When all lanes of the Roosevelt Bridge might finally reopen after emergency work


As crews started repairs on the bridge, they found that additional work needed to be done, and then supply chain issues further complicated the work.

It looks like motorists will have to wait a bit longer for the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge to be reopened fully to traffic, after emergency work was ordered on the bridge between D.C. and Arlington.

Everett Lott, director of D.C.’s Department of Transportation, said several things led to the work not meeting its targeted September completion.

“After [repair crews] started getting in there, they noticed that some additional work was required, and discovered that some of the stringer beams also needed repair,” Lott said.

The problems with the stringer beams, beams that support the deck, were uncovered after work began to repair issues spotted with several floor beams on the bridge. The concerns about the floor beams came to light after an inspection of the bridge in February.

Lott said, similarly to repairs to a home, it is not uncommon that additional problems are discovered once repair work gets underway.

“When you get in there, you start tearing down walls, you see there’s actually more work that may need to be done,” said Lott.

The additional work needed wasn’t the only reason the completion of the emergency work has been delayed.

“This project, just like other projects throughout the country and throughout the world, we also had some supply chain issues and some shipping delay issues as well,” Lott said.

While that delayed construction work, all the materials needed finally came in and most of the work on the floor beams has since been completed. That work also led to three lanes in each direction on the bridge being reopened to traffic, according to Lott.

“We are working toward having the bridge fully reopened to all lanes of traffic in both directions by the end of this month,” Lott said.

Lott said post-lockdown issues have not only caused delays for this project but also others in the city. It also has left the city reassessing schedules and final costs for projects as some material prices go up.

More substantial work is slated for the bridge down the road and Lott said that the project is still slated to begin 2024.

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