The Virginia Department of Transportation announced today that weekend work should complete restoration of the second lane on the ramp leading from the eastbound Dulles Toll Road to the Capital Beltway’s inner loop.
The second lane was taken away over the summer as part of the high-occupancy toll lanes project, and that has contributed to the extra congestion that thousands of commuters experience in the work zone north of Tysons Corner.
I’ve been telling exasperated commuters that the lane would be restored early next year. But the project speeded up the work. The narrowing of the northbound ramp to the Beltway is not the only source of complaints. Drivers also say they’re getting squeezed by the work zone on the left side of the Toll Road.
But the effect of adding back the ramp lane should be noticeable — in a good way — to Monday morning commuters. The effect might be muted a bit by the addition of Thanksgiving vacation traffic to the highways.
VDOT hopes to see some easing of the congestion and plans to monitor the results of the lane restoration. Project managers hope they might be able to restore that far left lane ahead of schedule, too. Right now, the area still is scheduled to remain a work zone into next year.
Before the second lane on the ramp can be opened, workers still must do some prep work. It’s scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m. Friday and continue till 7 a.m. Saturday. During that time, all exits from the eastbound Dulles Toll Road to the Beltway north and south will be closed.
If bad weather forces cancellation of this work, the plan is to reschedule it to begin at 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
Detour: Toll Road drivers should continue east to southbound Chain Bridge Road (Route 123), turn right at the traffic signal and follow signs back to the Beltway (I-495 north or south).