Route 27/244 Interchange Modifications

Accommodating Transit, Future & Present
Arlington, Virginia
Virginia Department of Transportation
Year Completed: 

The Route 27/244 Interchange Modifications project replaces the existing Washington Boulevard concrete arch bridge over Columbia Pike in Arlington. Shirley Contracting is constructing a new bridge to accommodate widening Columbia Pike and provide enough clearence for the future Columbia Pike streetcar line being planned by the county.

The new bridge will be wider, longer, and include significant aesthetic features, including decorative parapets and abutment walls, memorial pylons at the bridge corners, and haunched girders with a two-tone paint scheme to mimic the arch structure of the old bridge. A light well will separate westbound and eastbound lanes.

Shirley also is replacing of an existing 10-foot-by-7.50-foot box culvert that conveys Long Branch through the center of the project and is integral with the substructure of the existing bridge. The team developed a culvert and bridge design concept with a new double 10-foot-by-10-foot culvert aligned through the new bridges while maintaining structural independence between the design elements. This alignment optimized the culvert length, eliminated the need to tunnel large diameter pipes under Washington Boulevard, and minimized the impacts to the Long Brance Flood Plan. This concept also modified the location of the culvert outfall to minimize erosion that has been a maintenance concern for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Arlington County for many years.

The project scope also includes modifications to the interchange ramps to improve safety and address multi-modal transportation issues. Shirley worked closely with VDOT to optimize the ramp alignment. They balanced the need to upgrade the existing interchange to current design standards with the need to minimize the right-of-way impacts outside of the current tight urban footprint. Through this effort the team was able to eliminate design exceptions and 21 of the 32 design waivers that VDOT’s Request For Proposal indicated would be required.