Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project Battles Obstacles
May 5, 1999
Federal officials are trying to get a new 12-lane Woodrow Wilson Bridge built before heavy trucks are banned from the existing bridge, but continuing legal action may make that impossible.
In April, in response to a lawsuit aiming to stop the bridge, a federal judge ordered the DOT to further analyze how construction to replace the deteriorating I-95 bridge would affect surrounding areas. The judge said more analysis was needed under the Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Protection Act, because previous studies were conducted on a 10-lane bridge proposal. Since then, the design has been changed to include 12 lanes, although only 10 will be used initially.
The busy interstate is the main north-south highway between Maine and Florida. About 190,000 vehicles a day cross the bridge, including about 14,000 heavy trucks. Engineers warn the bridge has only about five years left before they will have to ban heavy trucks.
The Alexandria (VA) Historic Restoration and Preservation Commission is trying to prevent the government from building the bridge, which actually will consist of two parallel spans.
Federal officials have said they will keep working on plans for the replacement scan while the environmental review is being done.
Once the new studies are completed, the parties are expected to return to court.