Symbolically, the bridge was designed to show the strength of a united nation by joining a memorial on the north side of the Potomac River (the Lincoln Memorial) with one on the south (Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial). Memorial Bridge and Avenue also connect the nation’s capital to Arlington National Cemetery, where thousands who died fighting to preserve democratic government have been laid to rest.

Construction of the bridge began in 1926, and ended in 1931. Arlington Memorial Bridge, Memorial Avenue, and the grand entrance to Arlington National Cemetery were dedicated on January 16, 1932. However, the bridge was not fully opened to traffic until May 6, 1932. (Source: NPS)