Joan Morris 703-259-1799

Jennifer McCord 703-259-1779


May 11, 2012

Nighttime closures, full traffic stops scheduled next week

ARLINGTON—Daytime lane closures are underway and nighttime work is scheduled next week as the Virginia Department of Transportation rebuilds the Washington Boulevard bridge over Columbia Pike in Arlington. The $51.5 million design-build project will take about three years to complete.

About the Project

The new Washington Boulevard bridge will be wider and longer, with a northbound acceleration/deceleration lane added between ramps to assist weaving vehicles. Other features include:

  • An increased clearance of 16'-8” under the bridge to accommodate a future area streetcar
  • 11-foot travel lanes on Columbia Pike, a left-turn lane, and raised median
  • A shared-use path on one side of Columbia Pike and sidewalk on the other
  • Several reconfigured ramps to improve access, traffic flow and increase capacity

A community working group of citizens, Arlington County and VDOT staff developed concepts for the architectural and aesthetic features, including a concrete block pattern and recessed, arched panels, decorative pylons, and medallions with images reflecting the historical significance of the Freedmen’s Village, for which the new bridge will be named.

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.

May 15 night work – On Tuesday, May 15, crews will close a lane in each direction from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. between I-395 and the entrance to Fort Myer. Beginning at midnight, crews will also stop traffic for up to 30 minutes at a time on southbound Washington Boulevard just prior to the ramp to Columbia Pike to remove an overhead sign structure. Drivers should use an alternate route on this night if possible.

Future 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.

Shirley Contracting Company, LLC is the contractor for the project. More information, including updates on construction and traffic impacts, will be posted to VDOT’s project page throughout the project.

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

Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Oct. 17, 2012