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Thread: Long Bridge across the Potomac - Community Wed, 27 Jan 1600-1900 L'Enfant Plaza

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    To put that into perspective, the new Wilson bridge was $2.35 billion.
    The article and meeting materials streetsmarts linked to both mentioned an estimated cost of $1.3 - 1.6 billion for the preferred alternative. It sounds like the relevant entities support the project, so hopefully, that support translates to funding.

    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    Also interesting: the long bridge was built in 1814, rebuilt in 1863, rebuilt again in 1872, rebuilt again in 1884, rebuilt again in 1904, and then nothing changed in the next 114 years, and it's expected that the 1904 bridge will continue to be used indefinitely. The 1904 bridge wasn't even a new bridge: they reused spans taken from a bridge over the Delaware in Trenton. I wish those guys were still around to design our current infrastructure!
    The history and lifespan of the bridge is impressive. I also read somewhere that CSX had completed a rehabilitation project on the bridge within the last few years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbehrend View Post
    estimated cost of $1.3 - 1.6 billion for the preferred alternative.
    Maybe someone needs to start a GoFundMe.

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    Last night there was a public meeting on the Bridge EIS. Having been informed by Judd Lumberjack of the meeting, and it being on my way home, I attended, and spoke in favor of the preferred alternative including the bike/ped bridge as mitigation. I got there relatively late, so not sure if anyone I knew spoke earlier, I did see Zach D (forum handle?) there. Stewart Schwartz of CSG spoke just before me. I don't think ANYONE spoke against the bike ped bridge, and I think because its mitigation its clear it will happen IF and WHEN the RR bridge is done (AFAIK still no funding). I did ask someone from the project team if NPS will own the bike-ped bridge or DDOT - they did not know. Of course now NPS ownership would not necessarily be more restrictive of ebike usage than DC law.

    There ARE some concerns remaining. I think there is some question about the width of the bike-ped bridge - planned for 14 feet, but its been suggested it could (and should) be wider for modest added cost. The turn onto the bridge from the ramp from the MVT appeared in the plans shown to be a tight 90 degree corner - difficult for many and particularly a problem for long tails, trailers, etc.

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    I know many of us wanted the ped/bicycle bridge as an integral part of the new railroad span. Maybe it is better that it be its own span. First, there was the train derailment on a railroad bridge in Harper's Ferry that knocked out the bicycle/hiker crossing across the Potomac for months. Now this, in Tempe, AZ: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...l5bHSE68C0SgQs. Even an empty freight car is quite heavy and will not stop for you.

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  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starduster View Post
    I know many of us wanted the ped/bicycle bridge as an integral part of the new railroad span. Maybe it is better that it be its own span. First, there was the train derailment on a railroad bridge in Harper's Ferry that knocked out the bicycle/hiker crossing across the Potomac for months. Now this, in Tempe, AZ: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news...l5bHSE68C0SgQs. Even an empty freight car is quite heavy and will not stop for you.

    IIRC the preferred alternative was a separate bridge and that the plan was to construct it after the new rail bridge was built. Since projects often overrun their budgets, having the ped bridge connected to the rail bridge would be a way to mitigate the risk of the ped bridge not being built due to cost overruns.

    I donít know if this risk is offset by the fact that the ped bridge is the proposed mitigation to the Park Service for the impact of the rail project on NPS land.


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  8. #26
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    I think the reason for the separate bike/ped bridge was security for the rail bridge (although I don't recall they used the term "scofflaw cyclist"). They concluded a separate structure would have fewer security concerns. As a result, reattaching it to the rail bridge may be more difficult.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    IIRC the preferred alternative was a separate bridge and that the plan was to construct it after the new rail bridge was built. Since projects often overrun their budgets, having the ped bridge connected to the rail bridge would be a way to mitigate the risk of the ped bridge not being built due to cost overruns.
    This. I don't think anyone thought "wow, a bridge stuck on the side of the rr bridge is the best possible outcome", they just thought "the chances of getting a bike/ped bridge without making it disappear into a billion dollar car or rail project are really low".

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    Perhaps a better outcome is to scrap this vanity project altogether, and redirect the money toward improving the east and west approaches to the 14th St bridge, and widening the godawful TR ped/bike path.

    14th St bridge span is already the best DC/VA river crossing, but the approaches are a mess. That includes the recent half-assed "fix" to the DC side, with its lumpy bumpy pavement and the highway sign supports right in the middle of the path (the football goal-post padding added to the supports is a really nice touch...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by arlcxrider View Post
    Perhaps a better outcome is to scrap this vanity project altogether, and redirect the money toward improving the east and west approaches to the 14th St bridge, and widening the godawful TR ped/bike path.

    14th St bridge span is already the best DC/VA river crossing, but the approaches are a mess. That includes the recent half-assed "fix" to the DC side, with its lumpy bumpy pavement and the highway sign supports right in the middle of the path (the football goal-post padding added to the supports is a really nice touch...)
    Both. Why can't we get the new bridge built AND fix the 14th St. approaches? I'm in favor of pushing for everything. We already often get the dregs and compromise down to "adequate" instead of "excellent." Besides, I think the funding for these would come from different places anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    Both. Why can't we get the new bridge built AND fix the 14th St. approaches? I'm in favor of pushing for everything. We already often get the dregs and compromise down to "adequate" instead of "excellent." Besides, I think the funding for these would come from different places anyway.

    Itís all about the Benjamins, Steve O. Thereís always the challenge of asking for the moon and hoping that if it gets pared back, youíre still getting something good. I think sometimes we start from something reasonable and it then gets pared down to something crummy.

    The Long Bridge project is part of a project to increase rail capacity from Northern Virginia. Itís going to significantly increase both freight and VRE and Amtrak trips. I think itís a good project with a significant societal benefit. Rail transport is efficient. The bike/ped bridge was squeezed into the scope of this project through advocacy efforts. We could have pushed for improvements around 14th St Bridge as the mitigation for the impacts of the new bridges on NPS land, but getting an entirely new crossing is a megabucks, once in a lifetime opportunity. I think the project has a lot of value. Itís going to connect National Landing and the great facilities at Long Bridge Park directly to East Potomac Park. Thereís still an advocacy push to build a connection from the new bridge to the Case Bridge which would provide a direct connection from National Landing to LíEnfant Plaza and the Wharf. That might not be a big deal for folks that know how to navigate their away through all the turns and road riding to get their now, but for a casual rider, that opens up a lot of new possibilities.

    Thereís no specific project to improve the access to 14th Street Bridge. The recently released Mount Vernon Trail Safety Study had a general recommendation for an improvement and identified it as a high conflict location. Arlington and Alexandria are applying for a $20 million dollar SMART SCALE grant to widen the MVT from Jones Point to TR Island that would likely also address current issues at trail juncture likes 14th St Bridge and the Four Mile Run Trail connection. Widening the trail was a recommendation of the MVT Safety Study and itís good to see the jurisdictions immediately identifying a possible funding source for the Park Service.


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