Arlington Memorial Bridge
The Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C. crosses the Potomac River, connecting the Lincoln Memorial and Columbia Island. The northeastern end of the bridge marks the western edge of the National Mall. The southwestern end connects with Memorial Avenue, which crosses the Boundary Channel Bridge into Virginia and travels to Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County. On April 4, 1980, the Arlington Memorial Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Construction of the Arlington Memorial Bridge was authorized by Congress on February 24, 1925, and it opened on January 16, 1932. The dedication ceremony was headed by President Herbert Hoover. Designed by architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White, the neoclassical bridge is 2,163 feet (659 m) long. Although the Arlington Memorial Bridge was part of the 1901 McMillan Commission's plan for restoring Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant's original plan for the capital, two decades passed before construction was initiated. President Warren G. Harding was caught in a three-hour traffic jam while on his way to dedicate the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, because the previous wooden bridge could not handle the traffic. The ensuing turmoil led to appropriation for the bridge construction. When the bridge opened, trolley service from Mount Vernon to downtown Washington (via the 14th Street Bridge) ceased.

The northeastern entrance to the Arlington Memorial Bridge features The Arts of War sculptures, Sacrifice and Valor, which were completed by Leo Friedlander in 1951. On the pylons of each pier of the bridge are large circular discs with eagles and fasces designed by sculptor Carl Paul Jennewein. The closest Metro station to the bridge is Arlington Cemetery. The bridge connects, both literally and symbolically, the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington House, the former home of Civil War General Robert E. Lee. This placement was done intentionally to represent the reunification of the North and the South. At the southwestern terminus on Columbia Island, the bridge and its connecting roadways connect with the George Washington Memorial Parkway, State Route 27 and State Route 110. At the northeastern terminus, the bridge and its connecting roadways connect with Constitution Avenue, Independence Avenue, the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, and the District of Columbia segment of Interstate 66. A peculiarity of the traffic circle at the southwestern terminus is that traffic already in the circle must yield to traffic entering the circle " the opposite of the standard rule. During morning rush hour, a portion of the traffic circle is closed to prevent mergers that would otherwise tie up rush hour traffic. The center portion of the bridge is a metal draw span, intended to allow large vessels to pass upriver to Georgetown. However, with the construction of the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge immediately upstream, which has no such provision, the draw mechanism has been abandoned.

Building Activity

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