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Bridge closings begin Wednesday

Construction updates | Travel tips l Capital Weather Gang

Headaches on the horizon

Travelers will continue to enjoy great weather tonight and tomorrow, till a cold front brings the possibility of rain Thursday evening. The Frederick Douglass Bridge will close overnight, which will repeat throughout this month, and the Wilson Bridge is scheduled to open tonight, then again Saturday morning. Managers of the Wilson Bridge reconstruction program also have announced some major changes coming at the Capital Beltway's Telegraph Road interchange.

Wilson Bridge openings
The bridge is scheduled to open at 8 tonight, then again at 8 a.m. Saturday. Each opening will last about 15 minutes.

Douglass Bridge closings
The District Department of Transportation is about to launch a string of overnight and weekend closings on the bridge near Nationals Park that takes South Capitol Street over the Anacostia River. The District's long-term goal is to replace the bridge, but since 2007, the transportation department has worked on lengthening the span's useful life through repair and rehabilitation projects.

The nighttime closings, which start Wednesday and continue till Sept. 30, will overlap with the dates of some late-season Nationals games, but given the hours of the closings, this shouldn't be an issue for baseball fans. Throughout the sequence of closings, the bridge sidewalks will remain open for pedestrians and bicyclists.

This week: 8 p.m. Wednesday through 5 a.m. Thursday.
This weekend: 9 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday.
Next week: 11 p.m. Monday through 5 a.m. Tuesday; 11 p.m Tuesday through 5 a.m. Wednesday; 11 p.m. Wednesday through 5 a.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Thursday through 5 a.m. Friday.
Weekend of Sept. 24-26: 11 p.m. Friday through 9 a.m. Saturday; 11 p.m. Saturday through 5 a.m. Sunday; 8 p.m Sunday through 5 a.m. Monday.
Week of Sept. 27: 11 p.m. Monday through 5 a.m. Tuesday; 11 p.m. Tuesday through 5 a.m. Wednesday; 11 p.m. Wednesday through 5 a.m. Thursday.

New Beltway ramps
The Wilson Bridge construction project plans to open two new ramps at the Telegraph Road interchange during the weekend of Sept. 24. That's about two months ahead of schedule.

Drivers have been complaining about the delays during this year's phase of rebuilding at the interchange. These ramp openings should be something of a payback for the months of congestion involved in the construction.

One of the ramps will connect the inner loop directly to Telegraph Road North. Drivers now have to share an inner loop ramp that also goes to Pershing Avenue. The other ramp will give outer loop drivers a new choice of going to Telegraph Road North or Eisenhower Avenue. This will eliminate the relatively short merge area that plagued drivers coming from the inner loop to Telegraph Road North and those trying to turn right onto Pershing Avenue from Telegraph Road.

Meanwhile, the project will close the temporary detour for outer loop traffic heading to Telegraph Road North via the left-turn traffic light at Huntington Avenue. That should improve traffic flow on Telegraph Road North.

But drivers will want to avoid the area the night workers open the new ramps. That process is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, and continue into the next morning.

The ramps from the outer loop to Telegraph Road and the ramp from the inner loop to Telegraph Road North and Pershing Avenue will be closed during that time.

By Robert Thomson  | September 15, 2010; 6:35 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Next: Marlboro Pike reopened

Comments

Why no warning that they closed the ramp from 267 westbound to 495 northbound tonight? Got forced onto the toll road and didn't have exact change! A simple warning here, or on twitter, would have helped.

Posted by: dkf747 | September 15, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

"This will eliminate the relatively short merge area that plagued drivers coming from the inner loop to Telegraph Road North and those trying to turn right onto Pershing Avenue from Telegraph Road."

I believe in fact this merge area was eliminated earlier this year when the new flyover ramp from northbound Telegraph to Eisenhower opened. (The ramp from the Outer Loop that is to open next weekend joins this existing new flyover partway across.) When the ramp to Eisenhower opened, they eliminated the right turn from Telegraph onto Pershing. It's far safer through there as a result because you don't have the problem of who's supposed to yield to whom in that circumstance.

Either way, though, this is great news about the new ramp from the Outer Loop opening. I've been watching it go up and it's looked for a while as though it's about ready to open.

Posted by: 1995hoo | September 15, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

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