ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Motorists traveling on the Outer Loop of the Capital Beltway (Interstate 95/495 North from Virginia toward Maryland) should prepare for potentially heavy traffic impacts during the weekend of April 9-11 as the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project plans to shift lanes outward onto new roadway between the Eisenhower Connector and the Telegraph Road interchange.
In part of the Beltway widening initiative, the shift will allow crews to reconstruct the former roadway in order to extend the THRU and LOCAL lane configuration currently in place between the U.S. Route 1 and the Maryland 210 interchanges. When completed, this section of the Outer Loop will contain two THRU and three LOCAL lanes, a milestone achievement for the Project.
Similar to December’s Inner Loop lane shift, weather permitting, crews will smoothly transition traffic outward from the existing Beltway Outer Loop lanes to new lanes between the Eisenhower Connector to west of the Telegraph Road interchange, then transition traffic back onto original Beltway lanes in the vicinity of the Telegraph Road interchange.
The specific schedule for the planned shift is as follows:
• Starting after rush hour on Friday, April 9, crews will close the on-ramp from the Eisenhower Connector to the Outer Loop. The right-most lane of the Outer Loop will also be closed just west of the Eisenhower Connector, with the center and left lanes remaining open. Additionally, the exit ramps from the Outer Loop to Telegraph Road (both North and South), and to Huntington Avenue and N. Kings Highway will be closed.
• On Friday night April 9, the center Outer Loop lane will be closed, reducing traffic to one lane (the left-most lane).
• On Saturday morning, traffic will be fully diverted to the right onto two new Outer Loop lanes. The on-ramp from the Eisenhower Connector will reopen, as well as the exits from the Outer Loop to Telegraph Road North and South, and to Huntington Avenue/N. Kings Highway.
• On Saturday night April 10, a third new Outer Loop lane will open, allowing for a full three lanes of traffic on the new Outer Loop roadway.
Traffic analysis projects that motorists can expect back-ups in the area of as much as four miles – which would be to the Springfield Interchange (I-95/I-395/I-495). Motorists are urged to avoid this part of the Beltway between Friday evening, April 9, and Saturday, April 10, or seek alternate routes to their destinations to avoid delays. Variable message signs (VMS) will alert motorists to the shift activities beginning the week of April 5. During the work on the weekend of April 9, permanent VMS in Virginia will advise motorists to use alternate routes. Detours for local motorists include using the U.S. Route 1 interchange. An alternate route for long-distance Beltway motorists would be to travel the western Inner Loop Beltway route over the American Legion Bridge into Maryland.
All plans are subject to weather delays up to and through the planned shift date. If weather does not permit the Outer Loop shift to begin the evening of April 9, the rain date is to begin work on Saturday, April 10 and finish the night of Sunday, April 11. If weather delays are severe, the Outer Loop shift will be scheduled for the following weekend.
Motorists can find the latest traffic and Project information at www.wilsonbridge.com.
The Trucker staff may be contacted to comment at email@example.com.