Plans to replace the nearly 70-year-old Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge are set to move forward with more than $17 million in state funding.
On Saturday, the Arlington County Board is slated to accept the state funding and adopt a resolution committing the county to pitch in local funding. The $28 million project is in an early design phase, according to the county’s project webpage.
“The Mount Vernon Avenue bridge project will replace the deteriorated roadway substructure and reuse the existing piers, which are stable,” per a county report. “The new bridge will include wider sidewalks and bike lanes in both directions.”
The project will extend the new sidewalks and bike lanes to the intersection of Arlington Ridge Road and S. Glebe Road and improve connections from the bridge to the Four Mile Run Trail, according to the county. The northern sidewalks are currently closed to prevent more wear and tear.
The Mount Vernon Avenue bridge is one of five bridges that allow vehicle traffic across Four Mile Run, between Arlington County and the City of Alexandria. It and the W. Glebe Road bridge, both built in the 1950s, were found to be structurally deficient in 2018 and identified for replacement.
“Both bridges are of a similar design and construction and have experienced significant deterioration as they approach the end of their useful life,” according to a county report.
This spring, after a number of weight and access restrictions, the W. Glebe Road Bridge was closed to allow for the replacement of the road deck and beams. Work on the Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge will begin after this bridge reopens.
“The replacement of the West Glebe Road bridge is expected to be substantially completed in fall of 2023 and will be fully open to motorized and non-motorized traffic prior to construction commencing on the Mount Vernon Avenue bridge,” per the report.
Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services posted a photo last week of concrete being poured for the bridge replacement project.
This just in from the West Glebe Road bridge. Here we see concrete being piped in from above while crews make it smooth on the bridge deck. Who wants to build their own at home with their Legos? ✋https://t.co/iBZpWFf691 pic.twitter.com/ESyHwH1YqH
— Arlington Department of Environmental Services (@ArlingtonDES) December 8, 2022
The Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge will remain open to motorists, pedestrians and cyclists during construction, although there will be vehicle travel lane reductions, per the county website.
Arlington County and the City of Alexandria will hire a firm to complete the designs, which are currently 30% complete. Then, the project will go out for bid and a contractor will be selected.
“The new bridge will include integrated art elements by artist Vicki Scuri that will enhance the bridge aesthetically,” according to the county report. “The new bridge and the integrated art elements will be completed simultaneously.”
The county says her forthcoming art installation for the Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge will provide more lighting on the Four Mile Run trail and “connect the design of the bridge to the communities of Arlington and Alexandria,” per the project webpage.
Commuters may be familiar with a current example of Scuri’s work adorning a bridge over Route 50. Her work will also be incorporated into the W. Glebe Road Bridge replacement.
The two bridge replacement projects are funded with a combination of local and state dollars as well as federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which President Joe Biden signed last year.
Of the $17.2 million in state funding that the County Board is set to appropriate, about $4.2 million comes with a local funding requirement. This will be shared equally between Arlington and Alexandria under the terms of an intergovernmental agreement that governs their joint responsibility to maintain and inspect the bridges and share short- and long-term rehabilitation and replacement costs.
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