Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chain Bridge Weekend Closure Schedule Released, But Can You Trust It?

Chain Bridge, that crossing of the Potomac that your GPS may not recognize, has for multiple weekends sporadically over the past few years, been closed for maintenance and repairs. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) sends out periodic announcements alerting members of its email list to the anticipated dates of closure, so that drivers can avoid complicated detours and bumper-to-bumper back-ups.

While it's good of DDOT to keep drivers updated, there have been two big problems with the way DDOT has carried out these alerts: First (as we reported on October 1st) these announcements have in the past proved remarkably unreliable. DDOT announces that Chain Bridge will be closed and then sometimes on the same morning it's supposed to be closed, wait! -- there's another DDOT email that tells us it's open. Or worse, on a weekend when it's supposed to be open, there's an email to say it's now closed. Second, while the most recent email will have the actual status of the roadway, the DDOT Traffic Alerts webpage may still show the road as closed. Or vice versa.

So with those two important caveats in mind, you will find DDOT's announcement with the expected schedule of Chain Bridge closings below. Our advice: If you really want to know for sure whether Chain Bridge is open or closed before you venture out in that direction, be sure to sign up for DDOT's announcements list, and check for the latest bulletin, which is your most accurate source of information on the driveability of Chain Bridge.


DDOT List: Weekend Closures Planned for Chain Bridge
Closures Scheduled to Ensure Work Zone Safety And Minimize Weekday Traffic Impacts

(Washington, D.C.) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced it will be closing the Chain Bridge on weekends to conduct structural repair work activities under the bridge deck.

The majority of the repairs on Chain Bridge completed last Spring were conducted on the bridge deck. Starting on Monday, August 15, 2011 through Thursday, December 23, 2011, weather permitting, DDOT will be conducting an additional series of repair related activities that will be concentrated under the bridge. Weekend closures will be necessary to perform this work.

During the following weekends Chain Bridge will close starting at 8 pm on Friday and will reopen at 5 am the following Monday:

· August 19-21
· September 9-11
· September 16-18
· September 30-October 2
· October 7-9
· October 21-23
· October 28-30
· November 18-20
· December 2-4
· December 16-18

Impact on Traffic

There will be no access to the bridge from either the District or Arlington. That includes cyclists and pedestrians because the sidewalk will also be closed. Thru traffic on Canal Road will not be obstructed, but motorists will not be able to turn onto Chain Bridge. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes and river crossings including the American Legion, Key, Roosevelt, Memorial and 14th Street Bridges.

Variable Messages Boards are in place to warn drivers of the work ahead and re-direct them to alternative routes.

Media Contact: Monica Hernandez at 202-671-2261


For additional traffic advisories please visit DDOT’s Traffic Alerts page or visit goDCgo.com for more information on transportation options in the District

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