(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) The National Park Service now has a plan to rehabilitate the deteriorating Memorial Bridge.
Officials announced today the selection of a comprehensive plan that would replace and refurbish some of the bridge’s components to keep it from closing by 2021. The plan was one of several others considered for the project.
The plan calls for “the repair of the concrete arches and stone facades on the 10 approach spans, the replacement of the bascule span’s steel superstructure, the reconstruction of the bridge deck and sidewalks and the resurfacing of all travel lanes,” according to a release from NPS.
The rehabilitation project was awarded a $90 million federal transportation grant for repairs last July. Virginia’s U.S. senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, are working on securing additional funding needed to complete the project.
Built in 1932, Memorial Bridge has far exceeded its 75-year life expectancy. Still, many people use the bridge each day to travel between the District and Virginia.
More on the plan, from an NPS press release, after the jump.
The National Park Service (NPS) has completed the planning process for the rehabilitation of the Arlington Memorial Bridge. The NPS will next design and implement the rehabilitation of this important element of the regional transportation network and the monumental core of Washington, D.C.
After carefully reviewing a number of rehabilitation options, the NPS has selected Alternative 1B, a comprehensive plan to preserve the character and defining features of the bridge by replacing and refurbishing the original bridge components. The plan includes the repair of the concrete arches and stone facades on the 10 approach spans, the replacement of the bascule span’s steel superstructure, the reconstruction of the bridge deck and sidewalks and the resurfacing of all travel lanes.
NPS National Capital Region Director, Bob Vogel, yesterday formalized the selection of the plan by signing a Finding of No Significant Impact at the conclusion of an environmental analysis and interagency review that determined that the project will have no significant adverse impacts on the historic nature of the iconic bridge. The signed Finding of No Significant Impact statement may be viewed here: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/
The rehabilitation of Arlington Memorial Bridge is one of the largest transportation projects in NPS history. For the past six years, the NPS has made emergency temporary repairs to the bridge while planning a full long-term rehabilitation. In February 2016, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) informed the NPS that despite these emergency repairs, without a complete rehabilitation the continued and accelerated deterioration of the concrete deck would require a full bridge closure in 2021.
The NPS was recently awarded a Fiscal Year 2016 $90 million matching grant through the Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) grant program to contribute towards the $250 million estimated cost of a full rehabilitation. The NPS has also committed $50 million of its Federal Lands Transportation Program funding to this project. In December 2016, the NPS and the District of Columbia submitted a strong application for an additional $60 million grant through the Fiscal Year 2017 FASTLANE program.
The NPS is actively working to secure the remaining funding needed to complete the bridge rehabilitation project in an expeditious manner as possible. At the recommendation of FHWA bridge engineers, the 10-ton load limit on Arlington Memorial Bridge will remain in effect until a full rehabilitation is complete.