The Kalmia Road bridge, a small roadway used by 17,000 drivers a day as an east-west link through Rock Creek Park, will close after the Tuesday morning rush, the District Department of Transportation announced Friday.
Erosion of the structure has been a problem since spring 2010, when about 15 feet of the south portion of the culvert beyond the roadway collapsed. In September, DDOT narrowed the travel lanes because of further deterioration. Plans called for closing the bridge later this year so that a replacement could be built. But an inspection this week determined that fast-flowing water had caused additional scouring, DDOT spokesman Reggie Sanders said.
While it’s still safe for traffic at this point, he said, DDOT officials decided to close the roadway ahead of the original schedule. The closing that begins Tuesday should last about six months, during which time the bridge will be replaced.
The Kalmia Road bridge is in the northern part of the District, a few blocks west of 16th Street NW. It connects East Beach Drive with West Beach Drive.
Sanders said that while the bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic, DDOT hopes to leave it open for pedestrian use.