Arlington Memorial Bridge project reaches completion after two-year rehab

The $227 million rehabilitation project is one of the largest infrastructure projects in National Park Service history

December 07, 2020 / 2 minute read
Arlington Memorial Bridge project reaches completion after two-year rehab
Image: National Park Service

The National Park Service (NPS) recently reopened the rehabilitated Arlington Memorial Bridge to motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists in Washington, D.C.

The $227 million rehabilitation project, one of the largest infrastructure projects in NPS history, is a momentous accomplishment for the Department of the Interior and its federal partners that will extend the bridge’s useful life for 75 years.

"The rehabilitation of the Arlington Memorial Bridge honors the sacrifices of our nation’s veterans," U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt said in a statement. "The completion of this project marks one of the largest infrastructure projects in National Park Service history, which was done on time and on budget. I hope that all Americans are brought together to remember and honor our veterans every time they cross this bridge into the capital of our nation."

Throughout the bridge's construction, the NPS took special care to protect Arlington Memorial Bridge’s historic architecture while enhancing its iconic appearance. Since work began in fall 2018, construction workers methodically removed, cleaned, repaired, and reinstalled more than 4,500 pieces of granite and rehabilitated the bridge’s historic structure.

During construction, workers repaired or replaced the bridge’s foundations, concrete supports, deck, and sidewalks. They also installed new, fixed steel beams over the bridge span formerly occupied by a bascule (drawbridge) in the middle of the structure and installed more than 450 precast concrete panels. Engineers at the Federal Highway Administration worked with the project contractor to use innovative methods that sped up construction and lowered costs.

In addition to completing Arlington Memorial Bridge’s first ever total rehabilitation, the NPS implemented recommendations from a safety study of Memorial Circle by repaving, improving crossings, adding new signs, and making the area easier and safer for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists to navigate.

In the months ahead, workers will put finishing touches on the bridge and Memorial Circle areas. Workers will replant the projects’ staging areas and complete small projects on the bridge’s deck and install bird netting from boats in the water.

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SOURCE: National Park Service

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