Rebuilt Monroe Street Bridge Now Open to D.C. Traffic

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The new Brookland area railroad overpass eliminates bridge deficiencies and improves vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian safety. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 14, 2019) — Replacement of the deteriorated Monroe Street Bridge, NE, which connects the neighborhoods of Brookland and University Heights, is complete.

WSP USA, a leading engineering and professional services consultancy, provided the District of Columbia, District Department of Transportation (DDOT) with construction management services for the project, which will enhance the safety and reliability of the rail overpass crossing for vehicular and bicycle traffic, and improve pedestrian access and safety.

“The Monroe Street Bridge is a vital link for large volumes of traffic between NW and NE Washington, D.C,” said Ed Chamberlayne, WSP vice president and project principal. “It serves a vibrant community of retail stores and art galleries, residential dwellings, houses of worship and the Catholic University of America.”

The existing 122-foot-long pre-stressed concrete bridge was built in 1931 and rehabilitated in 1974, but it has since deteriorated significantly. DDOT implemented the project to reconstruct the bridge and improve associated infrastructure and utilities, including important connections for gas, electric and communications over the existing train tracks and station below.

The new bridge features a three-span steel superstructure and rehabilitated and repaired substructure, crossing the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metro and CSX railroad tracks, and Brookland-CUA Metro Station platform. It also incorporates new sidewalks, bike track, streetscaping, lighting and traffic signals. The overhead power lines and poles were eliminated by undergrounding the power lines, substantially improving access and safety for pedestrians.

“The crossing over the railroad posed a variety of challenges,” said Art Caley, project manager for WSP. “Coordination of construction over the active CSX train tracks and WMATA metro tracks and station was essential. Also, an unanticipated upgrade and replacement of a gas main under the bridge was required to maintain gas service to the nearby Veteran’s Administration and Children’s Hospital, and critical to advancement of the project.”

WSP partnered closely with DDOT to manage these construction challenges, performed bridge and construction inspection, and provided continuous public outreach to keep the community updated on construction activities. The bridge fully opened to vehicle traffic in October after two years of construction.

“It has been a very positive experience working on this project with DDOT,” Chamberlayne said. “Together, we have improved the bridge infrastructure of D.C. and have done so with community input. We look forward to celebrating the opening of this new asset.”

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