Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge opens this weekend

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The Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge in DC will open to traffic this weekend, and a ceremonial severing of the ribbon was held in town on Tuesday.

Frederick Douglass spent his final days in Ward 8, and Councilor Trayon White Sr. calls him a “Waiting Eightatonier”.

The Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge in DC will open to traffic this weekend, and a ceremonial severing of the ribbon was held in town on Tuesday.

In addition to elected leaders who planned and funded the project, people with ties to the abolitionist Frederick Douglass also attended the event.

“May this bridge be blessed and everyone who traverses it,” said Rev. William Lamar, pastor of the Metropolitan AME Church, who visited Douglass when he lived in DC

Lamar called the bridge a “miracle of architecture and technology”. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said the connection of stations 6 and 8 symbolizes the future of the city.

“That is why it is so important – no matter where we live, no matter in which community, in which neighborhood, with what background, how long you have been here – that we come together and build bridges over challenges, bridges over things that have been separated us in the past and we are forming alliances to accomplish things for this great city of Washington, “said the mayor.

“What this bridge represents in many ways, from the award of the contract to better transport to more sustainability, is the fair shot that we imagine.”

A descendant of Douglass, Kenneth B. Morris Jr., said he often asked what his ancestor would think in certain circumstances. Morris said he was a punctual man and could “share his great satisfaction that the bridge that bears his name was completed ahead of schedule.”

Morris said Douglass valued the virtues and benefits of exercise.

“I think he would sincerely appreciate the bridge’s unique pedestrian and cyclist accommodation, which is designed to provide opportunities for thought and reflection along the way,” said Morris.

The bridge is right next to Nationals Park.

“Frederick and his son Charles, my great-great-grandfather, shared a special connection about their baseball fun that began here in DC. When Charles became president of the Negro League, Washington Mutual’s baseball club, they made Frederick an honorary member of the team in 1870, ”said Morris.

Lavelle Patterson from Southeast feels well-versed and happy to be a part of the project, “especially a bridge named after the great Frederick Douglass, someone I admire and respect.”

WTOP / Kristi King

“I think it’s beautiful and I’m so happy that our children were able to see everything and learn more about Frederick Douglass. It’s a great event to come to, ”said Madison Keedy. Her husband worked with fire lines and sprinklers on the bridge.

WTOP / Kristi King

The Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge in DC will open to traffic this weekend, and a ceremonial severing of the ribbon was held in town on Tuesday.

WTOP / Kristi King

The DC Department of Transportation said the entire bridge should open to traffic by Sunday. The plan calls for the southbound lanes to be opened on Friday night or Saturday and the lanes for entry to be opened on Saturday.

WTOP / Kristi King

As the DC Fire Boat shot clouds of water into the air, the audience listened attentively to the speakers.

“I think it’s beautiful and I’m so happy that our children were able to see everything and learn more about Frederick Douglass. It’s a great event to come to, ”said Madison Keedy, whose husband worked on fire lines and sprinkler systems on the bridge.

Ward 8 councilor Trayon White Sr. noted that 45 contractors from DC and 200 city workers were working on the project. “And that’s just something to celebrate,” said White.

Construction worker Lavelle Patterson, 50, was born and raised in the Southeast. Douglass is someone he admires and respects.

“I feel successful and excited to be a part of this project,” said Patterson. “As part of the project named after Frederick Douglass, I’m happy and excited to have the chance to be a part of it. And it means that I and my family will have a safe bridge to ride on for the next 100 years, ”said Patterson.

A worker who preferred to be identified only as Anthony, 65, lived in DC his entire life.

“The old bridge served its purpose and was beyond its time,” said Anthony.

Anthony spoke about his work on the new bridge and said it was a great accomplishment.

“And it shows you that the infrastructure bill you are talking about really needs to be passed because our infrastructure in this country is terrible. I was under the Old South Capitol Street Bridge, the old Frederick Douglass Bridge. And if you saw what that bridge looks like, you wouldn’t cross that bridge, ”he said.

The DC Department of Transportation said the entire bridge should open to traffic by Sunday. The plan calls for the southbound lanes to be opened on Friday night or Saturday and the lanes for entry to be opened on Saturday.

The dismantling of the old bridge will begin next week.

All details about the project – including an amphitheater and large landscaped ovals within roundabouts – is expected to be completed by the end of March.


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