tunnel that help draw out harmful gases (for example, carbon monoxide) in the tunnel.

DDOT has a plan to not only improve the condition of the District’s tunnels, but to make them more energy efficient as well.  The Air Rights Tunnel—which channels I-395 under H Street, K Street, and Massachusetts Avenue NW—has received upgrades in order to become automated.

DDOT is doing away with fluorescent lighting in the Air Rights Tunnel.  The new lighting system is calibrated to increase or decrease output as needed in the day and at night. Also, the new lights are fixed to the walls instead of being strung in line down the ceiling of the structure. 

Another new addition to the Air Rights Tunnel is that the large fans—which are used to ventilate the tunnel—have been programmed to adjust their output to deal with the increased carbon monoxide that is produced during periods of roadway congestion. This will increase visibility, and decrease harmful gases for travelers inside the tunnel.

The Massachusetts Avenue NW bridge over I-395 and the Air Rights Tunnel.

The Massachusetts Avenue NW bridge over I-395 and the Air Rights Tunnel.

DDOT rehabilitated some critical pieces of infrastructure that lie atop the Air Rights Tunnel as well. The bridges on K Street, H Street, and Massachusetts Avenue NW that run over the tunnel were restored as part of the project.

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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