The Washington Post
Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar

  How much will the Wilson Bridge project cost?

Total cost for the project is estimated to be $1.6 billion. A general breakdown:

Virginia approaches and interchanges: $570 million
Bridge: $590 million
Maryland approaches and interchanges: $440 million

What is the construction schedule?


Why a drawbridge?

Under current Coast Guard regulations, the 50-foot-high existing drawspan opens about 220 times a year to allow ships to pass. Two-thirds of this traffic is recreational craft. While exact plans have not been finalized, the proposal for the replacement is parallel drawbridges, one for the eastbound traffic and one for the westbound, to be built approximately 30 feet south of the existing bridge. The new drawbridges will be 70 feet over the navigational channel, enough for most marine traffic to pass underneath. As a result, traffic should be disrupted only 65 times a year, or roughly once a week, for the opening of the drawbridge. In keeping with current regulations, openings will be banned during rush hours.

Two proposed "urban decks" would add recreational areas to both ends of the bridge. Virginia's urban deck in the Washington Street area in Alexandria would reconnect residential neighborhoods now divided by the Beltway and connect the pedestrian/bike path from the Mount Vernon Trail to the bridge.

The deck over Queen Anne's Park on Rosilie Island would unite the northern and southern ends of the island and tie the pedestrian/bike path from the bridge to the planned Potomac Heritage Trail.

Wilson Bridge Report

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

Back to the top

Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar