Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge gives wings to the span of the Potomac
The new Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge carries Interstate 95 and the Capital Beltway across the Potomac River. The bridge connects Alexandria, Virginia, with Prince George’s County, Maryland, and is considered part of Washington’s national monuments core. Chosen in a national competition, the movable bridge design incorporates 18 sets of v-shaped piers that resemble seagulls in flight, giving the twin spans a light and open appearance.
The piers form an arcade that recalls historic Washington bridges.
The v-piers support haunched steel box girders that balance the loads so that the piers are subjected to minimal dead load bending moments and the foundations are not subjected to horizontal arch thrust whatsoever.