Here is the most up to date information on the Washington Blvd. Bridge.
Completion is not scheduled until 2015.

Under Construction
*Route 27/244 Interchange**Washington Boulevard Bridge over Columbia Pike
in Arlington*

Project Photos

[image: Existing Washington Boulevard bridge. Click to view full-size photo]

Project at a Glance
*Begin Date *
Construction in Spring 2012

*Est Completion Date *
Summer 2015

*Cost *
$51.5 million

*Contractor *
Shirley Contracting Company, LLC

*Locality *

*District *
Northern Virginia


Jeff Austin
<>Design-Build Project Manager
703-668-0288 ext. 25

Christiana Briganti-Dunn <>

About the Project

This design-build
<> project
replaces the Washington Boulevard bridge over Columbia Pike in Arlington.
The new bridge will be wider, longer and a great deal more attractive than
today’s structure. A light well will separate westbound and eastbound
lanes, and an acceleration/deceleration lane will be added westbound
between ramps to assist weaving.

The new bridge will accommodate Columbia Pike widening. Clearance under the
bridge will be increased to 16'-8” to accommodate a future area streetcar.
Columbia Pike will have 11-foot travel lanes, a left-turn lane, and raised

Several ramps will also be reconfigured to improve access, traffic flow and
increase capacity.

The existing box culvert that conveys Long Branch through the center of the
interchange will be replaced with a double-cell box culvert and extended to
reduce erosion at the downstream end.

A 10-foot shared-use path on one side and a 7- to 8-foot sidewalk on the
other side of Columbia Pike will run through the project area. The design
provides enhanced safety, mobility and aesthetics for all interchange
users—pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.

Aesthetic Features

A community working group of citizens, Arlington County and VDOT staff
developed concepts for the bridge's architectural and aesthetic treatments,

*• *Decorative pylons in each corner
*•* Haunched steel fascia girders with a two-tone paint scheme to mimic the
existing arch
*• *A relief pattern incorporated into the vertical outer surfaces of the
bridge parapet to create shadows and visual interest.
*• *A concrete block pattern on retaining and abutment walls similar to
Pentagon architecture
*• *Recessed, arched panels on the abutment walls
*• *Medallions with  images reflecting the historical significance of the
Freedmen’s Village, for which the bridge will be named
*• *Color and anti-graffiti application to concrete surfaces

Traffic Impacts

During the project, drivers can expect single lane closures daily on
Washington Boulevard in both directions from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Drivers
can also expect periodic traffic shifts, the first this summer to new
temporary pavement crews will construct over the next few months.

*Periodic Columbia Pike closures* – Up to five weekend closures per year of
Columbia Pike are expected for work such as bridge demolition and erection
of high beams. These closures will begin after rush hour Friday evening and
reopen by rush hour on Monday morning. Traffic will be rerouted between S.
Quinn Street and S. Orme Street around the north side of the intersection.
Message signs will notify motorists of these closures in advance.

Noise Impacts

Potential traffic noise impacts associated with the interchange
modifications were assessed in 2000 and 2007 (after changes to the
interchange configuration). In both studies, three sound barriers were
considered and found to be feasible (provided at least 5 decibels of noise
reduction), but only one was found to be cost-effective in the latter
study. The Noise Impact Analysis Technical
the Noise Abatement Committee Submittal
the analyses, findings, and general location of the proposed sound barrier
based on the 2007 study. The approval for the sound barrier was provided by
the Chief Engineer
and Federal Highway Administration
VDOT recently updated the State Noise Abatement Policy and created a
Guidance Manual (see more
note that the policy was not in effect at the time of the study for the
Route 27/244 interchange project, and per an agreement with FHWA, the noise
study is not being revisited.

Project Background

The existing single-span bridge was built in the 1940s by the War
Department as part of the Pentagon Roadway Network. It is a thick, solid
structure that suffers from deteriorating concrete, corrosion, and heavy
chloride contamination. It has also withstood many years of increasing
traffic loads.

Currently, the interchange does not operate adequately or accommodate all
users, and also prohibits widening Columbia Pike. A 2008 traffic analysis
considered spot improvements and corridor-wide improvements to the
interchange to address concerns raised by the community working group.
Concerns included maintaining S. Queen Street access, adding signals along
Columbia Pike, separating Ramp E from the S. Queen Street intersection to
the extent possible, and eliminating time-of-day lane use on eastbound
Columbia Pike. While all concerns could not be addressed through design,
VDOT’s intent was to determine how best to meet the safety, operation, and
access issues raised by the Bridge Working Group, while also ensuring that
the interchange configuration will function adequately during the peak
hours without queues spilling back onto the mainline of Washington
Boulevard. View a copy of the traffic analysis

The bridge was rated as “poor” in recent structural inspections, meaning
that the superficial concrete is in poor condition, but is still
sufficiently capable of carrying traffic without further restriction or
risk to the public. Note: Truck drivers are reminded of the bridge's posted
weight restriction of 27 tons (single truck) and 40 tons (truck with
trailer), which is Virginia's legal load for these types of vehicles.

Despite the bridge’s rating, with diligent inspections and maintenance, its
rigid concrete frame will withstand current traffic loads for the
foreseeable future, as it has for many years.

Washington Boulevard carries more than 80,000 vehicles each day over
Columbia Pike.