Wilson Bridge reaches milestone

News AASHTO Journal October 26, 2004
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A milestone was reached on the site of the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge over the Potomac River last week, as construction crews pl

A milestone was reached on the site of the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge over the Potomac River last week, as construction crews placed the first steel beam that will support the bridge deck using a pair of large cranes, the Washington Post reported.


The girder, the first of more than 300 to be placed on concrete piers as the new drawbridge is built, was applauded by engineer David Tackoor of Potomac Crossing Consultants, the group managing the project from the Virginia side of the river.


"It's nice to see a gap spanned. It's what bridging is all about," he said. "It's like when you break through a tunnel."


Project Construction Manager Jim Ruddell said 30% of the work on the structure has been completed and the project is under budget by $147 million. The current projected price tag for the project is $2.43 billion.


Project officials plan to take delivery of two 57-ton steel beams each night and install them the following day as the project is built from Virginia toward Maryland on the river's other shore. Delivery of a preconstructed drawbridge section is slated for next spring.


The first span of the bridge is currently on schedule to be completed in 2006, replacing an overcrowded 42-year-old structure that will be torn down following the completion of the current span.



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