Existing footbridge. Photo by the author.
Arlington County is replacing the footbridge across Four Mile Run that connects the W&OD and Custis trails east of Sycamore Street with the East Falls Church Metro station. Replacing the is necessary to improve safety.
The current footbridge is very narrow, very old, and has become obsolete. The new bridge will meet ADA standards, will be wider, and is in a better location for reducing confusion among trail users.
Input from the Arlington County pedestrian and bicycle advisory committees was helpful in determining the location of the replacement bridge in order to reduce confusion and improve utility. Unfortunately, signage is not included in the current project budget.
This map shows the locations of both the original bridge and the new bridge, which is planned for a mid-March completion, as well as the estimated placement of the new trail connector.
The old bridge is at the yellow marker, the new bridge at the pink marker. Image from Google Maps. Click for interactive version.
A significant area of asphalt will be removed and replaced with landscaping. The total amount of permeable surface is likely to be increased even though the new bridge and trail connector will be wider than the original.
The new bridge has an estimated lifespan of 75 years and will be 50 feet long and 14 feet wide with a concrete deck (the existing bridge has a wooden deck). Half of the $240,000 cost is covered by Arlington’s bridge replacement funding, while the other half comes from the pedestrian improvements budget.