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Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division
Prompt #3: Construction Information

Subject reference: Construction Information

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George Washington Memorial Parkway (Humpback Bridge) GWMP 1A97

Boundary Channel Humpback Bridge Replacement Project

George Washington Memorial Parkway & I-395

Boundary Channel Humpback Bridge Replacement Project

To make your commute easier and faster for the future, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division (EFLHD), in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS), began construction during the work week of Monday, January 7, 2008, along northbound and southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) as part of the Humpback Bridge Replacement Project. Original completion for all work was February 2010; however delays due to unforeseen utility issues, differing site conditions and weather have delayed completion of the project. The project is now substantially complete.  Miscellaneous trail and cleanup work and landscaping are still ongoing.  All project work is expected to be complete by spring 2012.

The Humpback Bridge is located on the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) just north of Interstate 395 and immediately south of the Columbia Island Marina. More than 75,000 vehicles cross it every day, far more than it was designed to carry when it was built in 1932. For this reason, the bridge will be replaced to meet current traffic demands.

The completed project is expected to improve safety in the area as well as reduce congestion. Traffic delays are expected. Due to the extremely high volume of traffic using the GWMP and the Mount Vernon Trail, the traffic control scheme will strive to minimize delays and impacts to the traveling public.

Traffic Sign

This section will be updated on a weekly basis.

Construction Updates

Work for August 25 to September 1, 2012

  • Completing punch list work

Traffic Control/Weekend and Night Work

  • Weekdays: No lane closures are anticipated
  • Weekend Work: No work is scheduled

The Mount Vernon Trail: During the new phase of construction, the trail will be temporarily moved to allow visitor access through the construction area. Please use caution as construction vehicles and equipment will be crossing the Mount Vernon Trail to access the construction site.

For additional information see NPS Press Releases

NOTE: No lane closures are permitted during rush hours

  • Morning rush hours: 5:30 AM to 10:00 AM, Monday through Friday (except holidays)
  • Evening rush hours: 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Monday through Friday (except holidays)

General Traffic Details

All lanes of the GWMP and the Humpback Bridge will remain open during rush hours, or from 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Delays can be expected. Construction crews will work between 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and from 7:00 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. During construction, one lane in each direction will remain open at all times. Drivers are encouraged to use the alternate routes suggested below. Variable electronic message boards and construction signs have been and will remain in place to alert drivers of the expected closures. The Mount Vernon Trail will be open at all times during the project.

The public will see various immediate changes in the construction area, including the clearing of a small amount of trees. Construction work will then include the closure and removal of the left-turn, northbound access lane into the Columbia Island Marina, the pedestrian crosswalk, and the small parking lot in Lady Bird Johnson Park. This will allow traffic to be shifted as needed during the construction of the new bridge.

All roadways, trails, and waterways within the project limits will remain open to vehicle, bicycle, boat, and pedestrian traffic during construction. All roadways and trails are owned and maintained by the National Park Service. Access will be maintained to the Columbia Island Marina during construction. Specified horizontal and vertical clearances at the bridge site will be maintained for boat traffic in the vicinity of the Columbia Island Marina throughout construction.

Updates, including adjustments in the work schedule, will be posted here. Motorists may also access up-to-date information on this project by dialing "5-1-1". Information will be updated as it becomes available.

Further information on this project, including construction updates and suggested alternate routes, may also be obtained weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. by calling 800-892-8776 and pressing #3.

The following alternate routes are suggested:

The Humpback Bridge Replacement Project will:

  • Improve safety for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians
  • Improve traffic flow

Reasons for Bridge Replacement:

  • The highest accident rate on the Parkway occurs on the northbound ramp that exits from I-395 onto the Parkway. Traffic also routinely backs up on the 14th Street Bridge, impacting the southbound lanes of I-395.
  • Insufficient sight distances over the bridge have resulted in frequent accidents caused by sudden braking of vehicles. Approximately 20% involve personal injury.
  • Mount Vernon Trail users wishing to cross the bridge are confined to a narrow sidewalk with speeding traffic on one side and the bridge wall on the other. This has created high safety risks for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the Parkway at the Columbia Island Marina entrance must do so in the face of oncoming vehicle traffic traveling at a high rate of speed in both directions.

The Project Includes:

  • Replacing the historic Humpback Bridge, using similar materials and configuration of the existing bridge, to feature wider traffic lanes, a new acceleration lane for northbound traffic from the
    I-395 on-ramp, and a separate wider lane for users of the Mount Vernon Trail
  • Adjusting the grade of the road to improve sight distance over the bridge
  • Replacing a pedestrian crosswalk with a tunnel under the Parkway for safe access between the Columbia Island Marina, the Mount Vernon Trail and the Potomac shoreline
  • Providing a barrier along the Humpback Bridge to separate users of the Mount Vernon Trail from Parkway traffic
  • Closing the northbound vehicle entrance into the Columbia Island Marina and Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove parking areas

Further Details: