U.S. 50


U.S. 50 enters the district on a freeway overlapped with Interstate 66 across the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge from Arlington, Virginia. The route leads due east along the National Mall on Constitution Avenue NW from the I-66 northward turn to George Washington University. Combining with U.S. 1, U.S. 50 turns north onto 6th Street NW for New York Avenue east. New York Avenue facilitates six lanes of travel with a 35 mile-per-hour speed limit to a freeway taking U.S. 50 east to the John Hanson Highway to Annapolis, Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Historically U.S. 50 followed Independence Avenue east from the Lincoln Memorial area along the south side of the National Mall. This route passed by the United State Capitol to a north-south couplet with 4th and 6th Streets NE to Maryland Avenue. Maryland Avenue, later part of an alignment with U.S. 1 Alternate, took U.S. 50 northeast to Bladensburg Road and its New York Avenue NE path east from the district.

Interstate 66 & U.S. 50 east
Interstate 66 & U.S. 50 combine for just 0.4 miles across the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge. The bridge mainline defaults onto U.S. 50 east for Constitution Avenue NW to the National Mall and Downtown. The left lane(s) continue I-66 east onto the Potomac River Freeway north through Foggy Bottom. Photo taken 08/04/13.
An off-ramp departs for the south end of the Potomac River Freeway ahead of Ohio Drive south to Independence Avenue east. Interstate 66 and U.S. 50 split immediately there after. Independence Avenue extends east from Ohio Drive, south past the Lincoln Memorial, along the south edge of the National Mall.
Surprisingly, this is the final sign (guide sign or reassurance shield) that refers to Interstate 66 east. There are no reassurance shields or any END markers posted along the Potomac River Freeway north. Photo taken 08/04/13.
U.S. 50 east
This reassurance shield greets travelers as U.S. 50 east transitions from the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge onto Constitution Avenue. This U.S. 50 shield was the standard D.C. route marker for a US Highway until the 2000s. Photo taken 06/01/04.
U.S. 50 joins Constitution Avenue east at 23rd Street NW. Between 23rd Street and 17th Street, U.S. 50 passes right by some of the most fabled architecture and grounds in the country. To the south of U.S. 50 is the National Mall, a large park that extends from the Potomac River and Lincoln Memorial east past the Reflecting Pool toward the Washington Monument, the tallest structure in Downtown Washington. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and D.C. War Memorial are all located toward the west end of the Mall. A variety of museums occupy the National Mall east of U.S. 1 (14th Street), until the Mall reaches the U.S. Capitol, home to the Senate and House of Representatives. Photo taken 06/01/04.
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2 photos
U.S. 50 (Constitution Avenue NW) east at 17th Street NW. 17th Street NW travels north from Independence Avenue SW and the National World War II Memorial to Connecticut Avenue and U.S. 29 (K Street). Photos taken 08/01/05.
You may have missed it, but between 23rd Street and 14th Street, U.S. 50 passes by the White House, the Ellipse, and the Zero Milestone. Find a place to park and explore this area! As for U.S. 50 (Constitution Avenue) east, it approaches U.S. 1 (14th Street) South to the southeast of the White House.
This U.S. 1 shield had a previous life as a U.S. 29 shield; the faded numbers were visible in this photo. The two left lanes allow for left turns onto 14th Street northbound; this is one of the few permissible left turns along this section of Constitution Avenue.
The U.S. 1 sign pictured here was removed after 2011. The U.S. 1 merge with U.S. 50 east along Constitution Avenue is basically unsigned now, as is the junction with U.S. 1 from U.S. 50 east. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The intersection for 14th Street NW (U.S. 1 South) is just ahead. The building on the left is the Customs Service. To the south of Constitution Avenue and east of 14th Street is the continuation of National Mall. Several museums, including the Smithsonian, National Air and Space Museum, National Gallery of Art, and National Museum of American History are located around the Mall along this stretch. Photo taken 06/01/04.
U.S. 50 (Constitution Avenue SW) east at U.S. 1 (14th Street SW) south. This guide sign partitions travelers bound for Interstate 395. U.S. 1 follows 14th Street SW directly onto I-395 at East Potomac Park. The only northbound on-ramp to I-395 from Downtown Washington is via Washington Avenue SW at D Street SW, which requires a drive on Constitution Avenue east to Pennsylvania Avenue east, 3rd Street south, and Independence Avenue east to reach. Photo taken 08/01/05.
U.S. 1 North U.S. 50 East
U.S. 1 north & 50 (Constitution Avenue NW) east next intersect 12th Street NW and the 12th Street Expressway north. The Expressway flows north from I-395 north to a tunnel below the National Mall. Photo taken 06/01/04.
9th Street NW south becomes the 9th Street Expressway south of U.S. 1 & 50 (Constitution Avenue NW). The southbound expressway passes through a tunnel below the National Mall to emerge at ramps for Interstate 395 (Southwest Freeway).
This small guide sign was removed by 2009, leading no indication of the connection with I-395 for Constitution Avenue. Photo taken 06/01/04.
U.S. 1 north & 50 (Constitution Avenue NW) approach 6th Street NW. Despite the signage here, which was removed by 2007, both U.S. 1 and U.S. 50 turn north onto 6th Street. This intersection is located adjacent to the National Museum of Art-West Building. The U.S. Capitol is still ahead, so to reach the U.S. Capitol and its Reflecting Pool, continue east on Constitution Avenue. Photo taken 06/01/04.
U.S. 1 and U.S. 50 leave Constitution Avenue NW for 6th Street NW north to New York Avenue NW. This lone remaining sign for U.S. 50 was removed after 2011, leaving no indication that the US highway pair turn here. Photo taken 07/05/10.
Now on 6th Street northbound, U.S. 1 & 50 pass through a more traditional urbanized area, with some moderate high-rises. Photo taken 07/05/10.
6th Street NW doubles as an Alternate route for Interstate 395 north to New York Avenue. This shield assembly resides at Indiana Avenue NW. Photo taken 06/01/04.
An older sign indicates that traffic to U.S. 50 east to New York Avenue and Baltimore bound traffic via the Baltimore Washington Parkway should remain along 6th Street NW north at Massachusetts Avenue NW. Photo taken 06/01/04.
2 photos
2 photos
A remnant trailblazer sign for Interstate 95 (removed by 2011) was posted along U.S. 1 north & 50 (6th Street NW) north at K Street NW. Interstate 95 was dropped along the Center Leg Freeway in 1977, leaving New York Avenue east to the Baltimore Washington Parkway as the connection from I-395 north to I-95 north. Photos taken 06/01/04.
U.S. 1 continues north along 6th Street while U.S. 50 turns east along New York Avenue. Naturally, there are no U.S. 1 or U.S. 50 shields in advance of or at this intersection. Just be looking out for U.S. 50 to continue east on New York Avenue! Photo taken 06/01/04.
U.S. 50 east
One block removed from U.S. 1, U.S. 50 (New York Avenue NW) approaches the northern terminus of Interstate 395 (Center Leg Freeway). I-395 heads south through the Third Street Tunnel, which is limited to vehicles below a clearance of 13 feet 0 inches, to emerge at the split between the Southwest and Southeast (I-695) freeways. Photo taken 06/01/04.
A diagrammatic overhead, replaced by 2007, outlines the forthcoming right turn onto Interstate 395 south and 4th Street, the Alternate route for I-395. The northernmost portion of the Center Leg Freeway was not completed until 1987. Photo taken 06/01/04.
These tiny trailblazers for Interstates 295 and 495 confirm that traffic headed toward the Capital Beltway should use U.S. 50 east, while traffic headed toward I-295 (Anacostia Freeway) south should use I-395 south. Photo taken 06/01/04.
The north end of I-395 defaults onto U.S. 50 (New York Avenue NW) ahead of New Jersey Avenue NW. Photo taken 08/04/13.
New York Avenue angles northeast from I-395 between the Truxton Circle and the North Capitol Street neighborhoods. 1st Street NW intersects U.S. 50 in this scene. Photo taken 08/04/13.
A five-way intersection follows between N Street NE and North Capitol Street. North Capitol Street runs south to Louisiana Avenue near the United States Capitol and north to the VA Medical Center and Blair Road. The Capitol Street mainline passes under U.S. 50 with ramps connecting to New York Avenue. Photo taken 08/04/13.
U.S. 50 west
U.S. 50 passes over North Capitol Street at N Street NE. Ramps connect with the north-south boulevard below as it travels between the United States Capitol area and the VA Medical Center. Photo taken 08/04/13.
The first sign posted along U.S. 50 (New York Avenue NW) for the upcoming turn onto Interstate 395 (Center Leg Freeway) south. A left-turn takes motorists onto I-395 south ahead of the 3rd Street Tunnel. Photo taken 08/04/13.
Since Interstate 395 passes under a pair of tunnels prior to reaching Interstate 695 and Virginia, certain restrictions are listed on this sign in terms of height and hazardous cargo. Photo taken 08/04/13.
Interstate 395 runs south to the Southwest Freeway to Arlington, Virginia. Interests to Downtown Washington should remain along U.S. 50 (New York Avenue) west to its turn onto 6th Street NW along side U.S. 1 south. Photo taken 08/04/13.
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2 photos
Two left turn lanes serve Interstate 395 (Center Leg Freeway) south and adjacent 4th Street, the Alternate route for I-395. I-395 through D.C. was signed as Interstate 95 until 1977. Photo taken 06/02/03. Second photo taken 08/03/13.
Interstate 395 follows the Center Leg Freeway south to a split with the Southeast Freeway (I-695) east to the 11th Street Bridge and Southwest Freeway west to Arlington, Virginia. Photo taken 08/03/13.
Westbound reassurance shield assembly posted for U.S. 50 on Constitution Avenue NW between 15th and 16th Streets SW. U.S. 50 runs between The Ellipse and the National Mall on this stretch. Photo taken 08/01/05.
Replaced when new street lights were added between 2011 and 2012, this older style shield for U.S. 50 was posted along Constitution Avenue NW west of 17th Street NW. Photo taken 07/05/10.
Interstate 66 & U.S. 50 west
Interstate 66 & U.S. 50 west overlap for four miles across the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge. I-66 transitions into an all-HOV freeway through Arlington, Virginia. Photo taken 08/04/13.
The right lane departs for both the continuation of U.S. 50 west onto Arlington Boulevard and George Washington Parkway north. Arlington Boulevard circles southward as an expressway to the Virginia 27 (Washington Boulevard) freeway along side Fort Myer. Photo taken 08/04/13.
Interstate 66 curves northward as U.S. 50 west parts ways at the Little River. The unnumbered exit splits with access to George Washington Parkway north to Langley and the Capital Beltway and U.S. 50 west through Arlington. Photo taken 08/04/13.



Photo Credits:

06/02/03, 06/01/04, 08/01/05, 07/05/10, 08/03/13, 08/04/13 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 66
Interstate 395
U.S. 1

Page Updated 06-11-2014.