Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I-66 West Leg Future?

This proposed project would construct a deck over D.C. I-66 in front of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts at the interchange with the E Street Expressway.

The concept appeared in the 1996-97 NCPC planning publications "Extending the Legacy: Planning America's Capital for the 21st Century" for "air rights" atop this segment of D.C. I-66.

The more recent study included numerous options, all of which treat it as a heavily truncated system.

The design reduces potential capacity to the south by placing its underground parking alongside rather then atop I-66 on its existing grade. (A proper below ground design would instead drop the I-66 grade to sandwich the parking between I-66 and the deck surface). Hence it includes no provisions for accommodating future extensions, at either end, whether for an I-695 South Leg (or conceivably a tunnel to Route 27 in Virginia), the previously planned I-66 K Street Tunnel, nor a deep drilled tunnel to the north, north-west, taking advantage of technological advances since, for a logically needed Northwest Freeway Tunnel.

This is despite calls -- or lip service -- from the federal government since September 11, 2001, for new evacuation routes from cities.

This project was recently de-funded.

Although clearly an improvement on the surface -- and representative of the proper concept of covering depressed highways -- it's underground portion needs extensive re-design to accommodate a comprehensive, primarily underground, Washington, D.C. motorway network.

DCist- Kennedy Center's Plaza Project Doomed?

Addendum- January 6, 2015:

Below is a design proposal - which is not my preference - from the "National Alliance to Restore Pride in America's Capital" (NARPAC) featuring a re-design of the I-66 West Leg to connect directly with the Rock Creek Parkway.

My preference would be partial ellipse park covered underground interchange somewhat akin to my Alexandria Orb proposal featured in the Alexandria Journal, connecting into a revived I-66 K Street Tunnel.

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