16th Street Bridge reopens after repairs

WASHINGTON — An improved 16th Street Bridge is open at Military Road in Northwest D.C. ahead of schedule.

The old bridge was reaching the end of its useful life and repairs were necessary.

“This bridge carries about 50,000 total vehicles per day. We had tracked it over the years to the point where we thought load restricting it was imminent,” says D.C. Department of Transportation Program Manager Paul Hoffman.

Load restrictions and lane closures are two measures taking place right now on the Arlington Memorial Bridge with emergency repairs necessary to the bridge deck. DDOT did not want something similar to happen on the 16th Street Bridge.

DDOT was able to replace the 57-year-old bridge in less than three months through new technology. It used “accelerated bridge construction” where large bridge components are made off site, then taken on site and put into place.

“This new bridge should last a long time. I’m hoping for 75 to 100 years. The Chain Bridge will have its 80th birthday this decade. There is no reason to believe to keep a bridge in good shape for 75 to 100 years,” Hoffman says.

While all lanes are now open, construction crews have a few minor projects to finish up on the bridge before they leave. All work will be completed on Aug. 25.

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