The Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge (a.k.a. the South Capitol Street Bridge) is the southernmost bridge on the Anacostia. It and the Wilson Bridge from yesterday are the only two bridges in the group that have to allow for large ship traffic and hence the only two draw bridges.
The bridge was recently upgraded - which for cyclists meant redesigned handrails, an early entry point on the northwest side and better lighting (and a few months of closure). Though the upgraded bridge didn't address all of the cycling problems, it's hard to ask for much more since the bridge is to be replaced around 2030.
It's not too early to ask what that bridge will look like, since the district is already working on the EIS (the draft EIS was submitted to the FHWA last fall) for the alignment and done a study of four possible bridges.
Depending on which bridge is chosen, there will either be two bike lanes on the outsides or one in the middle.
Regardless of the design though, the bike lanes will be significantly wider (and nicer, without the metal grate that cyclists now deal with) than what now exists. The bike lane will connect with the Anacostia River Walk Trail on both sides (though with stairs on the west) and to the Suitland Parkway on the east side (or so I was told). It's hard to say how good those connections will be (sharp turns, long approaches, etc...). Additionally, South Capitol Street, New Jersey Avenue SE and Martin Luther King Avenue are supposed to become more friendly for cyclists. That's all good, so what's missing?
In general the new bridge will have all the required connections, upstream, downstream and into the interior. And it will have a nice sized bike lane. But,
1) The bike lane should make an effortless connection to the Shepherd Industrial Branch (should that someday become DC property), the Anacostia Metro and a station along the new light rail line. That connection to the Suitland Parkway should be included too (it doesn't seem to be visible on this picture or this one)
2) Unlike the Wilson Bridge, this bridge will not require the destruction of the old one. The new bridge will be built downstream and at a different angle than the old one. So, why tear down the old one? Why not make it into a bike/ped only bridge not unlike this bridge in Montreal? It could become public space above the river. Let it serve as a market on weekends. A space for roller bladers. Without cars it wouldn't need nearly as much maintenance. Yes, at some point it would probably need massive repairs even for bike and ped only (and environmental) wear and tear and at that point the bridge could be destroyed or repaired depending on public desire and cost.
See a convoluted map here.