Arlington Memorial Bridge, Spanning Potomac River between Lincoln Memorial &
Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia, DC
<credit: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print >
Driving, walking or cycling from Virginia into D.C., one of the most picturesque bridges spanning the waters of the Potomac River is the Arlington Memorial Bridge. When construction on it was completed in 1932—nearly 30 years after the McMillan Commission that planned the national mall had been disbanded—the bridge was the final link in a chain of monuments which start at the Capitol building, connecting the Mall in Washington, DC with Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. That connection is intentional, both physically and symbolically, in that it memorializes the connection of the North and the South, the Lincoln Memorial and the Robert E. Lee Memorial at Arlington House.
The Arlington Memorial Bridge, designed by William Mitchell Kendall while in the employ of McKim, Mead and White (NY) in the Neoclassical style, complements the other monumental buildings in Washington such as the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial. Today it connects the Rock Creek Parkway and GW Parkway, providing one of the better ways to get between DC and VA. The views of the Mall and the Cemetery are excellent, and it's popular for walkers and bikers. Motorists heading into DC will find the far right lane of the bridge closed, however, because of ongoing repair work. The National Park Service (NPS), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, has proposed the rehabilitation of the Arlington Memorial Bridge (AMB). Like many other older highway bridges across the nation, this bridge needs comprehensive repair to ensure service for decades to come.
<Heading 2: J. Lawrence "Larry" Lee, PE, PhD (Historic American Engineering Records, National Parks Service)>
J. Lawrence “Larry” Lee, Ph.D., P.E., is an engineer-historian with the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), a branch of the NPS that documents classic and endangered engineering artifacts. He has been leading an HAER documentation project for the AMB, which will be completed later this year. Larry is and expert on HAER, the history of and current conditions of the AMB, and the NPS plans for the bridge’s rehabilitation.