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Goodbye to the Wilson Bridge

You guys would be so jealous of me. While you're doing whatever it is y'all do on your summer Saturdays, I'll be standing on top of a half-built highway overpass tomorrow in the oppressive heat and humidity watching a road crew pour hot asphalt on the ground so traffic can be switched from the old Wilson Bridge to the new one. Some guys have all the luck, I know.

Put aside your envy if you can and follow the advice of the bridge officials, who don't want you anywhere near the bridge tonight, tomorrow or for the rest of the weekend. Traffic on the inner loop is likely to be fairly severe and backups could stretch for miles and last for hours. The outer loop may not be so bad, but there could be some rubbernecking and other delays there.

Listen to project spokesman John Undeland talk about it here.

And if you absolutely, positively must go across the bridge, be sure to honk, wave and toss me a bottle of Gatorade. Lemon-lime is my favorite.

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 14, 2006; 11:38 AM ET
Categories:  Wilson Bridge  
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Comments

So when are they going to blow up the old one? That'll be a show to watch.

Posted by: Ed | July 14, 2006 2:30 PM | Report abuse

When you are thinking of the heat, think of us on Arlington Terrace cleaning up from our sewage-laden flood, possibly caused by the Birdge Project and its ancilliary projects such as the Telegraph Rd. interchange. It would be interesting to see the bridge construction's full environmental impact plan posted on the web, just like their quick denial of wrong doing.

Posted by: Flooded | July 14, 2006 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Ed,
They'll be taking down the old one starting Monday. The first part, from the Virginia shore to the drawbridge, will take a couple months to come down. The rest will be used as a staging ground for construction of the second span of the new bridge and will be taken apart sometime toward the end of next year.

Posted by: Steven Ginsberg | July 14, 2006 5:37 PM | Report abuse

So the last driver over the old bridge was LOST. That's a RIOT. Somehow it's appropriately symbolic, isn't it? Great stuff.

Posted by: Rich | July 16, 2006 8:14 AM | Report abuse

My best memory of Wilson Bridge:

My best memory of Wilson Bridge actually took place under it. We were coming back to Alexandria from a visit to Norfolk on board the 130 foot 3 masted Schooner Alexandria in 1995. A bridge opening was required to pass our 100 foot main mast under the bridge. We approached.... The bridge opened..... The traffic on both sides stretching back into Virginia and Maryland waited..... We passed majestically through. Whata trip!!!!

Posted by: Frances Mahncke | July 16, 2006 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I was actually a bit jealous of Steve for having that experience. I was hoping to monitor the progress on the traffic cams on Trafficland.com, but wouldn't you know it, the Hunnington Apartments cam was down. This also happened when the outloop moved. In 2003 this bridge was always my gauge on how far I was from getting to my partners apt. in Alexandria. He has since moved in with me in PA. so no more VA commutes for me.

Posted by: Garry | July 17, 2006 12:02 PM | Report abuse

They are not going to blow up the old one, they will take it down in pieces. Environment safety, ya' know; don't want those pieces of the bridge in the river.

Posted by: Historian | July 17, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Flooded:

"To compensate for unavoidable impacts to environmental resources in the path of the project, $50 million worth of environmental mitigation programs are being implemented - some reaching well beyond the construction area." The plan also includes the removal of 23 man-made blockages that prevent migratory fish from spawning upstream in Rock Creek and tributaries of the Anacostia River. The program includes creating wetlands, river grass plantation, reforestation, stream restoration, and habitat preservation.

And there is more.

You can get this information at www.wilsonbridge.com or go the the center in VA at 2901 Eisenhower Avenue, Unit C Alexandria or in MD at One Constellation Centre 6009 Oxon Hill Road, Suite 410 Oxon Hill.

Posted by: Environment | July 18, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

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