Washington Blvd Bridge Project in Beginning Stages

by Katie Pyzyk April 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm 3,685 19 Comments

Construction crews are on site as a large scale construction project on Washington Boulevard and Columbia Pike begins. The Washington Boulevard bridge will be replaced, and the interchange with Columbia Pike will be revamped.

The project has been about two decades in the making, and VDOT spokeswoman Joan Morris says it finally got underway this week. Right now, it’s still in the very preliminary stages while workers set up a field office and work out logistics.

The revamp is supposed to have eight stages, and is slated to run through August 2015. Once the first stage gains steam, a detour will be constructed for use on certain weekends. VDOT says traffic may need to be re-routed during off-peak hours, but efforts will be made to keep lanes clear during the morning and evening rush hours on weekdays.

The project is budgeted to cost $51.5 million, with federal and state funds paying for most of it.

  • DarkHeart

    No more bridgecicles?

    • Bridgecicles to Nowhere

      I LOVE walking under that bridge and getting dripped on by the bridgecicles.

  • CrystalMikey

    I welcome this news.

  • Michael H.

    This is a much needed improvement, although the next few years could be difficult at that spot.

  • Cakes

    I’m really curious to see how they will build the new structure and retain the existing structure so as to maintain the traffic pattern. The logistics of these sort of projects fascinates me.

    • WeiQiang

      The plan is on the County website. The link is in the ArlNow website.

      That artery is so critical. It will be crazy for a while during construction.

    • speonjosh

      I particularly like it when they have to build a temporary bridge to handle traffic while they tear down the existing bridge and build the new one. Then they tear down the temporary bridge. Crazy.

      By the way, if roadway engineering is your thing, you really oughta check out http://baybridgeinfo.org/ which is the website maintained by Caltrans while they build the new Oakland half of the Oakland SF Bay Bridge. The size and scope of this project are mindboggling.

  • G Clifford Prout

    The Board didn’t find this architecturally significant? Actually I think it has a nice patina to it.

  • brendan

    Over/Under on this becoming more of a debacle than the Humpback bridge?

    • Josh S

      Ummmmmm, 58?

  • BreakPause02

    Awesome timing with the EB 10th street bridge gone.

  • ThirstyVA

    Anyone know how they are going to handle the pedestrian traffic under the bridge during the project?

  • DB

    Why can’t we have the speedy bridge install like in Massachusetts? Bridge installed in two days or less. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/us/rapid-construction-techniques-transform-infrastructure-repair.html?hp

    • Nick

      I just saw that times article and was thinking the same thing. The Wash Blvd bridge isn’t very big – I’m sure it could be replaced in a couple of weekends with this new technique. Instead, we get to wait 2 1/2 years for a simple 50-60 ft bridge. Ridiculous.

      • drax

        That’s cool. It’s a new thing, which means it will arrive in Virginia some time around 2089.

        • ArlCivilEng

          Nice article. Not really applicable to the Washington Blvd project though. This is an example of an alternate construction method however it is site specific i.e. you need a large laydown area to precast the span.

          The Washington Blvd Bridge span is actually quite large and would be the limiting factor in designing a precast deck. Steel girders and a concrete deck are better options.

          There are actually quite a few precast bridges in VA. Lookup Conspans or driver down Rt 123 in Tyson’s and check out the elevated Silver Line. Both non traditional methods of construction. VDOT does use different construction methods, mostly as studies, but the tried and true method (Read preferred) is steel.

          • drax

            Yes, Silver Line is a good example. Fascinating how they’ve done that. Thanks for the input.

    • esmith69

      I think they’re also trying to make the entire interchange more efficient, given that it dates back to the 50s when traffic/capacity was a non-issue.

      Better to have them do it right this time than just throw a band-aid on there and not really do anything to help congestion. Besides, that big swath of grassy area is just begging to be better utilized.

  • blomster

    Will the new bridge still have cars heading west onto Washington Boulevard from 395 staying in the exit-only lane for Columbia Pike and then cutting over onto Washington Boulevard at the last minute?


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