Due to the elimination of various freeway proposals throughout Washington, D.C., Interstate 295 was eventually shortened to end at I-695 (Southeast Freeway) on the north side of the Anacostia River. The anti-freeway revolt in the 1960s and 1970s also resulted in the cancellation of I-95 north from the Center Leg Freeway to Langley Park, Maryland and I-695 along the Southwest Freeway to I-66 (Potomac River Freeway).
A portion of the East Leg Freeway (I-295) was resurrected in a 1982 plan for the Barney Circle Freeway. The Barney Circle Freeway, which formed an arc east from the Southeast Freeway to D.C. 295 along the Kenilworth Avenue Freeway, was listed in the Federal Highway Administration Interstate Route Log and Finder’s List as part of I-295. Removed from consideration in 1996, planning documents previously referenced the freeway as Interstate 695.
Planners developed a new plan in 20075 to reconstruct the Southeast Freeway (formerly I-295) with replacement bridges over the Anacostia River and provide full movements at the interchange with the Anacostia Freeway (I-295 / D.C. 295).
The alignments for I-295 and I-695 were clarified in the District of Columbia Department of Transportation (DDOT) application at the AASHTO meeting of May 15, 2009:6
The purpose of this request is to redesignate the 0.61 mile portion of I-295 crossing the Anacostia River to I-695 to maintain system continuity. I-695 (Southeast Freeway) begins where I-395 turns north into the 3rd Street tunnel in Southwest Washington, and continues for 1.39 miles to the interchange with I-295 at 11th Street in Southeast Washington. In 1984, the District received approval from AASHTO to redesignate I-695 to I-395, and to redesignate the portion of I-395 through the 3rd Street tunnel as I-195. However, this approval was contingent on extending I-695 across the Anacostia River and connecting to DC 295 north of Pennsylvania Avenue. Since this connection was never completed, I-695 was never redesignated. This original application will be abandoned with approval of the current request. With the pending de-designation of a portion of I-295, I-695 will no longer connect to an interstate highway at its eastern terminus. Because of this, the District is requesting to extend I-695 across the Anacostia River on the de-designated I-295 alignment to a new terminus at the end of I-295. This change will serve to rationalize the freeway system in the District and provide for interstate connections at both ends of I-695.
AASHTO approved the request to realign I-295 and I-695, contingent upon Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) concurrence. Costing $390 million, the 11th Street Bridge Project started in December 2009. All ramps between I-295, I-695 and D.C. 295 were open to traffic by August 2013, with work continuing on local connections through 2015.7