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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 05:50 PM ET, 06/06/2011

Maryland Beltway project starts tonight

A lengthy project is getting underway on the Maryland Beltway tonight that will have a significant impact on commuting through the Silver Spring area. The State Highway Administration is going to rehabilitate the bridge that carries Beltway traffic over the Northwest Branch.

While lane closings are scheduled to occur only at night — and such closings are the main thing I’ll tell you about in this post — traffic delays are likely during the day for many months to come. Jersey barriers will be installed on both sides to the Beltway to create work zones and enable lane shifts. The lanes will be narrowed from 12 to 11 feet and the shoulders will be closed in the bridge area.

Traffic is very heavy in this area, so even lane shifts and lane narrowings will have a significant impact. In fact, when I asked project managers if they planned to reduce the speed limit in the work zone, they said the speed of traffic would probably come down without them having to post any new signs.

Tonight, workers will close up to three lanes on the inner loop, allowing them to shift all traffic lanes to the left as they cross the bridge. While the rehab project is on the bridge, the work involved in the lane shifts will occur along two and a half miles of the Beltway between New Hampshire Avenue and University Boulevard.

This week’s schedule

Inner loop

Tonight: Workers will begin closing the right lane and right shoulder on the inner loop at 8 p.m., followed by the right center lane at 10 p.m. and the left center lane at midnight. All lanes will be open by 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Overnight Wednesday: Workers will close the right lane and shoulder at 8 p.m. to install a temporary barrier along the right shoulder, then if necessary, the right center lane will close at 10 p.m. All lanes will be open by 5 a.m. Thursday. The barrier wall along the shoulder will remain in place until the end of the year.

Overnight Thursday: Workers will close the right lane and shoulder at 8 p.m. to continue installing the temporary barrier along the right shoulder, and then if necessary close the right center lane at 10 p.m. All lanes will be open by 5 a.m. Friday.

Outer loop

Overnight Sunday: Crews will close up to three lanes, beginning at 8 p.m. with the right lane and right shoulder, followed by the right center lane at 10 p.m. and the left center lane at midnight. All lanes will be open by 5 a.m. next Monday.

Overnight Monday, June 13: SHA will close up to three lanes beginning with the right lane at 8 p.m., followed by the right center lane at 10 p.m. and the left center lane at midnight, if needed. All lanes will be open by 5 a.m., Tuesday, June 14.

Overnight Tuesday, June 14: Workers will close the right lane and shoulder at 8 p.m. to install a temporary barrier along the right shoulder, which also will be in place till the end of the year. Then if necessary, the right center lane will close at 10 p.m. All lanes will be open by 5 a.m. Wednesday, June 15.

Overnight Wednesday, June 15: Workers will close the right lane and shoulder at 8 p.m. and if necessary, the right center lane at 10 p.m. The lanes will be open by 5 a.m. Thursday, June 16.

Inner loop

Overnight Thursday, June 16: Workers will close the right lane on the inner loop starting at 8 p.m., then the right center lane at 10 p.m. The lanes will reopen by 5 a.m.

Okay, you get the idea. This night work will go on for many months. This early setup work is highly dependent on good weather, so the scheduled could shift if we have storms.

By  |  05:50 PM ET, 06/06/2011

Categories:  Capital Beltway, Maryland

 
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