The closure of a major route into downtown Washington means drivers, pedestrians and cyclists who use the bridge will need to find another way to cross the Potomac River. Officials are also asking boaters to approach the bridge with caution during that closure and avoid the area near its center span.
The bridge is scheduled to close at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21, and is expected to reopen at 5 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 24.
The closure will allow work crews to transport a crane to the bridge. Workers will cut holes in the bridge deck’s center span and lower steel supports into the bed of the Potomac through those openings. The holes will then be covered.
The work is part of a multimillion-dollar effort to shore up the aging bridge, which is used by 68,000 vehicles a day. Once the September closure is complete, there will be intermittent lane closures to prepare for additional work. A center barrier and equipment will be put in place to direct drivers using reversible lanes starting later in the fall.
In mid-October, three lanes and a sidewalk will be closed to allow workers to replace the bridge’s road deck. During that time, the traffic pattern on the bridge will change, and there will be detours for pedestrians and cyclists.
Work on the bridge will continue for the next 2½ years and may mean additional full bridge closures on weekends and at nights. The next full weekend closure is tentatively planned for November, according to officials with the National Park Service.