The historic 31st Street Bridge over the C&O Canal in Georgetown will close to traffic on Monday, June 10, for approximately 18 months. The bridge is one of several over the canal to be taken down and extensively reconstructed.
While local traffic and limited parking for residents will continue north and south of the bridge, the stretch of 31st Street NW from K to M Streets will be closed to vehicular traffic through the summer of 2020. Pedestrian and bike traffic will continue to cross over the canal via a temporary structure, according to the District Department of Transportation.
Built in the 1860s, the 31st Street Bridge is supported by a masonry abutment and a cast-iron multicolumn pier. The walls and piers have become structurally deficient and weight limited. As with the restoration of other canal bridges, DDOT plans to remove the old wall piece by piece, restore and repair the numbered stones, then reset them in their original place (the National Park Service has authority in this regard). The 1867 cast-iron pier will also be restored.