WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Park Service is preparing to patch up the Arlington Memorial Bridge one last time, but even that fix will only extend the life of Washington's most iconic river crossing by another five years.
The steel supports of the 84-year-old bridge are rusting through, and its concrete decking has been reduced to gravel. Park service officials say it needs to be completely reconstructed at a cost of $250 million or it will be closed by 2021. And the park service doesn't have the money to do it.
The park service has a $3 billion annual budget, and only $268 million is currently budgeted for transportation infrastructure. Meanwhile, the park service has put off $11.9 billion in maintenance.
The bridge connects the Lincoln Memorial with Arlington National Cemetery.