Arlington Memorial Bridge

Coast Guard Rescues 7 from Vessel Taking on Water Near Arlington Memorial Bridge

The Coast Guard rescued seven people Sunday in the Potomac River near the Arlington Memorial Bridge.

Coast Guard Sector Maryland–National Capital Region watchstanders received a notification via VHF-Channel 16 at approximately 1:00 p.m. that a 30-foot boat with seven people aboard was taking on water.

Coast Guard Station Washington launched a 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew to assist.

“We put two crewmembers aboard when we got on scene,” said Petty Officer Christopher Page, the coxswain aboard the RB-S. “The owner was concerned because he couldn’t find the source of the water, and they had also lost one engine. We decided to take them on side-tow when we realized their anchor wasn’t holding, and they were quickly drifting to shoal water.”

No injuries were reported.

(Photo via John Griffiths, on Flickr)

As we told you would happen after the emergency closure of Arlington Memorial Bridge lanes, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine joined U.S. Congressman Don Beyer, U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and National Park Service (NPS) Director Jonathan Jarvis today at a press conference near Memorial Bridge to urge Congress to pass a bipartisan, long-term federal transportation bill that makes critical investments in America’s aging infrastructure.

Recently, the National Park Service has announced the six-month closures of two traffic lanes on Memorial Bridge, which has been deemed “structurally deficient” due to corrosion and other safety concerns. Approximately 68,000 drivers use the Memorial Bridge to travel between Virginia and Washington, D.C. every day.

Memorial Bridge
(Photo by ehpien, on Flickr)

Memorial Bridge
Route 7Y from Lincolnia will detour due to major construction on the Arlington Memorial Bridge. During this time, Metrobus will not miss any bus stops.

7Y Lincolnia-North Fairlington southbound to Lincolnia

  • Regular route to Constitution Avenue & 23rd Street NW
  • Continue Constitution Avenue NW to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge
  • Bear right onto exit 50, Arlington Boulevard
  • Bear right onto Key Bridge exit
  • Right on N. Lynn Street
  • Right on Wilson Boulevard
  • Continue Jefferson Davis Highway S.
  • Resume regular route

7Y Lincolnia-North Fairlington northbound to the Convention Center

  • Regular route to Jefferson Davis Highway N.
  • Continue on Jefferson Davis Highway N.
  • Bear left toward Wilson Boulevard to Rosslyn exit
  • Right on N. Lynn St
  • Right on Lee Highway
  • Continue Theodore Roosevelt Bridge Route 50 East
  • Resume regular route

(Photo by ehpien, on Flickr)

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Beyer, Kaine, Norton to Hold Press Conference Monday

Senator Mark Warner (VA), Senator Tim Kaine (VA), Delegate Eleanor Holmes-Norton (DC) and Congressman Don Beyer (VA-8) called for stronger federal infrastructure investment, citing the closure of yet a second lane on the iconic and congested Arlington Memorial Bridge as the latest evidence of federal neglect.

“There is nothing more emblematic of Congress’ failure to invest in our nation’s infrastructure than the bridge that brings people into our nation’s capital, a national memorial, falling apart.  Memorial Bridge has already been labeled ‘structurally deficient’ and one lane was closed just last week due to safety and infrastructure concerns. Today, we have news that another lane will be shut down.  It’s time for Congress to stop kicking the can down the road and pass a federal transportation bill to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, starting right here in DC,” said Rep. Beyer.

The National Park Service (NPS) announced yesterday that it will close a second lane of traffic on the bridge, which stretches from Arlington National Cemetery to the Lincoln Memorial and is a major artery across the Potomac.  The rush hour effects of the six-month closures will be dramatic.

“Unlike other infrastructure, NPS roads and bridges like the Arlington Memorial Bridge are 100 percent funded by the federal government, and there are almost no alternative sources of funds for maintenance and improvements other than federal funds.  With a cost of up to $250 million to replace the Memorial Bridge, it is no wonder that NPS is unable to do this work when it only receives $15 to $20 million for its transportation projects in the National Capital Region and only $240 for the entire nation.  Our region must offer leadership and work with Members of Congress as far away as the western states that are also deeply affected.  Beginning with our region, we must create a coalition of Members of the House and Senate determined to begin the uphill climb of rescuing priceless and essential federal assets like the Memorial Bridge that bring millions to the states by providing everything from workplace corridors to tourist sites,” said Del. Norton.

Nearly 68,000 vehicles cross the 83-year-old bridge on a typical work day.   The cost to fully repair the bridge is estimated at more than $250 million over several months. Memorial Bridge is just one of more than 70,000 US bridges deemed “structurally deficient.”

“Today’s announcement that we have to close yet another lane of the Memorial Bridge highlights the decrepit state of our infrastructure,” said Senator Kaine. “This additional lane closure will cause unbearable congestion and delays for the approximately 68,000 drivers who use the Memorial Bridge to travel between Virginia and Washington every day. Today’s frustrating news represents a nationwide issue. It’s estimated that there are 4,800 structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges in Virginia alone. It’s time to stop kicking the can down the road and address our nation’s crumbling infrastructure by passing a bipartisan, long-term transportation bill.”

“How can Congress fail to act while the Memorial Bridge – which is not only a vital artery for local commuters, but also the entrance to our nation’s capital ­– is literally falling apart? This is not just embarrassing – it’s outrageous,” said Sen. Warner. “We have to get serious about fixing and upgrading our roads, bridges, ports and other infrastructure. Until that happens, Virginia commuters will be stuck sitting in even more traffic – and crumbling and inefficient infrastructure will remain a serious drag on our economic growth.”

Senator Kaine, Del. Norton, and Rep. Beyer will join NPS Director Jon Jarvis to host a press conference at Memorial Bridge following Monday morning’s rush hour at 12:00 pm. 

(Photo by Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz) via Wikimedia Commons)

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Two lanes to be CLOSED and ‘most buses’ will be banned.

The commute to Washington, D.C. for drivers, already one of the worst in the country, is about to get worse.

Via Dr. Gridlock

 The National Park Service, at the recommendation of the Federal Highway Administration, will close both curbside lanes and four feet of the adjoining sidewalk across the drawbridge of the Arlington Memorial Bridge prior to Friday morning’s rush hour, officials said Thursday. Officials also will post a 10-ton load limit across the entire length of the bridge, which effectively eliminates most bus traffic.

Officials said the lane closures will remain in effect until emergency repairs are complete — likely six to nine months.

Officials said during a routine annual inspection, Federal Highway Administration engineers found a corroded area that warranted further inspection. Follow-up evaluation found that secondary load-bearing support beams, located at the drawbridge span, are corroding at a faster rate than anticipated and no longer meet load-bearing standards.

Read more at this link.

(Photo by Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz) via Wikimedia Commons)

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