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Author Topic: Memorial Bridge  (Read 3391 times)

davewiecking

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Memorial Bridge
« on: April 12, 2016, 08:46:19 PM »

National Park Service likely to miss critical deadline for Memorial Bridge funds

I could swear there was a thread for this bridge, but I guess I'm just remembering things from the DC and US240 threads. Apparently the USPS doesn't quite have its act together, and while VA might be willing to help (remember that this bridge isn't in Virginia), expecting the VA Legislature to act in less than 48 hours isn't going to happen.

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With a deadline approaching this week to apply for millions in federal funding to fix the decaying Memorial Bridge, a powerful group of congressional representatives on Tuesday sounded an alarm that the National Park Service risked blowing the crucial opportunity.

In a letter to National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, members of the Virginia and D.C. congressional delegations said they were writing to “urge in the strongest possible terms” that the Park Service “complete a strong application” by the Thursday night deadline.

But barring a last-minute change, it appears that the Park Service will not make it in time because it failed to seek needed state sponsorship early enough.

The grant could make a major dent in a quarter-billion-dollar bridge project the Park Service says it can’t afford on its own. The grant requires a state-level co-sponsor to join the application, but D.C. and Virginia officials said the Park Service did not reach out to ask them to play that role until last week.
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Rothman

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Re: Memorial Bridge
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2016, 09:02:50 AM »

Apparently the USPS doesn't quite have its act together,

The Postal Service? :D

Actually, the NPS might be savvier than you think.  Transportation-related federal grants are notoriously inadequate for large projects.  You have a $250m project and a grant gets you $25m or some other relative pittance (more frequently, some schmoe of a congressperson gets you a $2m earmark and wonders why the project never got off the ground).  Someone's still got to pony up the rest of that money, so there's no reason to apply for a grant that will sit around and lapse anyway due to lack of funds.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 09:10:46 AM by Rothman »
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Memorial Bridge
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2016, 12:10:59 PM »

Actually, the NPS might be savvier than you think.  Transportation-related federal grants are notoriously inadequate for large projects.  You have a $250m project and a grant gets you $25m or some other relative pittance (more frequently, some schmoe of a congressperson gets you a $2m earmark and wonders why the project never got off the ground).  Someone's still got to pony up the rest of that money, so there's no reason to apply for a grant that will sit around and lapse anyway due to lack of funds.

The Arlington Memorial Bridge, contrary to what many people beyond the reach of this forum believe, does not reach Virginia.  It is entirely in D.C. (though it obviously serves many Virginia drivers, and it used to serve many buses based in  Virginia, but not since the bridge was posted with a 10 ton weight limit). 

Because it is entirely in D.C., it may be difficult to get a bill through Congress to fund the repair of the bridge (though it is obviously a federal project, and the bridge has always been owned by the federal government) - since D.C. has no voting representation in Congress.

IMO, this would be appropriately handled by a separate bill and funded by a special ["pork barrel"] appropriation. 

If I had my way, the entire federal NPS parkway system in the D.C. area would be tolled, and the revenue collected from those tolls would first go to maintaining and improving the parkways and related infrastructure. 
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wdcrft63

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Re: Memorial Bridge
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2016, 06:36:33 PM »

It's crazy to have all this critical highway infrastructure in the DC area maintained by the National Park Service in competition with national park highways across the country. There should be some separate budgeting arrangement for these bridges and highways, maybe under FHWA.
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davewiecking

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Re: Memorial Bridge
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2016, 06:48:04 PM »

The twice daily dance by the NPS ( :banghead: ) police to put up barricades to control rush hour one-way traffic on numerous area Parkways is very similar to, um, clearing trees off foot paths in Yosemite...
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Rothman

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Re: Memorial Bridge
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2016, 09:07:23 AM »

It's crazy to have all this critical highway infrastructure in the DC area maintained by the National Park Service in competition with national park highways across the country. There should be some separate budgeting arrangement for these bridges and highways, maybe under FHWA.

I'm betting that there's now jurisdictional opposition to any transfer from NPS.  FHWA doles out reimbursements to the states and other entities; they simply do not manage contractors and do not currently have the trained staff to do so.  DDOT probably doesn't want to take over all that work, even if federal-aid eligible.

NPS got stuck with it; NPS is going to be stuck with it.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Memorial Bridge
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2016, 09:08:52 AM »

It's crazy to have all this critical highway infrastructure in the DC area maintained by the National Park Service in competition with national park highways across the country. There should be some separate budgeting arrangement for these bridges and highways, maybe under FHWA.

The users of the parkways (including me) should pay  for their maintenance, upkeep and operation. 
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Memorial Bridge
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2016, 10:40:48 AM »

WTOP Radio: NPS offers Memorial drawbridge redesign options

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The National Park Service offered a first glimpse of the various plans to rehabilitate the Arlington Memorial Bridge Thursday.

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The repair plans will maintain the multiple-arch design and look of the bridge but call to eliminate or refurbish the defunct drawbridge that sits midspan.

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Four design options for the superstructure beneath the drawspan section of the Memorial Bridge were presented during the National Capital Planning Commission’s regular meeting.

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The meeting comes one year after an emergency load restriction for buses was put into effect across the 84-year-old bridge. The park service says that if the structure isn’t rehabilitated soon, it could be closed by 2021.

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The proposals vary greatly in how to rehab the drawspan, which is severely corroded and was decommissioned in the 1960s. Options would replace the drawspan with concrete beams, variable depth girders. or fixed steel trusses. Another option would refurbish the existing steel components of the drawspan.

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cpzilliacus

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Re: Memorial Bridge
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2016, 09:30:25 PM »

WTOP Radio: Memorial Bridge could close by 2021, local leaders warn

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The Memorial Bridge is one of the most historic, gorgeous, and well-traveled bridges linking Virginia to D.C., but it could shut down by 2021 if it doesn’t get a major safety overhaul, according to Virginia’s senators and the mayor of D.C.

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“We just had a sobering tour of America’s most iconic bridge,” said Sen. Mark Warner, D-VA, standing with Sen. Tim Kaine, D-VA, and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, on the Virginia side of the bridge, which carries traffic from Arlington Cemetery to the Lincoln Memorial.

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“This bridge is evaluated as the most vulnerable bridge in the whole federal system,” said Warner, who explained the 84-year-old bridge was built with a life expectancy of 75 years.

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The leaders described dangerous rusting and flaking of concrete below the asphalt bridge deck.

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The Memorial Bridge carries 68,000 vehicles daily, Kaine said.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Memorial Bridge
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2017, 09:44:21 PM »

Washington Post: Effort to fix aging Arlington Memorial Bridge receives a $227 million boost

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In a rare bit of good news for the Washington region’s aging transportation infrastructure, the National Park Service announced Friday that it had approved a $227 million project to repair and rehabilitate Arlington Memorial Bridge, a major commuter artery traveled by 68,000 vehicles a day.

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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and members of the District and Virginia congressional delegation said in a news release that the contract caps a years-long fight to secure funding to repair the aging bridge, which was determined to be so “structurally deficient” that in 2015 officials barred large vehicles, trucks and buses from using it.
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Beltway

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Re: Memorial Bridge
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2017, 11:42:23 PM »

Quote from: Washington comPost
In a rare bit of good news for the Washington region’s aging transportation infrastructure, the National Park Service announced Friday that it had approved a $227 million project to repair and rehabilitate Arlington Memorial Bridge, a major commuter artery traveled by 68,000 vehicles a day.

Wow.  A needed project to keep a 6-lane Potomac River bridge in operation, but fantastically expensive.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 11:45:03 PM by Beltway »
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Scott M. Savage
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Memorial Bridge
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2017, 12:52:02 AM »

Quote from: Washington comPost
In a rare bit of good news for the Washington region’s aging transportation infrastructure, the National Park Service announced Friday that it had approved a $227 million project to repair and rehabilitate Arlington Memorial Bridge, a major commuter artery traveled by 68,000 vehicles a day.

Wow.  A needed project to keep a 6-lane Potomac River bridge in operation, but fantastically expensive.

I strongly disagree.  The Arlington Memorial Bridge has had almost no maintenance work performed since it was opened to traffic in 1932, except for snow and ice removal.

That's about 85 years ago. 

The current-day price to repair and rehabilitate the bridge (apparently including removal of the draw span) works to about $2.65 million for every year it has been in service.  Even though the bridge is legally part of the NPS Parkway system, it has long carried transit and tourist buses similar in gross vehicle weight to the trucks that not usually allowed on the structure, so it has taken a beating for most of those years (a few years ago, all vehicles weighing more than 10 tons were banned from crossing the bridge).
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Beltway

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Re: Memorial Bridge
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2017, 12:55:23 AM »

Quote from: Washington comPost
In a rare bit of good news for the Washington region’s aging transportation infrastructure, the National Park Service announced Friday that it had approved a $227 million project to repair and rehabilitate Arlington Memorial Bridge, a major commuter artery traveled by 68,000 vehicles a day.
Wow.  A needed project to keep a 6-lane Potomac River bridge in operation, but fantastically expensive.
I strongly disagree.  The Arlington Memorial Bridge has had almost no maintenance work performed since it was opened to traffic in 1932, except for snow and ice removal.
That's about 85 years ago. 
The current-day price to repair and rehabilitate the bridge (apparently including removal of the draw span) works to about $2.65 million for every year it has been in service.  Even though the bridge is legally part of the NPS Parkway system, it has long carried transit and tourist buses similar in gross vehicle weight to the trucks that not usually allowed on the structure, so it has taken a beating for most of those years (a few years ago, all vehicles weighing more than 10 tons were banned from crossing the bridge).

That is an interesting way of looking at the costs, but still, $227 million to rehab a bridge about 2,100 feet long is a LOT of money, any way you slice it.
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Scott M. Savage
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Rothman

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Re: Memorial Bridge
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2017, 08:38:51 AM »

NYC rolls its eyes at you. 
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