The Francis Scott Key Bridge is part of Maryland Route 29. The reinforced concrete structure carries six lanes of traffic and two pedestrian walkways across the Potomac River. The Classical Revival style arch bridge was completed in 1923. It is the oldest span across the Potomac within the District of Columbia. Built by the Army Corps of Engineers, the bridge’s northern terminus is in close proximity to a community park that honors the author of the Star Spangled Banner. It is the former site of his Georgetown home. Part of the National Highway System, the bridge connects Alexandria, Virginia with the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
Known locally as the Key Bridge, it was constructed to replace the Aqueduct Bridge that carried the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal across the Potomac. The engineers converted the Key Bridge into a roadway when the canal system was abandoned. In 1923, the 70-foot wide bridge deck supported two pedestrian walkways, two traffic lanes and a trolley track down the center of the span. It was adorned with a parapet and light standards. The bridge was updated in 1955 and 1987. During these alterations the trolley tracks, parapet and light standards were removed. The bridge deck was widened to accommodate additional traffic and energy-efficient lighting was installed. The National Historic Places added the bridge to its list in 1996.