The USA’s National Park Service (NPS) has completed the planning process for the rehabilitation of the bridge, which stands as a symbolic entry to Washington DC.
After reviewing a number of options, the NPS has selected ‘Alternative 1B’, a comprehensive plan aimed at preserving 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 footpaths and the resurfacing of all travel lanes.
NPS national capital region director, Bob Vogel, formalised the selection of the plan by signing a ‘Finding of no significant impact’ at the conclusion of an environmental analysis and inter-agency review.
The rehabilitation of Arlington Memorial Bridge is one of the largest transport 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. Early last year, 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. Options were outlined in May and then a grant was secured that opened the way for work to start (all links open in new tabs).