D.C. Roads - I-695 SE Frwy.

Southeast Freeway, I-695

Had I-695 been completed west to I-66 and the Potomac River Freeway, it likely would be signed on the SE Freeway. It would also be signed along the Southwest Freeway, which carries I-395 and would have carried I-95. The failure to complete the SW Freeway, as well as the failure to extend I-295 north from the Barney Circle and past RFK Stadium along the Southeast Freeway (see that page for details and photos, link at bottom), doom I-695 to live anonymously as a connector between 295 and 395. I don't know why I-295 can't simply follow 695 to 395, but all those "TO" signs in either direction demonstrate that I-695 is its own route.

I-695 eastbound. I-295 begins at 695, and DC 295 begins at I-295 across the river (it's as confusing as it sounds, but signs make the two 295's continuous). Traffic is directed to Pennsylvania Ave. to get to DC 295, as you will see, but there is no corresponding southbound link from DC 295 to PA Ave. WB. This is a fatal flaw that creates all sorts of traffic problems during the morning commute, and would have been solved by a Barney Circle Freeway extension, I-295 or not.

As of 2013, everything is changed. There's a new I-295 bridge that also connects to/from DC 295 directly for the first time ever. I took these photos before the official rerouting of I-695 onto the 11th St. Bridges, which commensurately shortened I-295. It is no longer necessary to sign Pennsylvania Ave. as "to DC 295" when there's an exit going right there next to it. Also, that's definitely not 1/4 mile from the second sign to the exit.

Then, in 2014, the eastern end of I-695 was closed during reconstruction of the I-295 Anacostia River bridge. This sign just east of Virginia Ave. only looked like this briefly, since the highway was soon reconfigured with the former mainline (planned I-695's completion) as a right exit intersecting 11th St. before proceeding to Pennsylvania Ave., and I-695 being rerouted across the bridge to end at DC 295 and a truncated I-295.

Virginia Ave., the I-695 EB frontage road in the low-numbered SE streets. The first and fourth photos are on the right side of the road and the others are on the left. I prefer the spelled-out district name on the Interstate shield to the DC abbreviation, but I'll take either over a neutered shield.

The old sign to the left of the first photo is for the seemingly abandoned freeway you see in the second photo; the third photo with the old curve sign is up the ramp to the right of the second photo. At this point, the outer lanes are I-695, ending at Pennsylvania Ave., while the inner lanes are periodically opened to allow access to Robert F. Kennedy Stadium for Redskins and Nationals games. The inner lanes would have been I-295, as I described above, and the aforementioned old sign would have been for I-295 NB, probably with a control city of Baltimore (since it would have met I-95 just to the north). To see photos of the half-abandoned Barney Circle freeway stub (the continuation of the Southeast Freeway), visit the I-295 page linked below. The DC 295 shield to the right of the first photo is the only new one I've seen, and the most wrong one - not only is the font wrong, but the shape of the District is horribly stylized, to the point that the western border is nowhere near perpendicular to the northern border like it should be.

I-695 westbound. D St. is the access to ALT I-395, a signed but not legislated route taking trucks and other disallowed traffic around the I-395 tunnel.

As of 2014, there was no longer an overheight detection warning, nor a 6th St. 1/2 mile advance sign, but notably, I-695 gained an end sign, meaning that was officially signed after decades of being hidden as "To I-295" and "To I-395".

Onto I-295 and current I-695/former I-295

Onto I-395
Onto Capitol St.
Onto Pennsylvania Avenue
To DC 295
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