Traffic on either side of the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge is expected to come to a standstill shortly before midnight tonight (Tuesday) due to a passing ship.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) tweeted earlier this afternoon that the span would be opened around 11:30 p.m. to allow a 247.5-foot “superyacht” to pass through. The closure is likely to cause traffic backups on the Beltway.
“Expect delays and consider alternate routes,” the transit agency warned commuters.
Alexandria: The Woodrow Wilson Bridge will open tonight at 11:30PM to allow the Bella Vita yacht (Google it) through. Expect delays and consider alternate routes. @MDSHA
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) October 1, 2019
The ship causing all the fuss is the Bella Vita, a six-deck vessel for up to 12 guests and 22 crew.
According to its website, the Bella Vita costs $708,872 a week to charter and comes with a movie theatre, salon and gym — and is described by owner Moran Yacht & Ship as a “rugged luxury yacht.”
Formerly known as the Northern Star, the luxury yacht was built in 2009 and was at one point valued at $181 million, before being remodeled.
The Wilson bridge rarely opens, but makes exceptions for large ships, like the historic tall ships on their annual pilgrimage to Alexandria.
Image via Flickr/Geoff Livingston
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