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Watch for Wilson Bridge Traffic

Avoid the Wilson Bridge this morning. All the lanes are open, but lots of drivers are gawking at the setup for today's dedication ceremony on the new span.

Camera views show very heavy traffic on both sides of the Beltway leading up to the bridge. Once drivers get past the bridge, traffic is fine. (Our traffic page includes camera views and incident reports.)

The ceremony, dedicating the second span of the bridge, is scheduled for late this morning. Drivers on the already-opened span, which right now carries all of the Beltway traffic, won't be able to see the ceremony. They're looking at a bunch of tents, chairs and TV trucks.

While the dedication ceremony is today, the new span won't open till the end of the month. There are no changes in traffic patterns today, just rubbernecking congestion.

The dedication ceremony for the first new span also occured on a Thursday in May, back in 2006. That was a bit more spectacular, involving the raising and lowering of the drawbridge.

If you're not at the bridge today, here's what you're missing, besides a traffic jam: A high school band from Maryland and choir from Virginia will perform, Woodrow Wilson's Pierce-Arrow will be the first vehicle to cross the new span, Sen. John W. Warner will turn the bridge's final bolt into place and the D.C. Air National Guard will fly over the river.

By Robert Thomson  |  May 15, 2008; 9:06 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  
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