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Photograph of the damaged bridge components.  Damage to a support beam.  Damage occured when the bridge was struck by an oversized vehicle.  Steel beam is cracked and bent longitudinally.

Arizona Avenue Bridge Damage Repair Project

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park » Arizona Avenue Bridge Damage Repair Project » Document List

The National Park Service, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, received notification on February 21, 2012, that the historic Arizona Avenue Bridge, over Canal Road, had been struck by large construction vehicle and sustained significant damage to deck components, included one girder.

The Arizona Avenue Railroad Bridge is a two part structure. The first section spans the Chesapeake and Ohio canal and towpath. This section was built in 1906 and carried the Baltimore and Ohio/Western Maryland Railroad. The section of the bridge spans Canal Road, which is adjacent to the Chesapeake and Ohio canal and towpath . It is uncertain if the Canal Road section dates to the same year as the canal section, but it can be dated to circa 1909.

The railroad right-of-way was converted to a rail trail pathway circa 1993. Today the Capital Crescent Trail's (CCT) Arizona Avenue Bridge is crossed daily by thousands of CCT users. The bridge is located near the intersection of Canal Road and Arizona Avenue in the District of Columbia. It is located at Mile 3.64 of the Park.

The damaged bridge is a Pratt metal truss design. It is approximately 90 feet in length. It was constructed with rivets as fasteners. The damage incurred will require replacement of the girder and several other support components. Upon notification of the damage, the bridge was closed to CCT service vehicles, but pedestrian traffic was still able to use the structure.

On February 21, a bridge inspection team from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) was on site to inspect the structure. Their recommendation was to replace the damaged components as soon as possible, with weekly safety inspections occurring until time the repairs are finished. Crack monitors have been installed to provide visual gauging of any crack widening.

In accordance with the Secretary of Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, the repairs to the bridge will be replacement in kind. However, rivet construction is no long available. Design will incorporate a bolt system that will replicate a rivet appearance on one side of the replacement components. It is noted that during the 1992-93 work to convert the bridge to a rail trail pathway, design drawings indicated that bolts would be used as fasteners. Bolt heads for those repairs, however, were not designated to have rounded heads.

Logistics for the repair work will be coordinated with Washington DC's Department of Transportation. All efforts will be made to reduce any roadway and pathway closures during repair operations. However, occasional closures may be necessary. Closures will be scheduled during non-peak use times.
The park's Interdisciplinary Team reviewed the project for impacts to natural and cultural resources. The project does not pose any serious or long-term effects to the environmental, historical, cultural, archeological, or visual resources. It meets categorical exclusion #C.4 – Routine maintenance and repairs to cultural resources sites, structures, utilities, and grounds if the action falls under an approved Historic Structures Preservation Guide or Cyclic Maintenance Guide, or if the action would not adversely affect the cultural resource.


In consultation with the District of Columbia Historic Preservation Officer, as required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the project was reviewed for impacts to cultural resources. No adverse effects are anticipated as a result of this project and the project is consistent with the Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and the accompanying guidelines.


Contact Information
For further infomation, please contact;

Park Engineer
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP
1850 Dual Highway
Suite 100
Hagerstown, MD 21740