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FHWA Helps Pave the Way For District to Reopen G Street NW

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

FHWA Helps Pave the Way For District to Reopen G Street NW

Federal Highway Administration
October 25, 1999

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 25, 1999
Contact: Karen Whitney
Tel.: 202-366-0660
FHWA 68-99

Road Reopens to Traffic Today

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater today joined District of Columbia officials in celebrating the reopening of the 900 block of G Street NW to vehicle traffic.

The reopening was made possible through a partnership agreement between U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the District of Columbia Department of Public Works (DC DPW).

"President Clinton and I are committed to being good neighbors to the District of Columbia," Secretary Slater said. "This project represents our ongoing commitment to do all we can to assist the District in improving the transportation system in our nation’s capital for the benefit of residents and all who visit."

The 900 block of G Street NW was closed to vehicle traffic in the late 1970's and converted into a pedestrian mall and urban park. The area eventually fell into disrepair and public safety issues developed. By the mid-1990's, the city made plans to close the facility and reopen the street to vehicles. The opening of the MCI Center in December 1997 and ensuing business development further heightened the need for additional traffic capacity and parking, but the city lacked the resources to get the project started.

"By reopening G Street, we remove another barrier to fully realizing a thriving downtown," said D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams. "We appreciate the assistance of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, which has been our partner in restoring G Street. Our other partner, Downtown D.C. Business Improvement District, will work with us to ensure that downtown D.C. rivals every other world capital in business, entertainment, cultural and tourism opportunities."

In an effort to expedite the process, FHWA and DCDPW developed a Memorandum of Agreement allowing the federal agency to assume design, environmental review and construction of the project. Work began in May and was completed this month. The reopening will help ease traffic in the area and provide additional parking spaces.

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