Constitution Avenue

Constitution Avenue

Constitution Avenue

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In Washington, D.C., Constitution Avenue is a major east-west street running just north of the United States Capitol in the city's Northwest and Northeast quadrant. The avenue carries heavy commuter traffic on weekdays and heavy tourist traffic on the weekends; it is also an important parade route.

Washington City Canal

<!-- Unsourced image removed: -->The segment of Constitution Avenue west of Pennsylvania Avenue was once the Washington City Canal.

Construction on the canal, which was part of Pierre Charles L'Enfant's original plan for the city, began substantially in 1810. Tiber Creek was transformed into the northern portion of the City Canal, which ran along what is today Constitution Avenue, eventually working its way towards the U.S. Capitol and southward to the Anacostia River. The canal began operation in 1815.

It is believed that early city plans called for an extensive network of canals snaking through the Northeast corridor of the United States. By the 1850s, the canal had fallen into disuse, and in the 1870s, the city began to convert the Tiber Creek portion of the canal to an underground tunnel. It had become common for Washington residents to throw their garbage into it, and the unsanitary conditions became a health concern. Additionally, plans for an extensive canal system were abandoned around this time in favor of a railroad system that would connect Washington to the West. These canal plans were not successful. ...
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