Overnight detour for Memorial Bridge rehabilitation
Posted by WTOP/Dave Dildine
June 20, 2019
Overnight work associated with the rehabilitation of Arlington Memorial Bridge led to delays and nightly lane closures along the Potomac River earlier this week.
Northbound traffic on the George Washington Parkway from Reagan National Airport and Interstate 395 was diverted off the parkway toward U.S. Route 50 and Memorial Circle nightly earlier this week.
Portions of the old bridge deck above the parkway were cut into pieces and removed. Eventually, a crane will hoist high-performance, precast concrete deck panels in place.
The National Park Service said that northbound traffic on the parkway is expected to flow normally for the foreseeable future with the bulk of the heavy lifting above the GW Parkway completed late Wednesday.
Delays were magnified earlier this week by the limited number of lanes on Memorial Bridge.
Until early 2021, there will be a maximum of three lanes open on Arlington Memorial Bridge. During daylight hours, one lane is open to inbound drivers, one lane is open to outbound drivers and one lane is reversible to accommodate rush-hour traffic.
A overnight traffic pattern further reduces the number of available lanes. Traffic alternates across the bridge from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. in a single-file under flagger direction.
The combination of both work zones led to significant northbound delays on the GW Parkway toward the diversion into Memorial Circle.
Concrete removal is expected to take place on the opposite side of the bridge above Ohio Drive near the Lincoln Memorial and Watergate steps beginning later this week.
The Park Service said at least one lane of traffic on Ohio Drive will get by the overhead work in both directions. The lane closures are scheduled to take place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.