WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Park Service has been awarded a $90 million federal grant to repair the rapidly decaying Arlington Memorial Bridge.
Members of Congress from Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia announced the grant on Tuesday. Without the money, the park service had warned that Washington's most recognizable bridge would have to close by 2021.
The 84-year-old bridge needs to be completely reconstructed at a cost of $250 million. Its steel supports are rusting through, and its concrete decking has been reduced to gravel.
The grant will allow the park service to start planning and lining up contractors to begin construction in early 2018.
The bridge connects the Lincoln Memorial with Arlington National Cemetery and was built to commemorate the reunification of the United States after the Civil War.
This story has been corrected to note that the grant was announced on Tuesday, not Friday, and that construction is planned to begin in early 2018, not early next year.