Pennsylvania Avenue SE Corridor Wins FHWA Environmental Excellence Award

Washington, DC

June 06, 2024

The dedicated bike and bus lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue SE.

The Pennsylvania Avenue SE Corridor, a major thoroughfare through Capitol Hill in Washington DC, won an Environmental Excellence Award from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) this month. This award recognizes outstanding transportation projects, processes, and organizations that incorporate environmental stewardship into the planning and project development processes using FHWA funding sources. As part of a corridor study to improve bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, VHB provided transportation planning and engineering support to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) from 2nd Street SE to 17th Street SE. 

The winning projects and programs were honored at an awards ceremony on June 5, and exemplify FHWA's priorities of safety, economic strength and global competitiveness, equity, climate and sustainability, transformation, and organizational excellence. This biennial program was developed by FHWA to honor projects that excel in meeting growing transportation needs while protecting and enhancing the environment.

“While enhancing the Pennsylvania Avenue SE Corridor, VHB made certain sustainability was not just included, but an integral part of creating a solid foundation for this development,” said Drew Gingras, PE, Lead Active Transportation Design Engineer for the project. “It is so gratifying to see our plans come to life and have this project win a renowned award from the FHWA.”

The study assessed improvements to the corridor’s multimodal transportation facilities to promote safety, accessibility, and connectivity for all users. Along this 1.3-mile active section, separated bike lanes, dedicated bus lane and bus stop enhancements, and curbside management were enhanced. VHB team members initially identified nine preliminary treatments for the corridor, which were developed with input from the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 6B). VHB supported an innovative public engagement approach under pandemic conditions to generate stakeholder input and help DDOT select a preferred alternative, which we then advanced to 30 percent design. JMT performed the final engineering for the project.

Since its completion from 2nd St SE to 13th St SE, the project has provided significant improvements in multimodal transportation options, dedicated bicycle facilities, pedestrian safety improvements, and enhanced/priority bus transit facilities. The second part of the project, from 13th Street SE to 17th Street SE, is estimated to begin construction Summer 2026.

Contact Drew via email or LinkedIn to learn more about the award-winning project.

Pedestrians exit the bus on Pennsylvania Avenue SE. The painted bus lane and separated bike lane.