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Stay Away From the Wilson Bridge!!!!

Whatever you do tonight and for the rest of the weekend, stay away from the Wilson Bridge. Starting tonight at 8 o'clock, the outer loop of the Beltway is going to be narrowed to one lane so workers can get busy redirecting the highway toward a new bridge. The backups will extend at least four miles and could go much further if people don't steer clear of the area. Additionally, drivers on northbound I-95 will not be allowed to cross the bridge. They will be diverted at Springfield, either to the western half of the Beltway or up I-395 through the District.

At some point Saturday afternoon the outer loop will be redirected to the new bridge, the first of two six-lane spans that will replace the existing bridge, but traffic will still be limited to a single lane so workers can finish realigning the Beltway. Project managers promise that everything will be done and all three lanes will run smoothly by 5 a.m. Monday. Let's hope they're right and there's not a repeat of last weekend, when work on the other side of the bridge ran long and backed up traffic for 7 miles. Heckuva way to start your Monday.

Speaking of that work, it'll continue this weekend too. On Saturday night, the Beltway will be completely closed on the Maryland side so workers can lift giant steel beams over the highway. The beams are part of a new interchange at Maryland Route 210. Drivers coming through the area on either side of the Beltway will be detoured. So if you're on the outer loop what that means is that you'll sit for a couple miles in Virginia, cross the bridge, and then endure a detour in Maryland. Fun!

Read more about the traffic changes and what it all means here and check out a pretty awesome graphic of the closings here.

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 9, 2006; 10:14 AM ET
Categories:  Wilson Bridge  
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