Tidal Reservoir Inlet Bridge

Tidal Reservoir Inlet Bridge

One of my favorite things about visiting the Tidal Basin is seeing the Tidal Reservoir Inlet Bridge, which I’ve observed a lot of people use, but don’t seem to notice … especially when they are focused on the cherry blossoms. As you can see, the bridge spans the inlet to the Tidal Basin at Ohio drive, linking West and East Potomac Parks.

Tidal Reservoir Inlet Bridge detail

The bridge was constructed between 1908 and 1909 by the Army Corps of Engineers to the designs of architect Nathan C. Wyeth and engineer Col. Spencer Cosby.

The Tidal Reservoir Inlet Bridge is significant because it is a successful blending of engineering designs and necessities while achieving the height of aesthetics. bridge-detail-3The tidal gates of the inlet control and regulate the water received from the river according to the tidal gates. As a focal point of the Potomac Park, the bridge contributed to the monumental design of the Capital City.

Its configuration adheres to the park design concept that a bridge should blend into a park setting effectively so as not to detract from the park. The bridge was also designed to include a roadway at a time when automobile traffic was only beginning to appear.

The design of the bridge shows the influence of the Neo-Classical style with ornate details such as gargoyles and classical balustrades.Tidal Reservoir Inlet Bridge detail 3Tidal Reservoir Inlet Bridge detail 4

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4 Responses to “Tidal Reservoir Inlet Bridge”

  1. Ben Meeks Says:

    Another photo of the bridge that I took a couple of months ago.

  2. Thanks Ben. Did I see a dusting of snow?

  3. Ben Meeks Says:

    Indeed. We took a stroll around the FDR Memorial and the (icy) Tidal Basin the weekend after the late-January snow. I have long been fascinated with the Inlet Bridge.

  4. This looks a very “non-neoclassical portrait” — I’m thinking hte hair and teeth in particular and the very modern visage. Any idea who this is inteded to represent ?

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