Interstate 295 - Anacostia Freeway

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Interstate 295 nips the state of Maryland for all of 0.80 miles officially between the District of Columbia and the Capital Beltway at Oxon Hill. Interstate 295 connects the Anacostia Freeway in Washington with Interstates 95 & 495 and Maryland 210 (Indian Head Highway) to the south.

The Anacostia Freeway, named after the river it parallels, constitutes an urban route north into Washington. The freeway overall carries four lanes, with exits serving the Bellevue and Congress Heights communities and Boiling Air Force Base in southeastern Washington. I-295 at Washington totals 6.00 miles from I-95 & 495 north to the 11th Street Bridge (I-695).

Interstate 295 Washington, DC Highway Guides

The short stretch of I-295 in Maryland was reconstructed in conjunction with the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge for I-95 & 495. This included an extension of ramps south to National Harbor Boulevard. Overall work was completed in 2009.

The route for Interstate 295 ended at the 11th Street Bridge interchange with the Southeast Freeway (Interstate 695) until 2009. This end point was a leftover from when I-295 was planned to continue north first as the 1960s East Leg Freeway to unconstructed I-95 near Eckington. It remained in place as a 1982 proposal for the Barney Circle Freeway took I-695 eastward from Pennsylvania Avenue to the Anacostia Freeway near Randle Circle.2

Ultimately dropped due to vehement opposition by 1996, the Barney Circle Freeway and bridge were replaced in planning by proposed upgrades to the 11th Street Bridge and interchange with the Anacostia Freeway. Work commenced on a $390-million project to replace the 11th Street Bridge and add ramps to the Anacostia Freeway north in December 2009.3 The project replaced the 1960s-built spans over the Anacostia River and constructed a new directional T interchange with the Anacostia Freeway. Renumbering of I-295 and I-695 coincided with the work, with I-695 shifting from the Southeast Freeway southward onto the 11th Street Bridge to replace I-295 to D.C. 295. The new interchange between I-295 north, D.C. 295 south and I-695 east opened in phases throughout 2012.

The Anacostia Freeway was completed on August 7, 1964 after seven years of construction. The $36-million route tied into the Capital Beltway to the south and the Kenilworth Avenue Freeway, at East Capitol Street, to the north. Further lengthening of the freeway occurred in 1990, when a 1.7-mile extension opened southeast from the Beltway to Maryland 210 (Indian Head Highway) at Oxon Hill.1


Interstate 295 scenes
Interstate 295 trailblazers posted at the end of the South Capital Street northbound off-ramp to Malcolm X Avenue (formerly Portland Street). Drivers bound for I-295 north can utilize the on-ramp from Malcolm Avenue east. Southward bound traffic to the Anacostia Freeway is directed to turn around via the South Capital Street on-ramp from Malcolm Avenue west to the Overlook Avenue on-ramp. Photo taken 09/25/04.
2 photos
2 photos
Interstate 295 shields posted along Malcolm X Avenue east for the northbound on-ramp to the Anacostia Freeway. I-295 serves Downtown Washington via the Capitol Avenue Bridge and 11th Street Bridge (I-695) off-ramps. District of Columbia 295 continues the freeway northeast to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Baltimore. Photos taken 09/25/04.

Sources:

  1. Anacostia Freeway (I-295 and DC 295), DCRoads.net.
  2. Southeast Freeway (I-695), DCRoads.net.
  3. 11th Street Bridge Project, District Department of Transportation.


Photo Credits:

09/25/04 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 95
Interstate 495 - Capital Beltway
Interstate 695 - Southeast Freeway
District of Columbia 295
Maryland 210 Indian Head Highway

Page Updated 12-20-2018.