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John Philip Sousa Bridge

Highway Bridge

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The John Philip Sousa Bridge is a continuous steel plate girder bridge that carries Pennsylvania Avenue SE across the Anacostia River. It was built in 1939-40 during the New Deal and named after the famous American marching band composer, who grew up nearby.

The first bridge at this location was constructed in 1804, but burned by United States armed forces in 1814 during the War of 1812. It was replaced in 1815, but the bridge burned to the waterline in 1846. The rapid growth of residential developments east of the Anacostia River led to the construction of a narrow, iron girder bridge in 1890. This bridge led to even swifter economic and residential development of the area. Efforts to replace the 1890 bridge with a modern structure began in 1931, but were not successful until 1938. The downstream (southern) span opened on December 9, 1939, to great fanfare. The upstream span was completed in December 1940 and opened on January 18, 1941.

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Contact Information
National Park Service
1900 Anacostia Dr. S.E.
Washington DC 20020