New Bridge 12 Opens Near Fort Hunt

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail will host a ribbon cutting with representatives from the National Park Service on Saturday, September 24th at 10 a.m. celebrating the completion of a reconstructed Bridge 12 near Fort Hunt.

View from the south end of the new Bridge 12 north of Fort Hunt Park.

The recently completed bridge is a significant upgrade from the old bridge. The new bridge features a 14 foot width with railings that comply with current bridge standards. The bridge is also has straightened approaches which also have a reduced grade compared to the previous bridge. In addition to the new bridge, the trail surface was replaced from Waynewood Boulevard to Fort Hunt Road. A trail counter is also being installed near the Waynewood Boulevard crossing.

View of the new Bridge 12 with the former bridge in process of being demolished in the foreground.

Construction on the bridge kicked off in February 2022, with trail users detoured on to a separated lane on the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The project was made possible through funding from the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Six Year Improvement Plan.

The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail needs your help to continue improving the trail. Sign up for a volunteer trail improvement event or Donate to Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail to help us purchase tools and supplies.

Bridge 12 Reconstruction Starts February 14th

View of the current southern approach to Bridge 12, which is on a steep hill with multiple curves.

NPS will begin construction to rebuild Bridge 12 starting on Monday. Bridge 12 is just north of Fort Hunt. It’s the bridge that is located in a ravine with steep hills and curves on either approach to the bridge. The new bridge will have a straight alignment and will also avoid any elevation change while meeting modern design standards. NPS will also replace the bumpy asphalt on either side of the bridge. Trail users will be detoured on to a lane on the Parkway and will be separated from cars by a concrete barrier. See the picture below for an outline of the detour, the current trail alignment and the new trail alignment.

The full press release is below:

McLean, Va. — On February 14, the National Park Service (NPS), in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration and Virginia Department of Transportation, will begin a project to replace Bridge 12 and realign the Mount Vernon Trail to improve safety near Fort Hunt Park. During the project, trail users will be detoured around the construction area on a temporary trail.  

The NPS will straighten trail curves that lead to Bridge 12, located approximately 400 yards north of Fort Hunt Park. The bridge will be relocated, allowing for a straighter alignment and a reduced grade leading to and from the bridge. The NPS will also upgrade the bridge railings and replace more than 350 tons of asphalt on the trail. Realigning the trail, replacing the bridge and laying new trail asphalt will reduce the severity and frequency of bike crashes on this section of trail. 

“The Mount Vernon Trail is a popular recreational resource and serves as an important regional transportation connection hosting over one million users annually,” Charles Cuvelier, Superintendent of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, said. “This project will improve trail conditions and increase safety for all visitors.” 

During this project— which is expected to be completed in late summer— trail users will be detoured on the adjacent southbound section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway near Waynewood Boulevard. To protect trial users on the detour, concrete barriers will be placed on the roadway and drivers will be guided into one lane. Trail users and drivers should expect temporary, short-term closures and should follow trail signs and directions from onsite flaggers.  

Mount Vernon Trail is an 18-mile paved multi-use trail stretching from George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island. The trail is a hub for recreational activity and connects with regional trails including the Potomac Heritage, Custis, Rock Creek, Four Mile Run, and Woodrow Wilson Bridge trails.