Memorial Bridge funding sought

Memorial Bridge is shown from the District of Columbia looking into Virginia, with Arlington House at upper left. (National Park Service)

First, the good news: The project to rehabilitate Arlington Memorial Bridge has reached the halfway point.

But you knew it was coming, and here is the bad news: The start of next construction phase is expected to require a total bridge closure to drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists from Friday, Nov. 1 at 10 p.m. until Monday, Nov. 4 at 5 a.m.

During the closure, workers will prepare the southside of the bridge to accommodate future traffic, according to the National Park Service. When the bridge reopens, drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists will use the newly rehabilitated southside.

After the temporary closure ends, the lane configuration will be the same as it is now:

•  One lane will be open eastbound into the District of Columbia.

• One lane will be open westbound into Virginia.

• One lane will be reversible, depending on time of day and traffic flow.

The schedule for lane shifts will also stay the same. Weekdays, the reversible lane will run eastbound (into D.C.) from 4 a.m. to noon and westbound (toward Virginia) from noon through the overnight hours until 4 a.m. On Saturdays, Sundays and federal-government holidays, two lanes will always run eastbound and one lane will always run westbound.

(The bridge’s 10-ton load restriction is in effect for the duration of the project.)

The total rehabilitation of Arlington Memorial Bridge began in fall 2018 and is on schedule to end in early 2021. So far, workers have replaced the concrete structures that support the southside of the bridge; placed new steel beams on the southside of the bridge; cleaned, repaired and reinstalled the bridge’s historic granite balustrade.

Memorial Bridge opened in 1932 to serve not only vehicular and pedestrian traffic, but as a symbolic reunification of the nation in the decades following the Civil War. The bridge symbolically connects the Lincoln Memorial with Arlington House, the home of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

For more information on the project, see the Website at www.go.nps.gov/MemorialBridge.

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