Safety Concern of Pennsylvania Ave. Bridge

In mid April, I wrote the District of Columbia Transportation Department about concerns I had regarding a section of the Pennsylvania Avenue bridge that crosses the Rock Creek Parkway. I cross the bridge two times a day as part of my bike commute to and from work.  During the first few months of this year, I noticed that the height difference between the eastern-most section of the bridge where it meets the road was growing. Given the news of a bridge collapse in Washington state, I figured it would be timely to publish DDOT’s letter in full.

Dear Mr. Huisman,

We at the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) have received your message regarding the stability of the bridge along Pennsylvania Avenue.

The bridge is safe. The reason the bridge is appearing to sag is due to the support bearings having settled slightly. This condition will be addressed in a forthcoming rehabilitation project which will replace the aging bearings. In the interim a temporary asphalt transition will be placed to soften the bump by the end of June 2013, until permanent repairs are made.

Regarding the gap you mentioned. All bridges are built in this manner there is a rubber joint which separates one concrete slab from another on bridges. It’s an expansion Joint between the bridge deck and the hard street approach.

For further questions regarding this matter, please contact DDOT at 202-673-6813. Thank you for contacting DDOT.

d. Clearinghouse

stm

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