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Get There: July 15, 2007 - July 21, 2007

District Cranks Down Douglass Bridge

Reuben Hunter, an operating engineer from Herndon, has spent a career of 35 or so years in construction, but he looked like he couldn't wait to get started with his latest project. He was about to work the controls that would lower 200 feet of steel a few inches per hour until one end had descended 51 inches. Maybe for some that would be like watching paint dry. But this was a little different for Hunter. He was lowering the Frederick Douglass Bridge. Workers prepare to lower the elevated roadway. (Robert Thomson) While commuters who used to cross the Anacostia River on this South Capitol Street bridge were crawling along Interstate 295, the 11th Street Bridge, Pennsylvania Avenue and their other detour routes on Thursday morning, Hunter was controlling their future. This is, after all, what it's all about: a pivotal day in the two-month project to recreate the South...

By Robert Thomson  |  July 20, 2007; 5:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction  
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Hazmat Delay on I-95 in Stafford

A hazardous materials incident blocked all southbound lanes of Interstate 95 in Stafford near mile marker 138 earlier this afternoon, according to a wire report, Maptuit traffic reports and an e-mail alert from Stafford County. According to the Associated Press, a dispatcher told WFLS that a truck carrying sulfuric acid was leaking and was parked on the right shoulder as authorities investigated the situation. An e-mail alert from Stafford at 3:36 p.m. said all lanes are now open, but delays are likely to continue for some time. During the closure, southbound traffic was detoured to U.S. 1 via exits 140 and 143....

By Bob Greiner  |  July 18, 2007; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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Upcoming Forums on Traffic, Transit Issues

The completion of the Springfield Interchange project was officially marked this afternoon with a ceremony attended by Gov. Tim Kaine atop a garage overlooking the Mixing Bowl. (See Eric Weiss's story in today's Post.) At the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority's meeting last week, a speaker opposed to new transportation taxes said the Washington suburbs have not been getting their fair share of Virginia's transportation spending. Oh, yes, we have, responded Del. Vince Callahan, a member of the NVTA. Much of it has gone to two huge projects: the Wilson Bridge and the Springfield Interchange. So what's next? Probably the two upcoming projects with the biggest impact on Northern Virginia will be construction of the Metrorail line through Tysons, if the Federal Transit Administration gives the go-ahead next month, and the construction of the express toll lanes along I-95/395. The Virginia Department of Transportation is going to hold five forums starting...

By Robert Thomson  |  July 18, 2007; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting  
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Progress on Three Bridges

The District and Maryland are reporting progress on some of bridge projects that have vexed commuters: the Klingle Bridge on Connecticut Avenue, South Capitol Street's Douglass Bridge and the Capital Beltway's Legion Bridge. Klingle: The District Department of Transportation says that on Wednesday the bridge rehabilitation will move into the far right lanes on the northbound side and the sidewalk. The other sidewalk, on the bridge's west side, will remain open. Work on Connecticut Avenue bridge began last fall. (Robert Thomson) For motorists, it's the same drill. Watch those red and green arrows overhead to tell you which lanes are open and don't get them confused with the red and green of the traffic signals at the intersections north and south of the bridge. During the morning rush, three lanes will be open southbound and one northbound. During evening rush, three lanes will be open northbound direction with one southbound....

By Robert Thomson  |  July 17, 2007; 5:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Construction  
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Not So Calm About Conn. Avenue

Many letters have come in during the past few days about a traffic in Montgomery County. Dear Dr. Gridlock: They have done some really odd road work on a stretch of Connecticut Avenue between Bel Pre Road and Georgia Avenue (Conn. Ave. cuts across and reconnects and crosses over Georgia just off Bel Pre Road in Maryland. They have made it into one lane (was 2 lanes each way) resurfaced and put in large cement squares right in the lane of traffic! I have never seen such a strange thing. Do you have any idea what Maryland Transportation is doing? Two of the new sections are for the handicap access across both sides of the roadway. The rest of cement squares are oddly placed on both sides of the road in the far right lanes ... strange. Goodie Shannon Montgomery County reduced travel lanes on a portion of Connecticut Avenue....

By Robert Thomson  |  July 16, 2007; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Driving  
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