Scoping Meeting for Long Bridge Replacement Include a Few New Options

Attendees labeling suggestions
along project corridor.
The second community scoping meeting in 2016 for the Long Bridge replacement unveiled a few more crossing options that aim to expand the number freight and passenger rail trains that cross the Potomac as well as include new alternatives for bicyclists and pedestrians. The current bridge, built 1904, gives the region and the bridge's current users a rare opportunity to build a structure that meets local, regional and national transportation needs.

The purpose of this second meeting was to allow the public to provide comments and suggestions along the project corridor. The preliminary concepts now include 9 specific alternatives, some with three variable options. The project's new alternatives hope to address capacity issues, as current and near future peak hour rail traffic is projected to or currently exceeds some of the project's alternatives.

Some of public attendees, who had backgrounds ranging from the railroad industry to engineering firms, discussed the concepts with project officials as this is the last meeting in Phase 2 of the study, which will use the information gathered in previous meetings and analysis to help prepare the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), which will happen in Phase 3. Prior to the delivery of the DEIS some time during the summer of 2017, the project will provide a detailed screening of the alternatives and the associated public hearing.

Project Preliminary Concepts
Courtesy: DDOT Long Bridge Project
Of the 15 current alternatives, three specifically include a share bicycle and pedestrian path (3A, 5A, 8A) while three others include general purpose vehicle lanes that could include accommodation for bicycles (3C, 5C, 8C).

The other alternatives either do not explicitly include a bike or pedestrian crossing, include a tunnel option, or is in a new location. Project staff discussed the possibility of the reuse of the current bridge and its piers for other transportation options if the tunnel or a new location option is selected.

Until details emerge, determining the best bike / pedestrian option is difficult. That said, providing comments on what your like to see is still important. Connections to the District and Virginia trail and bicycle networks should be included in the discussion and include the example of the extension of the 15th Street NW protected bike lane across the National Mall and Tidal basin.

Speaking with a member of DDOT's staff, the project also could be a catalyst for other changes potentially not under the current scope. For example, if a tunnel option is considered the current railway tunnel under Maryland Avenue SW and viaduct over Virginia Avenue SW could become obsolete. This could provide an opportunity reestablish the street grid.

Comment for this project can be submitted using snail mail and this form, or you can email your comments to The deadline for DEIS scoping comments is October 14, 2016.