This Is Why DDOT Is Tearing Up Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

This Is Why DDOT Is Tearing Up Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

By Larry Janezich

Posted September 28, 2021

What you are seeing is the $19.5 million Pennsylvania Avenue Streetlight Upgrade Project. 

The project will improve existing streetlights and traffic signals along Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, and extends from 2nd Street, SE, to 14th Street, SE.  The streetlight and traffic signal upgrades will improve overall lighting and enhance transit safety for vehicular traffic, cyclists, and pedestrians, as well as bus operation and local business foot traffic along the corridor.  Since Pennsylvania Avenue is a historic street according to the DC Streetlight Policy Guidelines, it requires special treatment in the lighting and operations of the avenue.

The section of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, beyond 14th Street will receive streetlight upgrades as part of the Penn-Potomac Intersection Project.

The project will feature: 

  • Cobra head lighting fixtures and pendant post
  • Washington Globe fixtures (LED luminaires)
  • Enhanced lighting distribution
  • Upgraded traffic signals along project corridor
  • Improved roadway safety for pedestrians, motorists and cyclists
  • ADA compliant intersections
  • DDOT and AASHTO streetlight policy guidelines

Upon completion, DDOT will begin installation of the project to reduce Pennsylvania Avenue SE’s current three travel lanes in each direction to two lanes in each direction.  The plan anticipates the addition of bicycle lanes and peak hour bus lanes which accommodate street parking during off peak hours. 

The project will take approximately 20 months to complete, weather permitting – currently the construction period is likely to end in late 2022 or early 2023.  Daytime construction hours are from 9:30am – 3:30pm, Monday through Friday. 


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2 responses to “This Is Why DDOT Is Tearing Up Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

  1. John Hughes

    Seems like a lot of heavy duty construction to improve street and traffic lights. Anybody have any other intel on the situation?

  2. Sally M.

    Why not add the bike lanes at the same time instead of ripping everything up twice? (Ed. Note: Good Question. The answer is that the street will have to be resurfaced before the new bike and bus lane project starts. The resurfacing will be the last part of the streetlight project.)