At the time, it was designed to handle 75,000 vehicles a day for the next 20 years, but reality didn't exactly cooperate. It saw that volume level in just eight years, and by the late 1990s was handling three times as much every day.
The eight-lane Capital Beltway had to squeeze itself down to six lanes when it got to the bridge, creating a traffic bottleneck that routinely contributed to nightmarish commutes for area residents.
Recently, a new, modernized Woodrow Wilson Bridge was completed adjacent to the original, which will be ceremoniously demolished later this month. Showing that they really do understand the hardships commuters had been dealing with for the last 40-odd years, the bridge project heirarchy has decided to hold a "Toughest Bridge Commute" contest to determine the one person who has suffered through the most arduous Wilson Bridge commute over time.
The prize? That individual gets to exact sweet, sweet revenge as he or she triggers the charges that will send a half-mile portion of the structure to Bridge Heaven.
Win the contest. Blow up the bridge. It doesn't get much better than that.
[Source: Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project]