International Bridge Technologies

Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge – Washington, D.C.

Technical details
District Department of Transportation

Construction Completed: 2022

Washington, D.C.
Contractor: South Capitol Bridgebuilders, a joint venture between Archer Western Construction LLC (Walsh Group) and Granite Construction Co.
Prime Engineer: AECOM
SYSTRA IBT’s Role: Independent Checking Engineer of the arch bridge structure.

The total length is 1445 ft (440.6 m), with a main span of 540 ft (164.6 m) and side spans of 452 ft-6 in (138 m). The deck carries eight lanes (three lanes with one future additional lane in each direction) with a footpath on each side of the deck. The typical deck width is 122 ft-6 in (37.3 m) and reached 166 ft (50.6 m) at pier location where there is a pedestrian overlook.

SYSTRA IBT served as the Independent Checking Engineer, conducting a comprehensive, independent analysis of the arch bridge structure based on the design plans and reports provided by the designers. This involved modeling the structure independently, verifying all components from the foundations to the arches, and conducting compliance reviews to ensure adherence to contractual requirements.

Structural checks were carried out on a pass/fail basis to maintain complete independence from the designer’s calculations and assumptions. Specialized analyses covered deep foundations, both global and local arch instabilities, and construction sequencing and stability for both the arch ribs and the composite deck. In their role as the Independent Checking Engineer, SYSTRA IBT also participated in reviewing structurally significant changes or defects that arose during construction.

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Photo credit: District Department of Transportation