The nation’s busiest intersection is completely different now

Brace yourselves for this: Your favorite Washington cityscape is hidden from view and it’s due to a public works project by the city’s Department of Public Works.

The City Paper’s Claire Fallon teamed up with the Heritage Area Partnership of Greater Washington to chronicle the project.

The writing contractor labeled the “Portrait Bridge Scaffolding” in 1916 as a working bridge over the Potomac River. After decades of neglect, the historic structure that opened in 1869 is now undergoing a redevelopment project on 34th Street. Following a barrage of complaints, and some creative protest signs, a portion of the bridge’s plaza is now “closed,” giving pedestrians at Arlington Memorial Drive and King Street little way to get across the river to Central Avenue or even to get onto the Metro. The existing masonry has been demolished and the newly built scaffolding on either side of Arlington Memorial Drive.

The roughly $100,000 project began in 2015 and isn’t expected to be completed until 2019.

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