DDOT has been busy building a new 9th St NE bridge to replace the one built in 1941. The new one is finished, and traffic should have already switched to it by now. This past weekend, I went out to ride across both bridges to compare and contrast. It was hard to compare the narrowed one lane traffic on the old bridge to the two open lanes on the new bridge, but for those who use the sidewalks it will be a world of difference.
Sidewalk on the old bridge.
The old bridge has a ramp from NY Ave that meets it part way across, something the new bridge does not. It had these awful - and probably unusable to those in wheelchairs - curb ramps.
Another nice aspect of the new bridge is that, instead of blocking the railroad tracks with the usual opaque steel sheets, they used clear plexiglass, which gives a great view of the rail yard and the Washington Monument.
Unlike the old bridge, the new bridge will leave space underneath to continue this sidepath (which probably needs to be improved).
Unfortunately for sidewalk cyclists, they placed the streetlights smack dab in the middle of the new sidewalk east of the bridges