Video: Ribbon Cutting For New Glebe Road Bridge

by ARLnow.com October 18, 2012 at 9:45 am 4,160 47 Comments

County leaders and VDOT officials officially marked the end of construction on the new Glebe Road bridge over Route 50 yesterday (Wednesday) morning.

Construction on the bridge started in the summer of 2011 and wrapped up earlier this week. The bridge was replaced following at least three instances of chunks of concrete falling off the aging span.

The new bridge is 27 feet wider than the old bridge, and features a northbound turn lane onto Route 50, improved “sight distance” for drivers making right turns from Route 50 to Glebe Road, a 17-foot shared use path and a 11-foot sidewalk on either side of the span, decorative green wrought-iron fencing, brick medians, gateway pillars and new LED lighting. The project cost $6 million, according to VDOT.

“Getting this project to construction and improving safety at this location has been a top priority for VDOT,” Garrett Moore, VDOT’s district administrator for Northern Virginia, said in a statement. “We are pleased to deliver a safer, more attractive bridge that will attract more pedestrians and cyclists.”

In the video above, from the county’s “Arlington TV” crew, Moore says he hopes the bridge will last at least 70 years before it needs to be replaced.

  • CrystalMikey

    Great job VDOT…now on to Washington Blvd!

  • Columbia Pike Trolley

    This is stupid. They shouldn’t be celebrating anything. It was way over schedule and way over budget, just like that crappy bridge on the GW parkway north of Old Town and the connector bridge to Telegraph road and Duke Street in Alexandria.

    • It was on time and on budget according to the schedule and budget announced in 2011: http://www.arlnow.com/2011/05/20/glebe-road-bridge-replacement-to-begin-this-summer/

      • craig


      • Mike

        Damn, Columbia Pike Trolley may want to look at this after the smackdown from ARLnow: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_burn_centers_in_the_United_States

      • Thes

        That’s not true… that’s IMPOSSIBLE!

      • Some Homer Guy

        Congratulations to VDOT and Richmond on efficient work.

      • drax


        You missed the trolley, Trolley.

      • Question

        How many times do they get to adjust the schedule to ensure the project stays “on schedule”? According to your original link (http://www.arlnow.com/2011/02/14/crumbling-glebe-road-bridge-slated-for-replacement/), it was originally due in August.

        As far as cost, I guess flexible rounding lets it come in “at cost”. But according to VDOT, the original cost was $5,858,000 (http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/northernvirginia/glebe_road_over_route_50.asp).

        Final cost was $6.5 million (according to the same page).

        Call me crazy, but that sounds like over schedule and over budget.

        • drax

          The bottom line is that schedules and budgets change sometimes. They are not set in stone. Not everything is predictable.

          • No, that’s not the bottom line.

            No one started a discussion over whether a cost overrun, a schedule overrun, etc were reasonable. I’d actually tend to agree that given how well the project was run (fairly minimal impact on traffic/etc), and what most would consider a fairly reasonable price for a pretty quick, low impact, full reconstruction of a bridge like that, a two month/$600k overage might well be reasonable.

            The bottom line is that Trolley stated that there were cost and time overruns. And he was right – despite ArlNow correcting him.

        • Westover

          History is written by the webmasters.

        • JohnB

          The estimate for August delivery was given prior to VDOT receiving bids for the work. The construction phase of the project took as long as was estimated and promised by the contractor after winning the bid.

          • As…

            an end user of that bridge, I could really care less about contractual promises made and whether they were kept (or not).

            To the end user, a VDOT representative saying, “this project will be done by August of 2012” is just as much of a promised delivery date (if not more so) as the contract that was ultimately let.

            August 2012 was the promised date. The project was delivered in October 2012. Still a reasonable delivery date? Sure. The promised delivery date as far as Ft Myer Construction (the contractor) was concerned? Yep. The promised delivery date as far as the taxpayers of Virginia are concerned? Not a chance.

          • Josh S


      • They’re still working on it…

        I just drove by an hour ago, and they are still doing some work.

    • CrystalMikey

      What bridge north of Old Town? The Humpack? I’d classify that as north of 395, Reagan, or east of the Pentagon.

      • CrystalMikey


        • WeiQiang

          Humpack happens in LBJ.

          • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

            Thank you for last night Wei.

          • Bindr

            or in Mitten’s Cabinet.

      • chris

        VDOT had nothing to do with the Humpback….

      • It’s also not a VDOT Project

        Neither is anything on the GW Parkway. Just saying.

  • Ed

    I appreciate all the flowery language and platitudes about safety for pedestrians and fixing traffic on Glebe, but let’s face it they did nothing about the old bridge and its problems until concrete started falling on the cars on Rt 50.

  • barryballston

    Repairing the bridge was relatively cheap, but I heard they spent $6 million making that video.

  • Garden City

    As someone who crosses there regularly (and was living nearby at the last concrete chunk fall) I have to say I’m impressed at how quickly the bridge was built and how little traffic disruption there actually was in comparison with what I was expecting. However, the fact that the previous bridge was marked as deficient for a decade before the situation deteriorated to the point that the bridge had to be either replaced or closed just points out how much we need to forget about driving taxes further and further down and actually start investing again in infrastructure. You get what you’re willing to pay for.

    • cj


    • drax


    • drax

      “I’m going to go to the Senate and be just an active advocate for transportation funding,” Kaine said. “The earmark thing is a bigger problem. But I think the bigger problem is the number of people who take the pledge not to raise taxes. So I’ll definitely go to bat for more transportation funding.”


      • sunflower

        going to the senate to build bridges is admirable, but let’s keep these folks off transportation committees.

        • drax

          Have fun when the concrete falls on your head, sunflower.

          • sunflower

            i thought you of all posters would appreciate my comparison of political bridge-building to actually building bridges—–sorry, guess it’s not a laughing matter…..

      • Rick

        Tim Kaine saying that doesn’t change the local DES from not spending half as much as they should on repaving roads that belong to the county. We pay for a lot and get very little in Arlington. I realize this is a VDOT project but lets look around at our roads like Williamsburg, Columbia, Wilson etc…

  • SnArl

    I wish I had that 2:45 of my life back.

    • Ren

      Woo hoo! +1 for my short attention span!!

      • drax

        Yeah, I also have short atte

  • DCBuff

    Arlington projects are not given a very high priority list by Richmond. Not sure at all why that is.

  • Anti-Glebe

    I live off of South Glebe, work in Ballston on N. Glebe. I hardly ever take the most direct route up Glebe Rd because there is always some sort of delay. I had hopes that the end of this construction would alleviate traffic, but it was still backed up before 50 (going North) at 7:45am this morning. I’m happy that pedestrians are safer, and that i won’t get hit by debris when going under the bridge. But it did nothing to help traffic going over the bridge. Just how it goes in this area.

    Now when are they get to paving 50 behind Courthouse? Unless they’ve done it this week (while I’ve avoided it), it’s been un-paved, lane-less and generally terrifying for almost a month.

    • Josh S

      It’s gonna be like that (unpaved) for a long time.

      Also, one day is not sufficient to make conclusions about how the new left turn lane will improve traffic at Glebe and 50.

      • Westover

        Small sample size, but irrefutable on its own.

      • theterror

        Traffic was fine all through construction. It’s been a mess for over a week now. The light schedule is all messed up. What used to be easy is now a disaster. There could be 20 lanes and it would be an issue. Hopefully this gets resolved soon because it is taking 2-3 times as long to get over the bridge in the morning now.

        • Dezlboy

          The county is observing traffic and in two weeks or so (i don’t remember all the press release) will start to change signal light timing.

  • chris

    I always wondered about that used car dealer just N. of 50 on Glebe Rd….. Have they ever sold a car?

    • SnArl

      probably as many as they totally un-shady “Shiraz Imports” next to Sev/Burger 7 on Lee. Speaking of – any sign of Burger 7 opening soon?

  • bobbytiger

    Won’t be long before they dig it up, after the County Board authorizes a trolley line up Glebe Road to Ballston.


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