In what appears to be a bit of coordination, DDOT released new renderings of the proposed replacement Frederick Douglass Bridge in conjunction with this Washington Post story on decaying bridges. Similar to the 11th Street Bridge that is in the final stages, the new bridge promises to have more space for cyclists and pedestrians.
The new bridge will carry six lanes rather than four and will include space for pedestrians and cyclists. A traffic oval is planned on the downtown side and a traffic circle will help connect the network of streets and highways on the Anacostia side. Interchanges will link Interstate 295 and the Suitland Parkway. Other improvements, including an urban boulevard along South Capitol Street and developing the Anacostia waterfront and linking it to the Riverwalk Trail east of the river, swell the overall cost of the project to $906 million.
The renderings show a bridge with wide bike/ped lanes on both sides. These lanes have overlook areas at the center abutments where people can stop and enjoy the view. Like the 11th Street Bridge, it appears to have long, indirect connections to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail.
On the northeast side, cyclists will have to ride across to a new traffic circle at Howard Road and then turn around and head back to the river. On the southeast side, they will again head to the traffic circle and then the sidewalk/path will lead to the future South Capitol Street Trail. A combination of other sidewalks/crosswalks appear to follow the Suitland Parkway as far as Firth Sterling Road. On the west side, the sidepaths connect first to the traffic oval before connecting to R Street, South Capitol Street and Potomac Avenue.
The rendering doesn't show the Florida Rock development on the northwest side of the bridge, but there is nothing to indicate a quicker connection to the trail across that site.
DCist reports that the $660 to $905 million could enter design and build work this year. And, of course, a design/build contract means that these renderings don't represent exactly what will be built.
As an aside, I'm glad to see that they asked about building it without the drawbridge capability. I've asked DDOT about this and I got a response about federal law requiring that waterways not be closed, just in case they're ever needed in time of war. But that seems like an expensive luxury. It might be cheaper to move the Navy Yard port to Bolling than to build the drawbridge.
Finally, for anyone who thinks there is a "war on cars" all they have to do is look at this and the 11th Street Bridge project. Together they represent more than $1B in spending in less than a decade, primarily for motorists. That's as poorly executed a war as history has ever known.
Update: GGW isn't even sure we should build this, though the bulk of their concerns appears to be with the traffic circle and the oval. I'll agree that it appears to be wasting space, but maybe they could put a velodrome inside the traffic oval.