The new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge in Washington D.C. crosses more than just the Anacostia River. The largest infrastructure investment in the District Department of Transportation’s history, the signature structure improves pedestrian and vehicular safety, enhances multimodal transportation options, increases community accessibility and supports economic development on both sides of the river. In many ways, revitalization is the overriding goal, particularly for the historically underserved community around it.

Program and Construction Management

The project not only replaced the existing 68-year-old bridge, but it also reconstructed the Suitland Parkway/I-295 interchange. As program and construction manager, HNTB provided project oversight. The firm’s work included overseeing the design process and ensuring the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge was constructed according to technical requirements, visual quality requirements and specifications.

Construction of traffic ovals at each end of the bridge calms traffic and provides connection to numerous intersecting roadways. HNTB also reconstructed a portion of I-295, including bridges over three roadways and a new interchange between I-295 and Suitland Parkway.

Community Outreach

As DDOT recognized the importance of making the community’s voice heard, a stakeholder communications committee was created to address any potential community-related issues while working across such a heavily populated area of the city. Supporting community outreach and involvement efforts, HNTB provided updates and opened the floor for feedback regarding issues and concerns with the project on a quarterly basis. In the process, many committee representatives would go on to become advocates for the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge project.

Now, as the new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge is enhancing mobility and opportunity, those advocates and surrounding community members are seeing the impacts of the new signature bridge first-hand.

Location: Washington D.C.

Client: District Department of Transportation

Read more: Building More than a Bridge, Designer article