Reason 279

#289: The Key Bridge.


There are a whole bunch of bridges that connect Virginia to Washington, DC. I don’t know how many and I’m not sure if they all have cool names like in New York or not. I know the names of only two bridges, which I think are the most beautiful: Memorial Bridge and Key Bridge. I love the Key Bridge because as you approach it from VA you get a gorgeous view of the district and then you walk right into DC. (If you cross it from DC to VA you have a little tree-lines island and futuristic-looking tall buildings in front of you, which is also cool.)

The Key Bridge connects the Rosslyn neighborhood in Arlington, VA to Washington, DC. Before there was a Washington, DC there was an Alexandria County, VA (what is now Arlington County), on one side of the bridge, and a Georgetown, MD on the other side of the bridge in what is now Washington, DC. When the federal city was created, Virginia gave parts of Alexandria County to the city and Maryland gave parts of Montgomery County and Georgetown, MD. For a while, it would have been DC on both sides of the Key Bridge.

Then right before the Civil War, Virginia asked for Alexandria back. In 1846 Alexandria was given back in retrocession (it’sa  real word) to Virginia. After that Alexandria County became Arlington County and the City of Alexandria split from that, which is now why you have a mess in northern Virginia. If you are in the Target in Crystal City it’s Alexandria City Police jurisdiction. A few blocks south Ronald Reagan National Airport is in VA but has a DC address. Just to the north of Target is Arlington County and Arlington Police all the way to the Rosslyn side of the Key Bridge.

To the other side of the Key Bridge is Washington, DC which, I learned in Charlie Wilson’s War, is under the jurisdiction of Washington, DC.

Interns standing by the "Welcome to DC" sign in Virginia. (I took this picture).

Interns standing by the “Welcome to DC” sign in Virginia. (I took this picture).

The bridge is names after Frances Scott Key, author of the Star Spangled Banner. If you don’t know who Frances Scott Key was there is a very cute little plaza on the DC side to remind you. On the Virginia side there is a sign that says “Welcome to Washington, DC.”

I have walked Key Bridge many, many times. The first time was when I lived in Virginia and I thought it would be a good idea to walk from Rosslyn to the National Cathedral. The whole thing turned out to be a 3 mile uphill walk. I do not recommend. Most of the other times I walked across the Key Bridge because I absolutely love the view of DC from the middle of the bridge. Very recently I started running across the bridge, which turned out to also be very fun. If you are just starting to run (like I am) I recommend running across the Key Bridge. It is inspirational and fun.




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