The Mt. Vernon Trail is currently blocked near Roosevelt Island after someone tried to drive a piece of large construction equipment over a rickety wooden bridge.
The wooden plank bridge carries trail traffic in the area of Roosevelt Island and the Roosevelt Bridge, near Rosslyn. It is noted for being slippery when wet and generally uneven at all times, causing bikes to shake as cyclists ride over it.
Earlier today, a large piece of construction equipment was driven over the bridge and, predictably, broke a number of boards before getting stuck. The National Park Service is currently working to assess and repair the structure so that the trail can be reopened.
“NPS and Federal Highway Administration engineers are assessing the bridge,” said NPS spokesman Jonathan Shafer. “We hope to reopen the bridge and this section of the Mt. Vernon Trail soon, but we don’t have a time set yet.”
Via Twitter, an NPS spokeswoman said they were “hoping to reopen by evening commute but not sure yet,” adding that cyclists can detour past the closure by crossing bridges into D.C. and back.
Shafer says the circumstances around how the equipment was driven onto the boardwalk are being investigated. He said the equipment does not belong to the park service.
“It was not NPS equipment,” he said. “U.S. Park Police are investigating this.”
Update at 5 p.m. — The trail has reopened, according to NPS.
The Mount Vernon Trail has reopened! Trail fixed and inspected by engineers. https://t.co/NASWtjaEFI
— Jenny A-S NPS (@NPSJennyAS) October 2, 2018