The new Long Bridge could have bike and pedestrian paths

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The new Long Bridge could have bike and pedestrian paths

Postby davinp » Wed May 17, 2017 11:17 am

The railroad bridge between DC and Virginia is 113 years old, and in need of replacement.|
Options for doing that include bridges with three, four, and five tracks, each of which could also include bike and pedestrian paths.

The bridge doesn’t work very well these days. Not only is it old, meaning there are structural issues, but it’s also a chokepoint for the different train lines that use it, limiting how many trains can be run between Virginia and DC. 76 trains use the bridge every day currently, but up to 192 are expected to want to cross it by 2040.

Planning work on the replacement alternatives will continue through 2017 and 2018. The detailed EIS with further-narrowed build options is tentatively expected sometime in mid-late 2018, and construction of any new bridge wouldn’t occur until 2020 at the earliest.

While ways to replace the bridge are still being studied and designed, there is no money allocated for the replacement. Funds would likely need to come from DC and Virginia, CSX, and the federal government to actually make the project happen.

Even though it is rusty, VRE says CSX inspect the bridge regularly and says it is safe

https://ggwash.org/view/63462/the-new-l ... rian-paths
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Re: The new Long Bridge could have bike and pedestrian paths

Postby mtuandrew » Thu May 18, 2017 12:20 pm

Re: bike paths, why the heck not - make it a four-lane "bike highway" while you are at it. It'd serve the commuters along the south side of the Long Bridge complex, so the current path on the George Mason Memorial Bridge on the north side could be more for recreational users.

I'd like to see four tracks across the bridge too - two passenger on the north side, two freight to the south - eventually leading to full separation between the Center Leg Freeway and Van Dorn Yard.
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Re: The new Long Bridge could have bike and pedestrian paths

Postby Sand Box John » Thu May 18, 2017 8:36 pm

"mtuandrew"
I'd like to see four tracks across the bridge too - two passenger on the north side, two freight to the south - eventually leading to full separation between the Center Leg Freeway and Van Dorn Yard.


CP Virginia is the name of the interlocking of the Washington Terminal First Street Tunnel with the CSX RF&P Subdivision. AF Tower (Alexandria & Fredericksburg Junction) is the name of interlocking with the Norfolk Southern Piedmont Division and the CSX RF&P Subdivision. Both interlockings and the trackage between are CSX owned.
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Re: The new Long Bridge could have bike and pedestrian paths

Postby charding » Fri May 19, 2017 9:29 am

http://ctr.trains.com/railroad-referenc ... erd-branch - speaking of the Long Bridge, do most folks know about a second cross-Potomac River bridge during World War II? Not a well-known story. Think the GTW bridge came from Saginaw, MI.
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Re: The new Long Bridge could have bike and pedestrian paths

Postby scratchy » Fri May 19, 2017 11:34 am

charding wrote:http://ctr.trains.com/railroad-reference/operations/2001/12/the-history-of-baltimore-and-ohios-shepherd-branch - speaking of the Long Bridge, do most folks know about a second cross-Potomac River bridge during World War II? Not a well-known story. Think the GTW bridge came from Saginaw, MI.
I read about this in "Impossible Challenge", and wondered why they did away with it. I've never seen any traces of this.
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Re: The new Long Bridge could have bike and pedestrian paths

Postby JackRussell » Fri May 19, 2017 1:44 pm

scratchy wrote:
charding wrote:http://ctr.trains.com/railroad-reference/operations/2001/12/the-history-of-baltimore-and-ohios-shepherd-branch - speaking of the Long Bridge, do most folks know about a second cross-Potomac River bridge during World War II? Not a well-known story. Think the GTW bridge came from Saginaw, MI.
I read about this in "Impossible Challenge", and wondered why they did away with it. I've never seen any traces of this.


No trace of that part, but isn't the Wilkes tunnel in Alexandria a part of this?
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Re: The new Long Bridge could have bike and pedestrian paths

Postby charding » Fri May 19, 2017 1:56 pm

...no, think it connected at Jones Point...near power plant? Never got heavy usage except for a few revenue freights and test freights...
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Re: The new Long Bridge could have bike and pedestrian paths

Postby mtuandrew » Sat May 20, 2017 10:30 am

I don't have evidence for it (can't seem to find a map or picture of the bridge), but when I heard about the Shepherds Landing bridge, I thought it connected to the Southern's ex-Washington & Old Dominion branch up somewhere near 1st Street in northern Old Town. Marbury Point to First Street is the shortest distance across the Potomac south of the Long Bridge.

EDIT: This map reinforces my thoughts - see the dashed-off area marked "Cable Area" and the pile on the Maryland side in line with the Shepherds Branch curve toward the Potomac. Helps that it's out of the way of the Alexandria wharves.

charding: Jones Point is much too far south, I think.
JackRussell: Wilkes Street Tunnel might have been used for through traffic, if the railroads involved sent the trains down the Alexandria waterfront instead of to Potomac Yard. scratchy: I'm guessing the right-of-way was always temporary and probably poorly-built on wooden piles; probably wouldn't have held up without some major work.
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Re: The new Long Bridge could have bike and pedestrian paths

Postby Backshophoss » Sat May 20, 2017 8:06 pm

How often is the Long Bridge opened up for real river traffic/the "pleasure boating" flotilla?
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Re: The new Long Bridge could have bike and pedestrian paths

Postby Sand Box John » Sat May 20, 2017 11:16 pm

"Backshophoss"
How often is the Long Bridge opened up for real river traffic/the "pleasure boating" flotilla?


Never, as the bridge is no longer a functional swing bridge.

The last time it was opened was back in the late 1950 as the existing southbound bridge DC I-395 is a fixed span added in early 1960s. The existing northbound DC I-395 bridge (early 1950s) was a double bascule drawspan and was made inoperable with the construction of the southbound bridge.
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Re: The new Long Bridge could have bike and pedestrian paths

Postby mtuandrew » Mon May 22, 2017 5:53 am

Pretty much - Robert Cohen's 2003 article gives the last opening date as March 3, 1969 for transport of the old Highway Bridge demolition equipment downriver. http://www.dcnrhs.org/learn/washington- ... ong-bridge
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Re: The new Long Bridge could have bike and pedestrian paths

Postby charding » Mon May 22, 2017 8:26 am

http://ctr.trains.com/railroad-referenc ... erd-branch

...article from Classic Trains...all I can say is that I am glad I didn't have to haul a train across this bridge...
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