Opening the New Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge: Planning and Implementing a Major Traffic Switch

The challenges of maintaining traffic throughout the construction of a multibillion-dollar transportation improvement are immense. Managers are tasked with leading major construction efforts and implementing crucial traffic switches predominately during summer months when Interstate traffic volumes are typically higher than average. Traffic switches have many potential negative outcomes, including extensive vehicle queues and delays, safety concerns, and negative public perception. High expectations were rooted in the $2.4 billion Woodrow Wilson Bridge (WWB) project well before the record of decision. Input by elected officials and the public began over 10 years ago and continues today as project managers handle nearly 200,000 vehicles daily along Interstate 95 through the work zone near Washington, D.C. The new WWB was designed as a signature bridge near historic Alexandria, Virginia, and was the focus of high expectations from stakeholders. Keeping elected officials abreast of upcoming construction and traffic impacts, staying in touch with the affected communities, and maintaining positive public perception are vital to maintaining the on-time and on-budget status of this megaproject. The high point in meeting these expectations was best demonstrated during the traffic switch to open the new bridge during the summer of 2006. The switch involved the coordination of several government agencies, management of multiple contractors across jurisdictional lines, traffic analyses before and after the switch, extensive public outreach coordination, and traffic switch monitoring. Management of these efforts provided accurate expectations to project staff, media, and motorists before, during, and after the traffic switch.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01049539
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309104623
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 6:56PM