Arlington Bridge Materials Assessment—Private

Washington, DC

Arlington Memorial Bridge is located on the outskirts of Washington, DC. The bridge spans the Potomac River, visually linking the Lincoln Memorial to the northeast and Arlington National Cemetery to the southwest. The bridge was constructed in the 1920s, dedicated in 1932, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Conservation Solutions, a division of Evergreene Architectural Arts, was contracted by Quinn Evans Architects to perform mortar and paint analysis on multiple samples from the Arlington Memorial Bridge, in order to identify and characterize early construction campaigns. The findings are helpful to inform an ongoing rehabilitation of these historical structures.

Sampling and testing were done in multiple stages. Testing performed on these samples included: wet chemical analysis and petrographic examination with modified thin-section petrography. All testing campaigns confirmed the presence of a hard, dense, well-formed white mortar.

As with many historical materials, slight variations in the mixing and application phase can become quite complex. Based on the context and historical value of the bridge, Conservation Solutions’ experts advise that testing and analysis’ results are standardized. These secondary formations are small in number and do not contribute to any negative deterioration of the bridge.