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Get There: July 9, 2006 - July 15, 2006

Goodbye to the Wilson Bridge

You guys would be so jealous of me. While you're doing whatever it is y'all do on your summer Saturdays, I'll be standing on top of a half-built highway overpass tomorrow in the oppressive heat and humidity watching a road crew pour hot asphalt on the ground so traffic can be switched from the old Wilson Bridge to the new one. Some guys have all the luck, I know. Put aside your envy if you can and follow the advice of the bridge officials, who don't want you anywhere near the bridge tonight, tomorrow or for the rest of the weekend. Traffic on the inner loop is likely to be fairly severe and backups could stretch for miles and last for hours. The outer loop may not be so bad, but there could be some rubbernecking and other delays there. Listen to project spokesman John Undeland talk about it here....

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 14, 2006; 11:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Wilson Bridge  
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Walking the Wilson Bridge

I just did the coolest thing. Okay, the coolest thing if you're a total transportation dork like me. (I swear I wasn't always like this.) Anyway, I was out this morning walking on the Wilson Bridges. First we took a little stroll on the new bridge -- the part where there's no traffic just yet, of course. I had three main impressions of the bridge: 1) It's very commanding. It feels and looks like something that will be around for a long, long time; 2) It's much taller than the old bridge. You almost have to lean over the side of it to look down on the tops of trucks going along the old bridge; and 3) It's really bright. Weird, I know. But the surface is white concrete instead of black asphalt and the barriers along the middle and edges are also white. It's all new and relatively clean...

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 13, 2006; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Wilson Bridge  
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Metro Rage

I just had to post this, to extend a little praise and on the possibility that maybe we can figure out who the wise Blue Line woman was -- or better yet, who these two morons she prevented from fighting were. It comes from Annie, posted in yesterday's comments: "This doesn't actually have anything to do with the Wilson Bridge, but I had to write it somewhere. I just wanted to say thank you to the woman on the Blue Line last night who broke up what was a rapidly escalating fight between two grown men. One of the men had pushed (or bumped) the other as the train became full. This lead to an argument full of swears and "Oh, you think you're a big tough guy?" The problem was, not only did it look like they were going to come to blows, there was also a child right...

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 12, 2006; 10:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  Metro  
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Wilson Bridge Changes

By the end of this weekend, the old Wilson Bridge will no longer carry drivers. They'll all switch over to the new span (half of the Beltway is already there) and the old one will come down. In its place will be a second new span and by the time that's completed in two years the bridge will have doubled in size. The promise of all this is that those nasty bridge delays should be a thing of the past, at least for about 30 seconds before a bunch more development adds a bunch more drivers. In any case, it got me to thinking about what traffic improvements have actually made my commute better. It's a radical thought, I know. When I used to do the drive from D.C. to Manassas, the commute was made easier by a new interchange where Route 29 hits Route 28. That elminated one particularly...

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 11, 2006; 12:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Wilson Bridge  
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Bay Bridge Traffic

So I went to see my parents last weekend, which means I cross the Bay Bridge to get to the Eastern Shore. I've been doing this drive for the 12 years I've lived in the Washington area and I don't think I've ever had an easier time on a beautiful summer weekend than I did this past weekend. I left work at 15th and L NW at 5:45 Friday afternoon (here's hoping my bosses don't read this blog), hit a little traffic in the District and then sailed right across the bridge and on to home. Yesterday, I left Onancock (on Virginia's Eastern Shore) at 4:45 p.m. and again hit zero traffic, even when I crossed the bridge around 7. Not only was I shocked not to hit any backups, but also, Route 50 wasn't even that crowded. I don't think I screamed at a single slow left-laner the whole...

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 10, 2006; 2:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Getaway  
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