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A bike lane on the North side would be one of the more scenic rides in the region.

Looks from the article they are considering lane-mangement -- not widening it.

charlie, I think they're considering both.

$2.8 Million in 1962? Even though that's 50 years ago that figure seems suspiciously cheap.

Using an inflation calculator it should only cost $21.2 million to replace the entire bridge today. Something's amiss.

JeffB, replacing a bridge is a lot more expensive than building one. The question is how much would it cost to build a bridge if there weren't already one there. But I think the cost of labor has gone up faster than inflation.

The first bridge was only six lanes wide. To replace the "entire bridge" you would need to add the costs of the seventh and eighth lanes. They were tightwads back then. They built the bridge there because that is where the Potomac is narrowest (saving money on the length of the bridge.) To reach that bridge, the Maryland beltway twists twice.

Cost of materials has also gone up faster than inflation. Inflation numbers are intentionally held as low as can possibly be rationalized in order to make things look better. :)

That said, note that the $800M was for widening the bridge and the beltway.

I would love to be able to cross the river there, but adding a bike lane would just be the start of a huge fight to get additional infrastructure over there to let the crossing connect to something. Maybe infrastructure along Georgetown Pike to the cross county trail, but you can already hear the NIMBY lawsuits. Ditto for anything touching the nature reserve. It might be marginally easier to connect eastward, but the need is also less acute that way. (Chain Bridge is a lot closer to the Legion bridge than White's Ferry is.)

Does the bridge need to be replaced, or is this just another mega-billion road project builder's dream?

Actually, when I looked at Google maps, it appears, and this is just using a standard Mk. 1 eyeball, that you might be able to connect to Live Oak, which then connects to Balls Hill Road and from there to the great metropolis that is Tysons.

I'll see you from the inaugural ride (it's practically a done deal).

Wasn't there once upon a time (like in the last 5-10 yrs) a pie in the sky project for a ped/bike bridge at Great Falls?

In any event any widening has to include allowances for cycling. We know better now don't we?

You can indeed take Live Oak to Balls Hill using the bridge over the beltway. From there you can connect to Georgetown Pike. There is a paved sidepath along Georgetown Pike, though it's better-suited to pedestrians than cyclists. From Live Oak Drive pedestrians can connect to the Potomac Heritage Trail, which follows the river all the way to Roosevelt Island. It's too rugged for cyclists though.

Another consideration is the planning study that was done for an extension of the Mt Vernon Trail northwest to the American Legion Bridge. If that trail is built at some point in the future, it would add value to a ped/bike bridge crossing.

Yes, the Georgetown pike sidepath is the inside-the-beltway eastward track. I think you'd still get a NIMBY fight on Live Oak (big houses & a tennis club...) But that doesn't address the problem that anyone on the west side of the county would have to go all the way down through tysons or the W&OD to use the bridge. Mostly it just highlights the lack of infrastructure out there.

I just think we need to be careful not to say "We don't need a AL Bridge crossing because it doesn't connect to anything" because the goal is to change that too. Connectivity has to start somewhere. And once you have the expensive parts done, it makes it easier to ask for the cheaper parts.

The Montgomery County bikeway master plan calls for a bike path on the bridge.

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