(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray, officials from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and members of the community celebrated the completion of the Benning Road Reconstruction Project in Ward 7. The group cut a ribbon to ceremonially open the new roadway and then walked across Benning Road using the new signalized crosswalk at Benning Road’s intersection with 39th Street NE.
“I want to commend the community for working with us to improve on Benning Road,” said Mayor Gray. “We heard from you that this corridor needed to be safer for everyone, and this new crosswalk is a big step forward. Now, residents young and old have a safe place to cross the street to get to and from the library.”
The new traffic signal at Benning Road and 39th Street NE was one of the safety priorities identified in the Far Northeast Livability Study DDOT completed last year with extensive input from residents. The signal is located near the Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library.
The new crosswalk signal was one part of a $5 million project that began in March 2011 and included the complete reconstruction of Benning Road from 39th Street to 42nd Street NE. The project encompassed safety, aesthetic and environmental improvements, including new curbs, gutters, sidewalks and driveways. Other new features include ADA-compatible sidewalk ramps, concrete bus pads, new landscaping, improved roadway signage, trash receptacles, fire hydrants and catch basins to reduce water runoff.
“This project is a perfect example of how we can incorporate the findings of the livability studies into our designs, and how we can make the community’s vision for safer streets a reality,” said Ronaldo ‘Nick’ Nicholson, DDOT’s Chief Engineer.