Interstate 195 District of Columbia

I-195 District of Columbia
History
North End
South End

Overview

Interstate 195 is the designation approved by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) on November 20, 2020 for the Center Leg Freeway in Washington, D.C. The Center Leg Freeway spurs north from the exchange joining I-395 on the Southwest Freeway with I-695 on the Southeast Freeway by Capitol Hill and the Southwest Waterfront. The urban route primarily runs below grade, passing below the United States Capitol through the Mall Tunnel and from the East End to Mt. Vernon Square through the 3rd Street Tunnel.

History

Interstate 195 replaces I-395 along the Center Leg Freeway north from Southwest Freeway to U.S. 50 (New York Avenue NW). I-395 will be relocated over the Southeast Freeway in place of Interstate 695, from the new south end of I-195 to I-295/D.C. 295 (Anacostia Freeway) via the 11th Street Bridge. These changes were requested to improve safety at the interchange joining The Center Leg, Southeast and Southwest Freeways, where the three primary lanes of I-395 northbound default onto I-695 eastbound. The current signing results in weaving traffic due to motorist confusion, as I-395 makes a TOTSO (turn off to stay on) movement north from the Southwest Freeway onto the Center Leg Freeway, while two thirds of the traffic continues east onto the Southeast Freeway. Having I-395 continue as the through route is expected to mitigate a portion of the accidents resulting from confused motorists.

Route Information

  • North EndUS 50 Washington, DC
  • South EndI-395 Washington, DC
  • Mileage – 1.8

  • Cities – Washington

  • JunctionsI-395

Source: Fall 2020 application for the Establishment of I-195 to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

I-195 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Vehicles per day Location
I-395 to D St NE 92,000
D St NE to Massachusetts Av NE 54,000
Massachusetts Av NE to US 50 / New York Av NE 55,800

Source: Traffic Volume Map 2018 – District Department of Transportation

The Center Leg Freeway was previously proposed as Interstate 195 in part of a larger renumbering plan by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) in 1983/84. Aimed for the convenience and safety of the traveling public, the D.C. plan outlined relocating I-395 over I-695 along the Southeast Freeway between 2nd and 12th Streets SE, and over what was partially built for I-295 from 12th Street SE to East Capitol Street. Incomplete at the time, the Center Leg Freeway north from I-395 to U.S. 50 would be renumbered as Interstate 195.

While approved by AASHTO on May 24, 1984, the redesignation of I-295, I-395 and I-695 were subject to completion of final alignments, with existing signing of I-395 to remain specifically until the completion of the eastern segment from 12th Street to the Anacostia Freeway. Since the Southeast Freeway was never built beyond the exchange at Pennsylvania Avenue SE, I-395 was never realigned.

North End US 50 / New York Avenue NW – Washington, DC

The Center Leg Freeway concludes to the north at a signalized intersection with U.S. 50 (New York Avenue NW) at 4th Street NW. The northbound lanes default onto New York Avenue NW eastbound.

South End I-395 – Washington, DC

The three wye interchange joining I-395 on the Southwest and Center Leg Freeways with I-695 on the Southeast Freeway represents the south end of Interstate 195.

Page updated July 7, 2021.