Monday, May 16, 2016

Memorial Bridge's Uplifting Surprise

Here's a very common sight in DC:

That's the Memorial Bridge, which leads into the square Lincoln Memorial, and a Coast Guard Helicopter making the rounds, apparently part of the air defense of DC.

The Memorial Bridge is one of those pieces of infrastructure we take for granted, that's both beautiful and functional. It was built in the late 1920's and opened in 1932. Here's a newsreel showing President Hoover inspecting the bridge:

Notice anything surprising in that video? The Memorial Bridge was (is?) a draw bridge! Who knew? Next time I run over it I'll have to see if I can tell which part of the bridge used to pivot open.

Given the proximity of the bridge to Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon, it makes perfect sense. However, the bridge was built before the Pentagon and before the cemetery expanded due to WWII, so it was actually ahead of its time.

Want to see some truly scary photos? Check out this document provided by the National Park service. It shows just how completely degraded the inside of the bridge is. Yeesh.

Will we get a totally revamped version of the bridge? Will they shut it down forever? Guess we'll have to wait and see...

And here are some Turtles on a log. Why? Because who doesn't love turtles on logs?!

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