Debate over the shutdown of I-395 continues

Yesterday, The Washington Post reported that construction could potentially shut down almost a mile of Interstate 395—a highway on which 90,000 drivers travel each day.

The consideration is the result of a letter submitted by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) last month. The letter proposed the closure of the highway to complete construction on a Capital Crossing project, led by Property Group Partners, and asked the FHWA for guidance on the closing process.

The federal agency responded in a letter written to DDOT director Matthew Brown. In the letter, FHWA division administrator Joseph C. Lawson said, “In order to consider closing the facility, DDOT would be required to perform an appropriate environmental review to determine the impacts to the human and natural environment.”

The idea of closing such a well-traveled section of the highway is controversial and has upset many civilians and public officials in the D.C. area. In an article posted earlier today by Washington City Paper, a spokesperson for Mayor Vincent Gray and Mayor-Elect Muriel Bowser made statements that neither would support the closing of I-395.

Earlier this year, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton spoke out against the idea of closing the section and even called for a meeting of Congress members of Maryland and Virginia to discuss the matter.

Photo: William F. Yurasko via flickr

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