Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bridge Mystery

Every time I drive over Memorial Bridge on my way into DC from Virginia, I remark about the strange new structures that now inhabit the pedestrian walkways.

A few months ago they appeared -- two giant ramps on each side of the roadway. I thought perhaps they were temporary and that they would be removed after their purpose was served. But apparently not.

They are like giant protracted speed bumps that fill the entire width of the walkway.

The only possible purpose I can see for them is to slow the bicycle traffic that crosses the bridge, although I can't imagine it was ever such a problem.

I consulted Google, my source of all knowledge, to no avail.

Can anyone out there tell me what function these ugly additions to Memorial Bridge serve?


Blogger Gary said...

Alas, I cannot. But somehow this post made me want to visit. Go figure.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Steve Reed said...

I can't quite picture what you're describing...but could they be for disability access or something?

10:38 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- The additions would actually make it more difficult for someone in a wheelchair to navigate the bridge. They are like giant speed bumps, each about 15 feet in length and going from one side to the other of the sidewalk. There are two sets on each side of the pavement.

They would probably also aggravate the many runners and joggers who cross the bridge each day.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Huck said...

I take the bridge both ways every day and it is a construction project under the bridge. If you hit it at about 2:30 each day you will see folks emerging from under the bridge which is equally as odd. They have been up since the start of spring.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Huck -- I do know there is continuous work being done on and under the bridge, but I fail to see how the structures in the pedestrian/bike way are connected to the construction. You may well be right, but can you add some details?

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Huck said...

For you - I called at a friend at the Park Service! He said that the sidewalks were 'deteriorating' and the ramps were built. I did remember the sidewalks actually being closed for a short while before the installed the ramps. It was a mess with folks crossing the middle of the bridge or otherwise endangering my life and theirs!

My contact suggested I look at a Bike commute board for a little unoffical discussion. I felt like he was NOT saying something but you know how DC is! :)

So I here is what I found -

8:58 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Huck -- Now I know who to consult when I need difficult questions researched! It sounds like the structures will be removed after the repair of the sidewalks. Not having negotiated the bridge on foot or bike, I had no idea. Thanks for your resourcefulness! I found the bike thread very interesting.

9:08 AM  

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