NO. 8 BRIDGE: Arlington Memorial Bridge Rehabilitation

Dec. 2, 2021

Historic bridge in D.C. sees deteriorated structural components restored

(This feature published as "Preserving History" in November/December 2021 issue)

The Arlington Memorial Bridge over the Potomac River is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The 89-year-old Arlington Memorial Bridge needed to be completely rehabilitated or face closure. Kiewit and design subcontractor AECOM were selected to replace or restore the deteriorated components of the bridge while preserving the bridge’s historic fabric, while minimizing impacts to the thousands of users.

The design-build scope of work included new pier and abutment supports, repair of the 10 concrete arches and stone facades, reconstruction of the bridge deck and sidewalks, replacement of the center span’s steel superstructure, and resurfacing of all travel lanes while protecting it from further deterioration or damage.

Three of the six lanes of traffic had to remain open at all times during construction. Therefore, the team completed work on half of the width of the bridge and then shifted to the other half.

Upon removal of the existing deck and barrier, Kiewit removed the existing support frames at each pier. New concrete columns and caps were built upon each pier’s existing unreinforced concrete spread footing. At the abutments, 36-in.CIDH piles were installed directly adjacent to live traffic on one side and a historic statue on the other. Upon completion of pier and abutment work, accelerated bridge construction techniques including full-depth concrete precast panels were installed for the new deck. A 2-in. LMC overlay was placed to serve as the final wear surface.

On the arch spans, 5,000 pieces of historic granite and monuments were restored by carefully removing and packaging for off-site cleaning and restoration. The pieces were brought back to the project and placed in the exact same location as originally constructed to ensure the historic nature of the bridge was preserved. The existing facade was also completely cleaned and repainted to complete the long-term structural restoration.

Project: Arlington Memorial Bridge Rehabilitation

Location: Washington, D.C.

Owners: Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division

Designer: AECOM

Contractor: Kiewit Infrastructure Co.

Cost: $197,144,915

Length: 2,162 ft

Completion Date: Dec. 26, 2020