VDOT Opens Improved Pedestrian Bridge in Annandale
The pedestrian bridge near Braddock Road will link homes and parks
Bicyclists and pedestrians will ride and walk a bit taller across the Capital Beltway thanks to the rehabilitated Wakefield Pedestrian Bridge which opened on Thursday, June 16 as part of the I-495 Capital Beltway High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes project.
According to a news release by the Virginia Department of Transportation, the bridge links the popular Wakefield Park and Americana Drive. Work on the bridge began in late summer of 2010 and was completed last week, said Jamie Breme, Public Affairs Manager with VDOT Megaprojects.
The full text of the news release with additional details about the bridge is below:
A portion of the bridge was raised four feet to meet the latest federal highway standards, extended to accommodate additional HOT Lanes and upgraded to include a new access ramp that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“It’s critical that community infrastructure be accessible to everybody -- this structure will be a great example of how our parks, our ramp, our trails, our sidewalks are going to be there for everyone whether you have a disability or a difficulty, it’s there for everyone,” said Fairfax County Braddock District Supervisor John Cook.
The release goes on to say pedestrian bridge was not only heralded as a partnership between federal, state and local agencies, but was lauded as a collective effort among the people who worked on the bridge improvements.
“It may be a buzzword, but in the 21st Century the word partnership is defined as how you get things done,” said Cook.
Fluor-Transurban, the firms building HOT Lanes, worked tirelessly to not only keep in mind motorists, but pedestrians too.
“Keep up the good progress that you are making to get this done in a timely way and to move the traffic…I think your safety level as far as the travelling public, despite all of the lane changes and drivers’ demands, I really commend you for all of the signage and efforts going forward to keep the safety record going,” said Virginia Delegate Vivian Watts (D-39th).
Area leaders also described the bridge as a tool to bring together neighborhoods.
“This bridge is going to unite a community, one side of Braddock District and the other side of Braddock District, and it will also allow folks to get to Wakefield Recreation Center than it ever has been before,” said Fairfax County Park Authority Board Member Anthony Vellucci.
Prior to the Wakefield Park overpass opening, VDOT officials and project partners cut the ribbon on the W&OD Trail pedestrian bridge on Wednesday, June 15, giving pedestrians and bicyclists trail users another venue to crossing the Beltway. The new W&OD Trail bridge is four feet wider and 30 feet taller than the previous bridge built in 1979.
The HOT Lanes bridge and road work is underway along all the Capital Beltway’s interchanges between the Springfield Interchange and just north of Dulles Toll Road. These new bridges and interchange connections are part of the $260 million infrastructure replacement in support of the $1.4 billion Capital Beltway HOT Lanes project. The project is on schedule for completion by late 2012. For updated project information please visit vamegaprojects.com.
Information in the news release was written by Virginia Department of Transportation spokesman Steven Titunik.
Correction: The above information has been changed to clarify the location of the bridge, which connects Wakefield Park and the Audrey Moore RECenter to Americana Drive in Annandale.