In just two weeks the new Monroe Avenue Bridge will reach a construction milestone. Slaters Lane will be closed to traffic and the slip ramp onto Route 1 will be opened. This is the final stage in the construction of the first span of the new bridge, which will open in November.
When we began this project, we made a commitment that we would close Slaters Lane for the shortest period of time possible and would always have a way for the residents of the Northeast neighborhood to access Route 1, said Kevin Hall, Potomac Yard Land Development Manager. We have kept that promise.
The new bridge will span a straightened Route 1 and provide easy linkage between Northeast and Del Ray. The new bridge spans are longer and wider than, but not as tall as the old bridge.
This design has half as many piers so there is a much more open feel under the bridge, said Kurt Fischer, Project Engineer for Shirley Construction. It is architecturally very pleasing.
The western span, which will open in November, will carry three lanes of traffic until the remaining span is complete. Normally, it will be the northbound span with two lanes of traffic but we are doing the project in stages much like the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge, Fischer said.
Projects moving along
The Monroe Ave. Bridge construction is part of the development at Potomac Yard and was funded, in part, by Potomac Yard Development, the company formed by Pulte Homes and Centex Homes. The cost of the bridge is $43 million.
Like the bridge, overall development at Potomac Yard is moving along. The 165-acre site will house a mixture of residences, office buildings, retail establishments and hotels.
We are particularly excited about our 28-acre park, one of the largest in Alexandria, Hall said. It will be a great place for people to congregate and enjoy concerts and other activities.
Fischer said he is proud of the projects re-use of materials from the old Monroe Ave. Bridge and the demolition of Route 1. We are reusing about 90 percent of the concrete and steel from the demolition in other parts of the project, he said.