One of Volkert’s high-profile projects in the District of Columbia is the Benning Road Bridge Replacement over the Anacostia River. The work included a study to assess the soundness of the old Benning Road Bridge, including a structural evaluation, scour analysis, and geotechnical and environmental reports. Study results indicated that the bridge was unfit for rehabilitation and that replacement was required.
The 548-foot, 8-lane replacement bridge designed by Volkert is a 5-span, continuous, multi-girder bridge which required less piers then the previous bridge, thus reducing environmental impacts to the river. The design maintained uninterrupted utility service throughout construction and relocated 1,300 LF of 16-inch water main, 12-inch gas lines, power, and telephone lines.
Besides the extensive coordination with utilities, Volkert also obtained permits and/or approvals from more than 10 agencies. This included a NPS special use permit, a Coast Guard permit for the reconfigured channel openings, NEPA EA approval, WMATA approval, a Joint Permit Application for wetlands from USACE, and historical and archeological coordination with the DC Historical Preservation Office.
Originally constructed in 1797, the old bridge featured various historic architectural features that were important to replicate. Volkert’s design preserved its historic, classic character while using current materials and meeting current design standards. Volkert used precast concrete fascia panels to mask the steel girders and to give the appearance of a concrete structure and designed the new parapet to closely resemble the existing one. The new bridge and roadway approaches were also widened to conform to AASHTO requirements.
Volkert’s design included storm drainage on approach roadways and grading and erosion control plans to protect sensitive areas along the Anacostia River. Volkert redesigned the entrance into Langston Golf Course, a historic facility with a USACE 4(f) designation, located in an environmentally sensitive area next to the river.