United States Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. Guide Things To Do Essentials Restaurants Nightlife Where to Stay Neighborhoods Events Getaways All Washington, D.C. Washington DC Bridges: A Guide to River Crossings By Rachel Cooper Rachel Cooper Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Rachel Cooper is a travel writer who has lived in the Washington, D.C., area for more than 25 years. She is also the author of several books covering the capital and mid-Atlantic regions. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Updated on 06/26/19 Fact checked by Erin Medlicott Fact checked by Erin Medlicott on 05/30/19 LinkedIn Twitter New York University Rutgers University Erin Medlicott is a fact checker and researcher with a background in lifestyle and finance. Prior to her work at TripSavvy, she did financial research for the American Express Departures Magazine as well as the Wall Street Journal. She earned a TripSavvy's fact-checking Share Pin Email William Randall Washington DC has seven major bridges across the Potomac River, six major bridges across the Anacostia River, and more than a dozen bridges scattered along the length of Rock Creek Park. Some of these structures are beautiful and provide the city’s best views, while others are functional yet indistinct. The capital region has dozens of bridges across small streams, over other streets and highways, and railroad tracks. Washington DC's bridges carry hundreds of thousands of vehicles a day and are important to the region's infrastructure. In recent years, many bridges have been deemed to be structurally deficient and work has been planned to repair them. Proposals have been made to build new bridges to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion. Planning has begun to build a new one-of-a-kind bridge-park that will provide a venue for recreation, environmental education, and the arts. 01 of 11 Arlington Memorial Bridge: Washington DC to Arlington VA Chris Pecoraro Arlington Memorial Bridge, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, spans the Potomac River and is regarded as Washington DC’s most beautiful bridge. The bridge is a national memorial symbolizing reunification of the North and the South following the Civil War, connecting the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial, at Arlington National Cemetery. The 2,100-foot-long bridge was designed by the architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White. When it opened in 1932, it was the longest, heaviest and fastest opening drawbridge in the world. The drawbridge was last opened on Feb. 28, 1961. Continue to 2 of 11 below. 02 of 11 14th Street Bridge: Washington DC Rachel Cooper The 14th Street Bridge (I-395 and US 1) is a major gateway into Washington DC, crossing the Potomac River fromArlington, Virginia. The bridge is actually a complex of five bridges, three for automobile traffic, one for rail traffic (CSX, Amtrak, and VRE) and one for the Washington Metro. The first bridge on the site, built in 1809, was known as Long Bridge. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout history. In 1982, the bridge was damaged by the tragic crash of Air Florida Flight 90. Today, the bridge carries more traffic than it was ever expected to handle and it is slated for improvements. Continue to 3 of 11 below. 03 of 11 Francis Scott Key Bridge: Washington DC Glowimages The Key Bridge (US 29) is a six-lane arch-style bridge that crosses the Potomac River between Rosslyn, Virginia and the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington DC. The bridge was built in 1923 and is the oldest bridge across the Potomac. It was named in honor of Francis Scott Key, the man who wrote the Star Spangled Banner. The north end of the bridge is just east of the site of Key's home which was torn down in the 1940s. The bridge connects with M Street NW, Canal Road NW, and the Whitehurst Freeway. The Key Bridge is one of the prettiest bridges in Washington DC. Continue to 4 of 11 below. 04 of 11 Theodore Roosevelt Bridge in Washington DC Medioimages Photodisc The Theodore Roosevelt Bridge (Interstate 66/US Route 50) crosses the Potomac River and Theodore Roosevelt Island from Rosslyn, Virginia to Washington DC. The bridge was built in 1932 and dedicated to the 26th President of the United States. This is the easiest bridge to cross and reach the Foggy Bottom neighborhood and the western areas of Downtown DC. Continue to 5 of 11 below. 05 of 11 Future 11th Street Bridge Park: Washington DC 11th Street Bridge Project The 11th Street Bridge connects Washington, DC’s Capitol Hill, and Anacostia neighborhoods and is an exciting new project that will be transformed into the city’s first elevated park. The new bridge will be a unique structure that provides a venue for recreation, environmental education and the arts. Continue to 6 of 11 below. 06 of 11 Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge: Washington DC Thomas Belknap/ Flickr/CC 2.0 The Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge crosses South Capitol Street over the Anacostia River in Washington DC connecting I-295 with Suitland Parkway. The bridge carries commuter traffic from Prince George's County and Southern Maryland into the nation's capital. It was built in 1950 and named after abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The South Capitol Street Corridor Project has set plans for building a new six-lane Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge. This new bridge will intersect with the western side of the Anacostia River via a new park-like traffic circle, where South Capitol Street, R Street, Potomac Avenue, and the new bridge would come together. Continue to 7 of 11 below. 07 of 11 Woodrow Wilson Bridge: Washington DC Rachel Cooper The Woodrow Wilson Bridge crosses the Potomac River, connecting Alexandria, Virginia and Oxon Hill, Maryland. It is a drawbridge that connects I-95 with I-495 (the Capital Beltway). The bridge was built in 1961 and is named in honor of the 28th President of the United States. Improvements were made to increase the capacity of the bridge in 2007 with the opening of National Harbor. The northern span of the bridge includes pedestrian and bike lanes, separated from traffic by safety barriers. Continue to 8 of 11 below. 08 of 11 Duke Ellington Bridge: Washington DC Martin Ringlein The Duke Ellington Bridge, named after the local jazz icon, carries Calvert Street NW over Rock Creek in Washington, DC between Adams Morgan and Woodley Park. The bridge was built in 1935 replacing one that was built in 1891 to carry streetcars. The Ellington Bridge is one of the few "suicide bridges" in the country that has barriers designed specifically to prevent deadly incidents. Continue to 9 of 11 below. 09 of 11 Chain Bridge: Washington DC NC in DC Chain Bridge crosses the Potomac River at Little Falls in Washington DC, connecting Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Northern Virginia. On the DC side, left turns onto the Clara Barton Parkway are prohibited, but right turns are allowed. On the Virginia side, the bridge connects with Chain Bridge Road (Route 123). A pedestrian sidewalk provides access to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath. The first bridge on this site dates back to 1797and was made of wood. Several bridges replaced it over the years, with a few of them made of chains. The current structure is made of steel and was completed in 1939. Continue to 10 of 11 below. 10 of 11 John Philip Sousa Bridge: Washington DC Tim Evanson The John Philip Sousa Bridge takes Pennsylvania Avenue SE across the Anacostia River in Washington DC interchanging with Barney Circle and the Anacostia Freeway (I-295). The bridge was built in 1939 and named for the famous United States Marine Band conductor and composer John Philip Sousa, who grew up near the bridge's northwestern terminus. The first bridge was constructed in this location in 1804. Continue to 11 of 11 below. 11 of 11 Taft Bridge: Washington DC Mr. T in DC The Taft Bridge takes Connecticut Avenue NW over the Rock Creek Gorge in Washington DC. The Classical Revival style bridge was built in 1897 and dedicated to U.S. President William Howard Taft in 1931. The bridge has four sculptures of male lions with their eyes closed apparently sleeping. Twenty-four lampposts along the bridge are adorned with a painted iron eagle. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit See Scenic Images from the Potomac River in This DC Photo Tour How to Get From Dulles Airport to Washington, DC Rock Creek Park: The Complete Guide All History Buffs Should Visit These 25 DC Buildings The Best Monuments and Memorials in Washington, D.C. Explore the SItes Along the Scenic George Washington Memorial Parkway Fun Free Things to Do in Washington, DC Top Attractions to Experience in Washington, D.C. See a Map and Directions to the White House and the Ellipse The Complete Guide to Washington, D.C.'s Georgetown Waterfront Park Explore Washington, D.C. On the Cheap The Most Architecturally Significant Building in Every State What to Do and See Along the Mount Vernon Trail Get to Know Washington, D.C. 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