Good news for those of you that commute into Washington, D.C.
According to a release from Congresswoman Barbara Comstock’s office, the National Park Service (NPS) and District Department of Transportation has been awarded a $90 million ‘FASTLANE’ grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, to make much needed repairs to the Arlington Memorial Bridge.
The Arlington Memorial Bridge carries more than 68,000 vehicles each day, stated a release. It was built back in 1932, and has far exceeded its intended 75-design life, stated a release.
“[It] is structurally deficient, having never undergone a major rehabilitation. It is currently posted with a 10-ton load limit and buses are prohibited from crossing. Without a major overhaul, the project will be closed to vehicular traffic in 2021,” stated a release.
Estimates show that closing the bridge would cost local governments $168,000 per day – or $75 million per year – and impact other area bridges, like the 14th Street Bridge and Roosevelt Bridge, according to a release.
The $90 million will be used to complete ‘Phase 1’ of the project, which will extend the bridge’s useful life out to 2030, when additional work will need to be done for ‘Phase 2’, stated a release.
Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, Delegate Eleanor Norton, and Representatives Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly, and Barbara Comstock issued a joint statement on the funding:
We are very pleased to announce that the Department of Transportation has selected Arlington Memorial Bridge to receive a $90 million FASTLANE grant. While additional federal resources will be needed to complete this $250 million project, this funding will allow NPS to move forward with planning and contracting immediately so that construction can begin early next year. This significant federal investment will go a long way towards ensuring that Memorial Bridge remains open, which is welcome news for the region’s commuters.
We are proud that the entire National Capital Region delegation worked together to make sure that the National Park Service submitted a strong application for this FASTLANE Grant. This would not have been possible without the crucial support of Mayor Bowser and the District Department of Transportation.”
The congressional delegation looks forward to working with all local jurisdictions and our colleagues in Congress to ensure that sufficient resources are allocated to fully repair the Bridge and keep this 84-year-old icon of American infrastructure standing strong.