Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) today celebrated the reopening of the Arlington Memorial Bridge. The rehabilitation project, whose funding was personally championed by Sen. Warner in the Senate in 2016, will help provide a smoother and safer commute for Virginia and D.C. area residents after years of repairs, lane closures and weight restrictions. The nearly 90-year old Arlington Memorial Bridge, which is one of several transportation infrastructures operated by the National Park Service (NPS), had not undergone a major overhaul since first opening in 1932.  

“In 2015, we were warned that Memorial Bridge – a critical artery between Virginia and the nation’s capital – was literally falling apart,” said Sen. Warner. “Today’s reopening is a testament to years of work by the region’s congressional delegation, our local partners, and the National Park Service. Commuters can now rest easy knowing that this nearly 90-year-old landmark will carry them safely over the Potomac for years to come.”

In 2016, Sen. Warner first spearheaded a years-long effort to secure funding to rehabilitate Arlington Memorial Bridge after NPS revealed that without a $250 million rehabilitation, the bridge would not be safe for traffic by 2021.

In April 2016, Sen. Warner led several of his National Region Congressional colleagues in pushing for regional collaboration to submit a FASTLANE grant application for the Arlington Memorial Bridge Rehabilitation Project. The FASTLANE program was established as part of the bipartisan transportation bill passed by Congress in 2015, which included grant funding specifically set aside for “nationally significant freight and highway projects,” such as the Arlington Memorial Bridge. Sen. Warner successfully led a Virginia and D.C. delegation effort, with the support of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, to submit a FASTLANE grant application, along with NPS, that would support repairs for Arlington Memorial Bridge.

Then, in December 2017, the National Park Service announced it had secured full funding for the $227 million project of rehabilitating Arlington Memorial Bridge, including a $90 million FASTLANE grant attained by Sen. Warner. Additionally, Sen. Warner fought on the Senate floor to secure inclusion of an additional $30 million in the FY2017 appropriations bill for the project. The additional $30 million helped condense the project from two phases into one, saving taxpayers $35 million and shaving 18 months off construction time.

Sen. Warner’s legislation to tackle the $12 billion nationwide backlog of deferred NPS maintenance projects, The Great American Outdoors Act, was signed into law by President Trump earlier this year. In Virginia alone, NPS sites currently have $1.1 billion in deferred maintenance needs.