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Posted at 5:05 PM ET, 12/14/2010

Va. Beltway closings scheduled

By Robert Thomson

The scheduled Installation of steel bridge beams for Virginia's HOT lanes project will practically shut the Capital Beltway in Tysons Corner very early Thursday and Friday mornings.

All four lanes of I-495 south (the outer loop) and three lanes on I-495 north (the inner loop) are scheduled to close at Leesburg Pike (Route 7). The first closing is set for midnight to 5:30 a.m. Thursday. This is a half hour later in the morning than the normal completion time for overnight work. The lane blockages could affect some early morning commuters on Thursday.

The work will close the same lanes the next night, but the hours will be different: 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Friday.

Detour: During both closings, southbound drivers on the outer loop will be directed onto the Exit 47A ramp to Route 7 west. They will cross over to Route 7 east, then go back to I-495 south.

By Robert Thomson  | December 14, 2010; 5:05 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories, Capital Beltway  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, HOT lanes  
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I don't know where else to post this, so I'm trying here:

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

On Monday and Tuesday, December 13 & 14, there is suddenly a serious problem with the timing of the traffic lights on I St NW, near Farragut Square. Traveling west on I St, there are two successive lights where I crosses 17th Street (the second being the portion of 17th that becomes Connecticut Ave on the other side of K St.).

The timing of the lights is now such that the first light turns green while the second stays red for the duration. This means that only a few cars can trickle into whatever open space exists between the two lights, and most of the green cycle is wasted with no one moving.

After the first goes red, the second light *then* turns green, while the first remains red for the duration of *that* cycle -- such that only the cars that have made it to the section of I St. between the lights (a very short mini-block), can make it through the light.

As a result, traffic is backing up significantly on I Street, back past McPherson Square -- and it will only become worse once the lighter holiday traffic over.

Can you forward this to the appropriate people, or recommend someone I can send it to? I suspect that the timing has unintentionally become out of whack between the lights, or that someone made a change intended to smooth traffic without understanding what would happen during rush hour.

Thank you.

Posted by: joe36 | December 14, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

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