I rode across the new 11th Street local bridge today, using the temporary Active Transportation Lane, and even though it isn't the final facility that cyclists and pedestrians will use, it's still a big improvement.
For starters the new bridge ends at O Street on the north/west side of the river instead of at N. For those who are getting on to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail this takes a couple blocks off the trip and for those heading north on 11th it is no change.
In addition, the new bridge has a more gradual climb and, what appears to be a lower peak. This makes it easier to climb. And instead of a low railing that one could theoretically fall over (though I've never heard of this happening), it's separated by a more substantial jersey wall.
But most importantly, it's so much wider. The old sidewalk (which is closed now as seen below) was so narrow that two pedestrians had to stand sideways to pass.
A possible downside is that the new bridge connects lets out on Good Hope Road at MLK Drive instead of in Anacostia Park. But that's only bad if you would have turned right on Good Hope and I'm not even sure how much of a detour it involves. If, on the old bridge you turned left at Good Hope, this is a better connection.
An interesting part of the new bridge is that it is only about 80% finished. On the downstream side of the bike path you can see the metal frame and the unfinished roadbed. It looks like they need to remove some of the old bridge to finish the new bridge.
Finally, for anyone who loves to look at construction and highway projects, or who has a fetish for photos of such things (I'm talking about you JDLand) the new ATL provides a great opportunity to gawk at the project under work.