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  Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project Photos - May 2006

The following 34 photos were taken on May 18, 2006, by Roads to the Future. This was at the dedication ceremony for the first new Woodrow Wilson Bridge. This is the 6-lane bridge for the Outer Loop of the I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway, which will open to traffic in June and July of 2006, and it will be configured for 3 lanes each way until the 6-lane bridge for the Inner Loop of the Beltway opens to traffic in mid-2008. The completed twin bridges will have a total of 12 lanes on 4 separate roadways on a 3-3-3-3 lane configuration.

The large photos have sizes ranging from 149 to 257 kilobytes, with most of them being under 185 kilobytes. With a broadband or network Internet connection each photo will download within seconds, but with a dial-up Internet connection it will be somewhat slower.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading westbound toward Virginia. The mid-point of the bridge and the drawspan is in the far distance.

The next 5 photos advance in sequence westbound toward Virginia.

Vehicles and stages related to the ceremony are in various places on the bridge.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading westbound toward Virginia. The mid-point of the bridge and the drawspan is in the distance.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading westbound toward Virginia. The mid-point of the bridge and the drawspan is in the distance. The under-construction new drawbridge Operator's Tower is visible to the right.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading westbound toward Virginia. The mid-point of the bridge and the drawspan is in the foreground. The under-construction new drawbridge Operator's Tower is visible to the right. The ceremonial platforms and seating is ahead.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading westbound toward Virginia. The drawspan is just behind this spot.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading westbound toward Virginia. The Virginia Potomac River shoreline is almost directly under the Virginia welcome sign.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading eastbound toward Maryland. The mid-point of the bridge and the drawspan is a couple hundred yards ahead.

Vehicles and stages related to the ceremony are in various places on the bridge.

The next 2 photos advance in sequence eastbound toward Maryland.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading eastbound toward Maryland. The mid-point of the bridge and the drawspan is in the foreground. The joint between the bridge and the drawspan is visible at the bottom of the photo.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading eastbound toward Maryland. The Maryland shore is visible in the distance.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, looking eastbound from a stage over the center of the bridge, toward Maryland. The Maryland shore is visible in the distance.  The joint between the bridge and the drawspan is visible at the bottom of the photo.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, same vantage point as previous photo, with telephoto.
The first ceremonial vehicle to cross the new bridge was President Woodrow Wilsonís own 1923 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost (courtesy of the Woodrow Wilson House).

Woodrow Wilson's Rolls-Royce will be on display for two years. You can learn more about it and the Woodrow Wilson House by visiting www.woodrowwilsonhouse.org or by calling 202-387-4062.

Woodrow Wilson's Rolls-Royce. The car is privately owned today.
Woodrow Wilson's Rolls-Royce.
Woodrow Wilson's Rolls-Royce.
Virginia approaches construction to the Potomac River Bridge for the Inner Loop bridge, looking at the delta pier construction on the Virginia land approach, photo taken from new WWB, and the existing WWB is in the background.

The delta piers on the approach spans are being constructed via the precast segmental method, whereby reinforced concrete segments are cast in a fabrication yard, and assembled on the pier foundations and post-tensioned with steel cables that pass through channels in the piers. The arches are held in place by temporary steel cables until the reinforced concrete cross-member links the two arches. The bridge's steel beams and roadway deck are constructed across the top of the piers.

Virginia approaches construction to the Potomac River Bridge for the Inner Loop bridge, looking at the delta pier construction on the Virginia land approach, photo taken from new WWB, and the existing WWB is in the background. Same vantage point is previous photo, but more telephoto.
Virginia approaches construction to the Potomac River Bridge for the Inner Loop bridge, looking at the delta pier construction on the Virginia land approach, photo taken from new WWB, and the existing WWB is in the background. Same vantage point is previous photo, but more telephoto.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading eastbound toward Maryland. The mid-point of the bridge and the drawspan is a few hundred yards ahead.

Vehicles and stages related to the ceremony are in various places on the bridge.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading eastbound toward Maryland. The mid-point of the bridge and the drawspan is a couple hundred feet behind. This is the 6-lane bridge for the Outer Loop of the I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway, which will open to traffic in June and July of 2006, and it will be configured for 3 lanes each way until the 6-lane bridge for the Inner Loop of the Beltway opens to traffic in mid-2008. This roadway will have 3 lanes westbound to Virginia until the second new bridge opens, at which time this roadway will become the express lanes eastbound to Maryland.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading eastbound toward Maryland. This is a zoom-in excerpt from the previous photo (the raw images at about 1.4 megabytes each are very large and the resolution is lower on the unreduced image), to show that there is a large Maryland welcome sign on the overhead sign structure on the bridge near the Maryland end of the bridge, and while it is too far away to be clearly visible, its color scheme clearly shows it for what it is. This was the closest that I walked toward Maryland.
Maryland approaches construction to the Potomac River Bridge for the Inner Loop bridge, looking at the delta pier construction, photo taken from the drawspan of the new WWB, and the existing WWB is in the background.

The delta piers on the approach spans are being constructed via the precast segmental method, whereby reinforced concrete segments are cast in a fabrication yard, and assembled on the pier foundations and post-tensioned with steel cables that pass through channels in the piers. The arches are held in place by temporary steel cables until the reinforced concrete cross-member links the two arches. The bridge's steel beams and roadway deck are constructed across the top of the piers.

Maryland approaches construction to the Potomac River Bridge for the Inner Loop bridge, looking at the delta pier construction, photo taken from the drawspan of the new WWB, and the existing WWB is in the background. Same vantage point is previous photo, but more telephoto.
Maryland approaches construction to the Potomac River Bridge for the Inner Loop bridge, looking at the delta pier construction, photo taken from the drawspan of the new WWB, and the existing WWB is in the background. Same vantage point is previous photo, but more telephoto.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, looking westbound from a stage over the center of the bridge, toward Virginia. The Virginia shore is visible in the distance. The stage for the ceremony is ahead.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, looking westbound toward Virginia. The stage for the ceremony is ahead.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the drawspan is rising in the background behind the ceremony platform. A nice feature about this drawspan is that its roadway deck is made of reinforced concrete; and while it is much heavier than the original bridge's steel grid drawspan roadway deck, it won't have the problem of it being slippery when wet.

The dedication ceremony is underway. Standing at the podium is the master of ceremonies Federal Highway Administration Acting Administrator J. Richard Capka. Seated to his right, from left to right, are U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta, Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine, Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., and District of Columbia Mayor Anthony A. Williams.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the drawspan is lowering in the background behind the ceremony platform.

During the ceremony, the drawspan was raised and lowered two full cycles. It was slow, as it is still under construction with tarpaulins for painting work still attached to the drawspan, and it took about 6 minutes to go from closed to fully open, and about 6 minutes to go from fully open back to closed.

When fully operational, the drawspan will take 90 seconds to go from closed to fully open, and 90 seconds to go from fully open back to closed.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the drawspan is lowering in the background behind the ceremony platform.

Speaking at the podium is U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the drawspan is rising in the background behind the ceremony platform. Upon opening the drawspan, the Maryland-side bascule leaves open first, and then the Virginia-side bascule leaves open. Each 3-lane roadway has independent bascule leaves.

Speaking at the podium is Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr..

Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the drawspan is rising in the background behind the ceremony platform.

Speaking at the podium is Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the drawspan is rising in the background behind the ceremony platform.

Speaking at the podium is District of Columbia Mayor Anthony A. Williams.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the drawspan is lowering in the background behind the ceremony platform.  Upon closing the drawspan, the Virginia-side bascule leaves close first, and then the Maryland-side bascule leaves close.

Standing at the podium is the master of ceremonies Federal Highway Administration Acting Administrator J. Richard Capka.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the drawspan is lowering in the background behind the ceremony platform.

The local Congressional delegation present is standing on the platform.
Speaking at the podium is Virginia U.S. Senator John Warner.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the drawspan just fully closed in the background.

The local Congressional delegation present is standing on the platform.
Speaking at the podium is Virginia U.S. Senator George Allen.

WWB Ceremony Video is one of the very few forays by Roads to the Future into videotaping, using a 2005 Nikon Coolpix 4100 point-and-shoot camera (which took all the photos on this webpage, which were processed with Adobe PhotoDeluxe Business Edition), and it provides rudimentary videotaping quality. It is a 19-second video of the new and existing bridges, taken at the dedication ceremony, with the theme music playing in the background, with traffic moving on the existing bridge. At 10.3 megabytes, it is large. It looks like clicking it directly will not run the video, but that saving it to your own computer and running it from Windows Explorer as a QuickTimeMovie, will run the video. It can be set to play in a continuous loop so that the music will play in the background as you look at the photos here.

The following 15 photos were taken on May 27, 2006, by Roads to the Future. This is a drive eastbound over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and approaches, from Virginia to Maryland. The large photos have sizes ranging from 146 to 287 kilobytes, with most of them being under 172 kilobytes.

I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway, eastbound, approaching the Eisenhower Avenue Connector interchange, Exit 174. This photo was taken at 9:22 AM, and the variable message sign (VMS) indicates that there will be a drawbridge opening on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge at 10:00 AM.
I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway, eastbound, on new Outer Loop local roadway bridge adjacent to Hunting Creek (also known as Cameron Run), which will have 3 lanes when it is fully open to traffic. Currently it is serving only as a long off-ramp to US-1 at Alexandria. This bridge is part of the recently completed US Route 1 Interchange Advanced Bridge contract.
I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway, looking eastbound, from the new elevated ramp from southbound US-1 to the Beltway Outer Loop (toward Wilson Bridge). The existing US-1 bridge is in the foreground, in the distance is the under construction Washington Street Urban Deck, and in the far distance is the existing and under construction Woodrow Wilson Bridges. Notice the raised drawspan on the under construction bridge. The drawbridge opening on the existing bridge had already been completed when this photo was taken.
I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway, eastbound, approaching the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge, looking down the new Outer Loop 3-lane local roadway, which upon opening in June 2006 will serve temporarily as the 3-lane Outer Loop main roadway, until the second new bridge opens in mid-2008. Traffic lane lines have been painted on the new bridge's roadway deck.
I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway, eastbound, approaching the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge, looking down the new Outer Loop 3-lane express roadway, which upon opening in July 2006 will serve temporarily as the 3-lane Inner Loop main roadway, until the second new bridge opens in mid-2008. Traffic lane lines have been painted on the new bridge's roadway deck.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading eastbound toward Maryland. The new Potomac River Bridge is under construction to the right.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading eastbound toward Maryland. The new Potomac River Bridge is under construction to the right. View of the Bascule Span construction, which is being built under the Potomac River Bridge Bascule Spans contract. The new bascule span will have 70 feet of vertical navigational clearance when the drawspan is closed, 20 feet higher than the existing bridge's bascule span which has 50 feet of vertical navigational clearance when its drawspan is closed. Notice the raised bascule leaves on the 3-lane local roadway of the Outer Loop bridge under construction.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, approaching the drawspan, heading eastbound toward Maryland. Notice the steel grid roadway deck on the drawspan. A nice feature about the drawspan on the new bridge, is that its roadway deck is made of reinforced concrete; and while it is much heavier than the original bridge's drawspan steel grid roadway deck, it won't have the problem of it being slippery when wet. The new Potomac River Bridge is under construction to the right. This photo was taken on May 29th, two days after the others in this block.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, on the drawspan, heading eastbound toward Maryland. The new Potomac River Bridge is under construction to the right.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading eastbound toward Maryland. The new Potomac River Bridge is under construction to the right.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading eastbound toward Maryland. The new Potomac River Bridge is under construction to the right.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading eastbound toward Maryland. This is a zoom-in excerpt from the previous photo, to show the large Maryland welcome sign on the overhead sign structure on the new bridge near the Maryland end of the bridge.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading eastbound toward Maryland. The new Potomac River Bridge is under construction to the right. The Maryland end of the bridges is visible ahead. The overpass under construction is for the pedestrian and bicycle trail that will connect from the north side of the new bridge, across Rosalie Island, to Maryland. The pedestrian and bicycle trail across the new bridge will connect the system of pedestrian and bicycle trails in Maryland and Virginia.
I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway, eastbound, approaching the I-295 interchange. The new I-295 interchange is under construction, as part of the WWB Project.
I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway, eastbound, passing through the I-295 interchange. The new I-295 interchange is under construction, as part of the WWB Project.
I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway, eastbound, approaching the MD-210 Indian Head Highway interchange. The new MD-210 Indian Head Highway interchange is under construction, as part of the WWB Project.

The following 8 photos were taken on May 29, 2006, by Roads to the Future. This is a drive westbound over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and approaches, from Maryland to Virginia. The large photos have sizes ranging from 112 to 197 kilobytes, with most of them being under 141 kilobytes.

I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway, westbound in Maryland, approaching the I-295 interchange. The new I-295 interchange is under construction, as part of the WWB Project. The Potomac River and Virginia is visible in the distance.
I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway, westbound in Maryland, approaching the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. The overpass under construction is for the pedestrian and bicycle trail that will connect from the north side of the new bridge, across Rosalie Island, to Maryland. The pedestrian and bicycle trail across the new bridge will connect the system of pedestrian and bicycle trails in Maryland and Virginia.
I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway, westbound in Maryland, approaching the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the Maryland end of the bridge is visible ahead. The new Potomac River Bridge is under construction to the left.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading westbound toward Virginia. The new Potomac River Bridge is under construction to the left. Notice the existing bridge's drawspan operator's tower to the right.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, on the drawspan, heading westbound toward Virginia. Notice the steel grid roadway deck on the drawspan.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading westbound toward Virginia. The new Potomac River Bridge is under construction to the left.
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, heading westbound toward Virginia. The new Potomac River Bridge is under construction to the left. Ahead is the under construction Washington Street Urban Deck, and the U.S. Route 1 Interchange in Alexandria, Virginia.
I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway, westbound in Virginia, approaching the under construction Washington Street Urban Deck, on the temporary roadway that takes the Beltway under the completed southern section of the deck that, when all work is complete, will carry the local and express roadways of the Beltway Outer Loop (toward Wilson Bridge). A telephoto lens exaggerates the amount of horizontal curvature, as the roadway is comfortably drivable at 50 mph.

The following 20 photos show various aerial views of the I-95/I-495 Woodrow Wilson Bridge (WWB) Project construction, including the new Potomac River Bridge construction, the Virginia U.S. Route 1 Interchange construction, the Washington Street Urban Deck construction, and the Maryland Interstate 295 Interchange construction.

These photos were taken on May 31, 2006, by the Virginia Department of Transportation, and are posted here with their permission. Roads to the Future utilized PhotoDeluxe Business Edition to sharpen and brighten and to align all of the photos. Click on the photo to get a large version of the photo. In later versions of Netscape and Internet Explorer, you probably will need to use Full Screen mode (the F11 key can be utilized to swap back and forth between Full Screen and Regular) to see the full size of the large photo without browser-induced image shrinkage. The large photos have sizes ranging from 137 to 267 kilobytes, with most of them being under 176 kilobytes. With a broadband or network Internet connection each photo will download within seconds, but with a dial-up Internet connection it will be somewhat slower.

U.S. Route 1 Interchange construction, looking north across the I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway, with Alexandria on the north side of the Beltway. The new US-1 bridge over the Beltway is under construction, to the right of the existing bridge.
Virginia approaches construction to the Potomac River Bridge, looking east toward Maryland. Construction is the Potomac River Bridge Virginia Approach Spans contract. Jones Point is visible in the right of the photo.
Potomac River Bridge construction, view of the Bascule Span construction, which is being built under the Potomac River Bridge Bascule Spans contract. The existing Woodrow Wilson Bridge is behind the bridge under construction. The new bascule span will have 70 feet of vertical navigational clearance when the drawspan is closed, 20 feet higher than the existing bridge's bascule span which has 50 feet of vertical navigational clearance when its drawspan is closed. Notice the raised bascule leaves on the bridge under construction.
Potomac River Bridge construction, closer view of the Bascule Span construction. Looking northeast toward Maryland.
Potomac River Bridge construction, closer view of the Bascule Span construction. Notice the raised bascule leaves on the 3-lane local roadway of the Outer Loop bridge under construction.

 

Potomac River Bridge construction, view of the Bascule Span construction. Looking north with Old Town Alexandria to the left and with downtown Washington, D.C. in the far distance.
Potomac River Bridge construction, looking east, view of the Maryland Approach Spans construction. Delta pier construction is underway on the bridge foundations. The under construction Maryland abutment for the new Potomac River Bridge is visible in the left of the photo. Interstate 295 Interchange construction, is to the right.
Interstate 295 Interchange construction, looking east, the Potomac River Bridge is just off of the left edge of the photo, and the I-95/I-495 Beltway sweeps into the distance, with I-295 to the right as it extends to MD-210 Indian Head Highway in the distance.
Interstate 295 Interchange construction, looking west along the I-95/I-495 Beltway. The Woodrow Wilson Bridge across the Potomac River is in the upper center part of the photo. Virginia is in the far distance. I-295 curves over the Beltway on the new bridges to the left, and I-295 terminates at MD-210 Indian Head Highway about a mile to the east.
Interstate 295 Interchange construction, looking west along the I-95/I-495 Beltway.
Potomac River Bridge construction, looking south, view of the Maryland Approach Spans construction, which is being built under the Potomac River Bridge Maryland Approach Spans contract. The existing 6-lane Woodrow Wilson Bridge is visible on the near side of the new bridge construction.

The delta piers on the approach spans are being constructed via the precast segmental method, whereby reinforced concrete segments are fabricated in a fabrication yard, and assembled on the pier foundations and post-tensioned with steel cables that pass through channels in the piers. The arches are held in place by temporary steel cables until the reinforced concrete cross-member links the two arches. The bridge's steel beams and roadway deck will be constructed across the top of the piers.

Potomac River Bridge construction, view of the Bascule Span construction, which is being built under the Potomac River Bridge Bascule Spans contract.
Potomac River Bridge construction, view of the Bascule Span construction. Notice the raised bascule leaves on the 3-lane local roadway of the Outer Loop bridge under construction. The existing 6-lane Woodrow Wilson Bridge bascule span is visible on the near side of the new bridge construction.
Potomac River Bridge construction, view of the Bascule Span construction.
Construction of the Potomac River Bridge Virginia Approach Spans contract. The existing Woodrow Wilson Bridge is on the near side of the construction. Jones Point is visible in the upper center of the photo.
Virginia approaches construction to the Potomac River Bridge, looking south. The new 12-lane twin-span bridge is being built just to the south of the existing 6-lane Woodrow Wilson Bridge. The Hunting Towers apartment complex is in the upper center of the photo. The Virginia abutment (terminal structure) of the bridges is visible in the left of the photo.
Looking south, showing construction of the Washington Street Urban Deck in Alexandria VA, and the U.S. Route 1 Interchange.
U.S. Route 1 Interchange construction, looking south along U.S. Route 1 which goes into the distance, with the Beltway running left-right.  The new US-1 bridge over the Beltway is under construction, to the left of the existing bridge.
U.S. Route 1 Interchange construction, looking south along U.S. Route 1 which goes into the distance, with the Beltway running left-right.

On March 11th, 2006, the new ramp from southbound US-1 in Old Town Alexandria to the Outer Loop opened to traffic, helping to fix US-1ís severely congested access to the Outer Loop of the Beltway. That is the large elevated new loop ramp. The new ramp replaced the original semi-directional flyover ramp connecting southbound US-1 to northbound I-95/I-495 (to Wilson Bridge), and there is a temporary tie-in between the ramp and northbound I-95/I-495, pending the completion of the U.S. Route 1 Interchange segment of the WWB Project.

U.S. Route 1 Interchange construction, looking south. The elevated ramps under construction in the foreground, will connect US-1 to the Inner Loop of the Beltway.

Lead article - Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project Photos

All photos by Scott Kozel except aerial photos in last group.

This article was released on June 1, 2006, with the 34 photos from May 18, 2006. The 23 photos from May 27 and May 29, 2006, were added on June 8, 2006. The 20 photos from May 31, 2006, were added on August 1, 2006.

Copyright © 2006 by Scott Kozel. All rights reserved. Reproduction, reuse, or distribution without permission is prohibited.

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By Scott M. Kozel, Capital Beltway dot com, Roads to the Future

(Created 6-1-2006, updated 8-1-2006, moved to capital-beltway.com on 3-22-2007)