Thomas Jefferson St. Next Up For Bridge Reconstruction

A little less than a year ago, the city announced plans to reconstruct all the vehicular bridges over the canal. They’re all quite old and each require a complete tear down/reconstruction. Unfortunately, it was estimated that each bridge would take a year to reconstruct.

They started with 30th St. last August. Ever since then it’s been closed to vehicular traffic. The city built a small pedestrian bridge about 20 feet up the canal. It’s been about nine months and they’ve still got decent amount of work left to do:

So it was a bit of a surprise for GM to see the sign up above hanging in Baked and Wired. It is announcing that the Thomas Jefferson St. bridge is next up for reconstruction. What’s interesting is that it is scheduled to be closed in June and to remain closed for ten months. This implies that the crews are getting the job done two months faster than expected (they won’t start until the 30th St. bridge is done). Sure, ten months is still pretty bad, but that’s a 16% improvement over what they said it would be!

As you can see from the sign, the residents and businesses of lower Thomas Jefferson St. are not too pleased with the prospect of getting cut off from M St. (although pedestrian access will remain). It surely is frustrating to them, but the work needs to be done. Better to do it under planned circumstances then wait for a collapse.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Thomas Jefferson St. Next Up For Bridge Reconstruction

  1. Rebecca

    Interesting that they’re moving on to Thomas Jefferson Street considering that they’re not even close to finishing the 30th street construction. I haven’t seen crews out on either location in about a week.

  2. Graham

    Are they repairing the Wisconsin Avenue bridge over the canal? I’ve read that bridge is the oldest in the city. If it is replaced, what bridge will take the title of city’s oldest? I hope GM can enlighten us.

  3. GM

    I didn’t know about the historical significance of the Wisconsin Ave. bridge, but it’s not on the chopping-and-reconstructing block. Only 30th, TJ, and 29th are:

    http://dashboard.ddot.dc.gov/ward2/3bridgesovercandocanal/default.aspx

  4. David

    Has anyone seen pictures of what the bridges will look like? Will they retain some historical character or look like an I-395 bridge over the Potomac?

  5. Walter

    The steel for 30th St. was delayed because apparently they decided to paint the girders at the mill before installing them. It is supposed to arrive on April 27th, and installation will begin right away. With luck, the concrete deck for the new bridge will be poured the second week in May.

    As for design, it looks as if the new roadway will be higher than the old one. That’s because the steel for the new bridge will rest on new concrete abutments, rather than on the old stone abutments.

  6. Walter

    The Wisconsin Ave bridge was completely reconstructed three or four years ago. At about the same time, the bridge over the Canal at 31st St was completely redecked. The 31st St bridge did not have the same degree of reconstruction that is being done for the bridges at 30th, 29th, and Thomas Jefferson streets.

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