The Washington Post

Beltway lane closings in Virginia this week

Two big projects on the Capital Beltway in Virginia are very active this week.

Paving for the Interstate-495 Express Lanes project on the west side is scheduled to shut all lanes of the outer loop at the Springfield interchange overnights Monday through Wednesday.

Workers will begin to close lanes at 9:30 p.m. and will have all outer loop lanes closed by 11 p.m. Crews also will shut Exit 57B for I-395 North. All lanes will reopen by 5 a.m. each morning.

Traffic will be directed to this detour: Drivers will be directed to Exit 57A for I-95 South to Exit 166B for the Fairfax County Parkway; then they will follow signs back to I-95 North/I-495 East for the outer loop and I-395 North.

On the east side of the outer loop, drivers are having their first experiences with the new location of the THRU/LOCAL lanes split leading toward the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

They must make a lane choice earlier now. There are two THRU lanes to the left, but only one LOCAL lane to the right, because of work zones for paving.

Until the work is done July 30, only drivers who need to reach Telegraph Road, Route 1 or I-295/National Harbor should use the single LOCAL lane. The ramp from the Eisenhower Connector to the outer loop will be closed until July 30.

The new configuration is causing some traffic backups as drivers adjust, but a few motorists have been creating a real hazard by weaving between the construction barrels after failing to pick a lane soon enough.

This endangers other drivers, as well as slows traffic, and it also endangers construction workers.

Robert Thomson is The Washington Post’s “Dr. Gridlock.” He answers travelers’ questions, listens to their complaints and shares their pain on the roads, trains and buses in the Washington region.


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