Francis Scott Key Bridge (Washington, D.C.)

Francis Scott Key Bridge (Washington, D.C.)


Francis Scott Key Bridge (Washington, D.C.)

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Not to be confused with the bridge of the same name in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, more commonly known as the Key Bridge, is a six-lane reinforced concrete arch bridge conveying U.S. Route 29 traffic across the Potomac River between the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington County, Virginia and the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Completed in 1923, it is Washington's oldest surviving bridge across the Potomac River.


The Classical Revival bridge was designed by architect Nathan C. Wyeth and engineer Max C. Tyler. It was built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers between 1917 and 1923, and was named after Francis Scott Key, author of The Star Spangled Banner. The northern terminus of the bridge is just east of the site of Key's Georgetown home, which was dismantled in the late 1940s; near that site, there is now a community park honoring Key.

The Key Bridge replaced the Aqueduct Bridge. The Aqueduct Bridge was originally built to carry the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal across the Potomac to connect with the Alexandria Canal. After the Alexandria Canal was abandoned, the bridge was converted into a roadway. The Washington abutment still survives and is located west of the Key Bridge. One pier remains and is located in the river near the Virginia shore. On March 1, 1996, the Key Bridge was added to the National......
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