The Washington Post

Expect traffic delays near new Tanger Outlets in Prince George’s

Rendering of Tanger Outlets at National Harbor. (Courtesy of Tanger Outlet)

If you are traveling near or around National Harbor on Friday—and this weekend—be prepared for some major traffic delays, Prince George’s County officials say.

More than 20,000 cars are expected to drive to the grand opening of Tanger Outlets at National Harbor on Friday, possibly creating major traffic headaches for morning and evening commuters on Oxon Hill Road.

The new outlet mall is opening at 9 a.m. and thousands of shoppers are expected to show up opening weekend for an opportunity to take a peak at the 80 high-end stores opening, including Michael Kors, Calvin Klein and Coach.

Prince George’s County police will be directing traffic in the area, police spokeswoman Julie Parker said.  About 80 police officers will be on the ground and the department’s helicopter will monitor the roads and parking lots.

“We know that there will be a lot of traffic, no question about that,” said Parker. “We want people to carpool—that will make it easier for everyone involved.”

Officials say the heaviest traffic is expected prior to the 9 a.m. opening and as people get off work, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Tanger Outlets officials say they expect between 75,000 to 100,000 shoppers during the opening weekend.

Located at 6800 Oxon Hill Road, Tanger Outlets is just outside the National Harbor resort and within close proximity to Interstates 495 and 295.  The state Highway Administration has installed signs from the Beltway directing drivers to the outlets.  There also will be electronic messages for guidance around the area.

Authorities ask area residents who aren’t going shopping to plan an alternate route and avoid going through the area. Those planning to travel Oxon Hill Road should prepare for delays, they said.

“Allow more time than you normally do,” Parker said. She said the Prince George’s County Police will tweet traffic updates during the weekend. Follow @pgpdnews and the hashtag #OperationOutlets.

Officials say there are about 6,000 parking spots available at the site and limited shuttle service will be provided from National Harbor.

Luz Lazo writes about transportation and development. She has recently written about the challenges of bus commuting, Metro’s dark stations, and the impact of sequestration on air travel.

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