The Lincoln Memorial East Plaza Barrier System

  • The Lincoln Memorial
  • The Lincoln Memorial East Plaza Barrier System
  • The Lincoln Memorial East Plaza Barrier System
  • The Lincoln Memorial East Plaza Barrier System
  • The Lincoln Memorial East Plaza Barrier System

This $4.1 million security upgrade and beautification project was constructed under the critical time frame of being complete by the 2009 Presidential Inauguration ceremonies and the rededication of the Lincoln Memorial in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th Birthday on February 19, 2009. The work included the installation of 172 custom made steel bollards rated to handle a 15,000 pound truck traveling at 55mph with no breach of the perimeter. This work allowed for the long awaited removal of the temporary concrete jersey barriers placed after the attacks of September 11th for interim security. Approximately 900 feet of custom bronze cast trench grates were set around the perimeter to handle storm water run-off. Additionally, 55,000-SF of 2’x2’ granite pavers were installed in an intricate radius layout that required the creation of custom stone cutting equipment to meet the aesthetics nature of one of the nation’s most visited monuments.

Constructing the project

Out of necessity to complete the project with the best possible quality, it was necessary to develop an innovative approach to cut each of the pavers that were to be installed to match the existing radius. Skanska and its subcontractors developed a custom saw that was mounted on a set of rails that enabled the cutting of numerous pavers, in a straight line, in order to match the radius around the north and south ends of the plaza. Initially, a prototype was built to see test if it would achieve the desired results to increase production and keep the project ahead of schedule. By the end of the project two additional saws were built to increase production.

Benefits for the community

The Lincoln Memorial is one of the Nation’s most recognizable and visited monuments. The goal of this project was to eliminate the concrete barriers that were placed around the perimeter of the monument immediately after September 11, 2001. The existing concrete barriers limited the amount of free flowing traffic and obstructed the scenic views looking across the National Mall. The installation of decorative bollards not only beautified the east plaza of the monument, but provided an additional security to all visitors while allowing tourists to once again walk freely around the National Mall. 

The ability of Skanska and the subcontracting team to provide an innovative approach to this project allowed the plaza to be completed early, in time for the President-elect Barack Obama’s Inauguration Celebration on Sunday, January 18th at Lincoln Memorial.

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