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Pennsylvania Ave. bridge work to divert westbound traffic for months

WASHINGTON — Construction on the Pennsylvania Avenue bridge, which crosses over Rock Creek Parkway, begins Tuesday, May 2 at 9:30 a.m.

It is expected to last for about seven months, according to the District Department of Transportation.

During the work, no westbound traffic — the two lanes of traffic heading into Georgetown — will be allowed on the bridge. A detour will take westbound drivers onto 26th Street and then onto M Street to get around the closure.

DDOT said the bridge will remain open to two lanes of eastbound traffic, and that pedestrians and bike traffic can continue to use the bridge during construction. The Rock Creek Park Trail will also remain open during the bridge work.

WMATA said the work will cause the closure of two westbound bus stops: Pennsylvania Ave. and 26th Street NW, and Pennsylvania Ave. and 28th Street NW.

The closed bus stops will be replaced with bus stops at 26th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. NW, and M Street and 28th Street NW.

The work is part of the ongoing rehabilitation of the bridge.

Back in March 2015, debris falling from the bridge shut down Rock Creek Parkway.

The bridge was deemed structurally deficient by the U.S. Transportation Department, according to The Georgetown Dish.

The rehabilitation work will entail replacing the center span deck and rehabilitating the outer two spans, repairing the sidewalks and curbs, restoring the masonry stone facade and installing new LED streetlights.

The bridge was built in 1860 and was made out of cast iron pipes. It was originally designed to carry water across the bridge.

According to Bridge Hunter, the Pennsylvania Avenue bridge is one of only two cast iron deck arch bridges in the country. The bridge was reconstructed in 1913 and encased in reinforced concrete with a smooth granite facade.

Read more on the history of the bridge below.


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