Route 27/244 Interchange


Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)


Dewberry Engineers Inc.


Arlington, Virginia




September 2015

Route 27/244 Interchange Modification

In August 2011, Shirley as the Lead Contractor and Dewberry as the Lead Designer, were awarded the Route 27/244 Interchange Modifications Design-Build Project by VDOT. The Project included the complete reconstruction of the existing 70-year-old bridge carrying Route 27 over Route 244. The new, longer, and wider bridge included significant aesthetic features which were the result of years long coordination between VDOT, the Bridge Working Group, and representatives of the Freedman’s Village Historic District. The scope included haunched girders with a two-tone paint scheme to mimic the arch structure of the old bridge, memorial pylons at the bridge corners, and decorative parapets and abutment walls to match renderings developed through the public coordination. In addition, the Project included reconfiguration of the interchange ramps to improve safety and community access, signalization of three intersections, removal of one existing traffic signal along Route 244, overhead sign structures, shared use path and sidewalk facilities with connections to existing facilities on Route 244, retaining walls, box culverts, major drainage structures, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocations, sound barrier, storm drainage, storm water management and landscaping.

A significant element was the replacement of an existing 10’x7.5’ box culvert that conveyed Long Branch through the center of the Project and was integral with the substructure of the existing bridge. The Team developed a culvert and bridge design concept with a new double 10’x10’ culvert aligned through the bridge abutments. This alignment optimized the culvert length and minimized the impacts to the Long Branch Flood Plain. The construction was phased in segments with up to 30 feet of shoring between phases of this deep culvert to avoid expensive tunneling methods. The culvert outfall was extended 75 feet downstream to correct erosion on the steep slopes of Long Branch that had been a continual maintenance problem for Arlington County and threatened homes on the south side of the interchange. The culvert outfall extension was covered with geotextile fabric and lined with rip rap.

Shirley was responsible for management and oversight of construction, including design and engineering, right-of-way acquisitions, permitting, utility relocations, public outreach, overall Project administration and construction management, and QA and QC. Shirley was the primary point of contact with the Owner in public relations and getting notices out to traveling motorists, businesses, homeowners and local politicians. The Project received several awards including the 2016 DBIA National Award of Merit and the 2016 DBIA Mid-Atlantic Excellence in Engineering.