L’Hermione gets underway on the Charente River in southwestern France during April, before it crossed the Atlantic to visit the United States. (Xavier Leoty/AFP/Getty Images)

The Woodrow Wilson Bridge, which rarely opens for Potomac River traffic these days, will briefly pull up its drawbridge overnight to allow L’Hermione to visit Alexandria.

The replica of the 18th Century French frigate is coming up Chesapeake Bay after a stop at Yorktown. The original Hermione brought General Lafayette to America with news for General Washington that the French were coming over to help fight the British in the War of Independence.

[L’Hermione just made a big splash at Yorktown.]

Bridge openings delay traffic on the Capital Beltway in Maryland and Virginia, so when drawbridge openings are necessary, they’re normally scheduled for late at night. This bridge opening is set to begin at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

L’Hermione will dock at the Alexandria Marina, east of King and Union streets. The ship will be open to visitors from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday.

The ship’s outbound trip under the Wilson Bridge is scheduled for 12:01 a.m. Saturday. Next stops in the United States: Annapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York; and Boston, Massachusetts. The final North American port of call will be Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, on July 18. Read more about the trip on L’Hermione’s Web site.