Duke Ellington Bridge

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Duke Ellington Bridge
Washington DC Duke Ellington Bridge.jpg
The Duke Ellington Bridge as seen from the Taft Bridge
Carries 18th Street
Crosses Rock Creek
Locale Washington, D.C.
Coordinates 38°55′24″N 77°2′54″W / 38.92333°N 77.04833°W / 38.92333; -77.04833Coordinates: 38°55′24″N 77°2′54″W / 38.92333°N 77.04833°W / 38.92333; -77.04833

The Duke Ellington Bridge, named after Duke Ellington, carries Calvert Street NW over Rock Creek in Washington, D.C., United States. It connects 18th Street NW in Adams Morgan with Connecticut Avenue NW in Woodley Park, just north of the Taft Bridge.

History[edit]

Facing east over the Duke Ellington Bridge

Originally called the "Calvert Street Bridge", it was designed by Paul Philippe Cret in a neoclassical style and built in 1935. It was rededicated as the Duke Ellington Bridge following the death of the Washington native and famous band leader in 1974.[1] It is a limestone structure with three graceful 146-foot (45 m) arches. There are four sculptural reliefs on the abutments measuring three feet high by four feet wide. The classical reliefs by Leon Hermant represent the four modes of travel: automobile, train, ship, and plane.

Calvert Street Bridge, 1926

The bridge replaced one built in 1891 by the Rock Creek Railway to carry streetcars. The bridge was a steel trestle bridge with wooden decking, 750 feet (230 m) long and 130 feet (40 m) high.[citation needed] To avoid service disruption, the old bridge was moved 80 feet (24 m) south during the construction of the Duke Ellington Bridge; however, streetcar service was discontinued before the new bridge opened.

1922 cartoon depicting the old Calvert Street Bridge

The bridge has security fencing because it is a suicide bridge.[2]

See also[edit]

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