Saturday, March 24, 2007

South Capitol Street Corridor Tunnel?

The South Capitol Street corridor tunnel would eventually connect the southern end of the Center Leg southward to resurface south of the River at a reconstructed partially underground interchange with I-295 and the Suitland Parkway. It would initially surface to connect to the existing I-395 SW/SE/Center Leg interchange, before a later project to build the full connections to and with a replacement future underground interchange.


This tunnel appears in the 2002-2003 planning studies for the South Capitol Street Corridor.

It appears with 6 lanes (3 in each direction).

These illustrations are from the 2003 South Capitol Street Urban Design Study (NCPC) and the Urban Gateyway Study (DCOP).

2003 NCPC South Capitol Street Urban Design Study

2003 DCDOP South Capitol Street Gateway Study,a,1247,q,560731.asp

Extending the Legacy: Planning America's Capital for the 21st Century

South Capitol Street-Frederick Douglass Mall

The version above with the linear park was for essentially the eastern half of the 1997 Extending the Legacy concept for what would logically be named the South Capitol Street-Frederick Douglass Mall, with the western half being omitted ostensibly to avoid displacing existing residences.

Such a swath of green space would be ideal for crafting an underground freeway, with the space to comfortably accommodate maintaining South Capitol Street traffic throughout the construction.

The 2003 USNCPC South Capitol Street Urban Design Study would proclaim its goal to:

Establish a linear park along the length of a new South Capitol Street that will
connect the Mall and Capitol Hill with the Anacostia River.

Nonetheless both the full and the half Mall proposals have since been precluded by the government's un-reported acquiescence to Roman Catholic Church hierarchy against demolishing or even relocating the St. Vincent de Paul Church at the northeast corner of South Capitol and M Streets (the only building on the northbound side to survive the redevelopment), as well as the placement of Nationals Ballpark Stadium.

This is the South Capitol Street Corridor Tunnel? because of the planning uncertainties of the physical realities that prioritize accelerated real estate development with ZERO consideration of increased construction costs and complexities, including an apparent failure to preserve open space for ramp connections to I-395.

See the series of posts I wrote in 2006 about this tunnel's feasibilities:

And about the quiet betrayal of the U.S. Capital City's South Capitol Street-Frederick Douglass Mall:

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