Memorial Bridge Education and Enforcement Campaign

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Date: August 10, 2016
Contact: Aaron LaRocca, 703-289-2508
Contact: Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, 202-619-7177

WASHINGTON –The National Park Service (NPS) is beginning an education campaign to remind drivers of the 10-ton load limit on Arlington Memorial Bridge. The 10-ton load limit was implemented in 2015 at the recommendation of the Federal Highway Administration to help prolong the service life of the iconic bridge. The education campaign will be followed by targeted enforcement.

Vehicles in Class 6 (school buses, etc.), Class 7 (city transit buses, etc.) and Class 8 (tour buses, etc.) are prohibited from traveling on the bridge. Vehicles weighing more than 10 tons are detrimental to the concrete deck and asphalt road surface. Continued violation of the weight restriction by these vehicles accelerates deterioration and may affect how long the bridge can safely remain open without repair.

In May 2015, to ensure the bridge was safe for all users, the NPS, at the recommendation of Federal Highway, implemented a 10 ton weight restriction and a temporary lane closure. At that time, the NPS informed the public of the weight limit, released a map of alternate routes for vehicles more than 10 tons, installed weight limit signs near Arlington Memorial Bridge, and published weight limit information on the park's website.

U.S. Park Police is monitoring vehicles traveling across the bridge and educating drivers about the 10-ton load limit during routine traffic stops. Violators of the restriction are subject to a citation, which may include points and/or a fine. 

As part of the education campaign, the NPS will install an additional weight limit sign, place variable message boards near the bridge, contact step-on tour guides and bus drivers near the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery to provide them with an alternate route map and will conduct additional outreach to the tourism industry.

Arlington Memorial Bridge, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, spans the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. Regarded as Washington's most beautiful bridge, Arlington Memorial Bridge is not only an important part of our roadway transportation network, but also a national memorial symbolizing reunification of the North and the South following the Civil War. The bridge connects the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial, at Arlington National Cemetery.

The 2,100 foot long bridge was designed by the architectural firm McKim, Mead and White. When it opened in 1932, it was the longest, heaviest and fastest opening drawbridge in the world. The drawbridge was last opened on Feb. 28, 1961.

To learn more about Arlington Memorial Bridge and rehabilitation needs please visit the park's website at: 

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Last updated: August 10, 2016

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