Community near DC 295 facing challenges following bridge collapse

DC 295 is now open to traffic–very different from the destruction that unfolded Wednesday–but there is still one problem. The fact that the bridge is gone is causing a big inconvenience for the people who live in the Deanwood neighborhood near Kenilwood Avenue. 

Residents like Vanessa Macintosh tell us this blocks their access to basic necessities.

"Well, one of the things is if people live here they’re going to cross over and walk up to the metro. There are a little bit of stores up there so they’re going to cross over and walk to some of the businesses that are over there," said Macintosh.

Anthony Lorenzo Green, 7C04 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, said this situation is highlight an issue residents have been facing for a long time.

MORE FROM FOX 5: 295 reopened to traffic Thursday following pedestrian bridge collapse

"We didn’t ask for 295 to be placed in the middle of Black communities many years ago. Folks long before us didn’t ask for this, but this is the result of racists policies that we have to deal with. That’s the only way I can connect with my family in Kenilworth or Eastland Garden is to cross that pedestrian bridge. It shouldn’t be that way. So we need it fixed now, we need it corrected now," said Green.

However, DC officials tell Fox 5’s Sierra Fox they do not know when the bridge will be replaced at this time. There is also no word on a temporary solution to help residents.

"Fix this racist problem that was slammed in the middle of our community. Fix this racist problem that was slammed in the middle of our communities many years ago and make sure that we have communities that are connected, not divided. Making sure that we have roadways that are built for people and not just cars and vehicles," said Green.

According to DC’s Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, Chris Geldart, the truck slammed into the bridge sending it crashing down. Mangled concrete and twisted steel collapsed right on top of the truck shutting down six lanes of traffic for hours. The awful scene sent five people to the hospital – all expected to survive.

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The incident report Fox 5 obtained shows the last time this pedestrian bridge was inspected it received a rating of 4 and that’s considered poor on a scale of 0 to 9. The documentation reveals that means "serious consideration should be given to replace the bridge" and interim recommendations were even listed.

Authorities said there was no one on the pedestrian bridge when it came down and no one died, but we spoke to one man who was about to cross over.

"I would’ve been right there on the bridge and been a victim of it also – it scares me to think i was that close to being injured," said Walter Lewis, Deanwood Resident.

Metropolitan Police have not said if the truck driver that hit the bridge will face any charges or not.

Fox 5 went to Frank’s Scrap Metal, the company of the truck, to search for some answers and they said no comment.

This is a developing story – stay with Fox 5 for updates.