The Law: Is Pressure Legal?

The Three Sisters Bridge—still no more than two piers protruding from the muddy Potomac in Georgetown —was supposed to be part of the federal interstate highway system. But many people in Washington, D.C., including members of the city council and the National Capital Planning Commission feel that the last thing the capital needs is another bridge and its land-consuming approaches. In three years of court battles they have kept the bridge, except for its piers, on the drawing boards.

The project, however, has long been a pet of Representative William Natcher, chairman of the...

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