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Weekend Work Near Wilson Bridge

Watch for a construction project that will close part of the outer loop tonight through Sunday evening.

Starting at 9 p.m., two of the outer loop's four lanes between the Eisenhower Connector and Telegraph Road are scheduled to close, with all the lanes reopening by Sunday evening in a new three-lane configuration.

This work may sound familiar because it was postponed from last weekend. If the forecast for tonight through Sunday looks bad for the work, project managers could still postpone it. If I hear that, I'll post it right away.

But if the project comes off this weekend, the result will be an earlier merge from four to three lanes on the outer loop approaching the Wilson Bridge. You regulars know that traffic backs up in this area. Stay alert this coming week, because the backup will likely start sooner as a result of the shift in the merge point. It will probably stay this way until 2011. (Same thing will happen soon on the inner loop.)

This is part of the Wilson Bridge project, and the reason for shifting the merge a mile west is to prepare for a new phase of construction at the Telegraph Road Interchange. That's the last big piece of the $2.5 billion bridge project, which involves not only the replacement of the bridge but also the reconstruction of two interchanges in Maryland and two in Virginia.

By Robert Thomson  |  April 11, 2008; 6:12 AM ET
Categories:  Wilson Bridge  
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Why couldn't this have been done earlier? This whole time I was thinking that the second span would open in May and we would have four lanes from 95 to 95! Big disappointment for me but oh well.

Posted by: JS | April 11, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: JS, the work on the interchanges got spread out over a few years. Not everything could get done at the same time. Opening of the second span is a great thing, but definitely not the end of the overall project, which continues till 2011.

Posted by: Robert Thomson | April 11, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

We're now in Day 2 of the lane closures and so far this is a disaster for traffic in the mornings getting to Alexandria/Wilson Bridge. I read on the WWBridge project web site that the engineers think this is only a temporary problem until people get used to it. I think that is unrealistic or at least overly optimistic. But my question is, what if it remains as bad as it has been (backups all the way to the mixing bowl)? Do they have a fallback or are we stuck with this until 2011?

Posted by: Ryan | April 15, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

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