Wilson Bridge Open
The second span of the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge has opened. The project's managers, hedging against weather delays, had said the weekend work to open the span could take until early Monday morning, but the first cars started across the new span Saturday night.
Following completion of this weekend's work, the Capital Beltway's inner loop moves across the new span along three lanes. The span just to the south of it, which opened in 2006, now carries the outer loop only. You can see the results by going to our traffic page and clicking on the camera image on the east side of the bridge.
What drivers see when they look left on the bridge are the now-closed lanes in the middle that by the end of the year will become the bridge's express lanes.
Commuters on Monday should find they have a better ride, because some of the old bending in the Beltway lanes will be gone. It should be particularly good for drivers coming southbound on I-295 onto the inner loop to head across the bridge.
But drivers still have a total of six lanes (three on each Beltway loop), just as they have for years. It won't be till the fall, when those express lanes open, that motorists will be able to travel on five lanes in each direction. And it won't be till 2012, when the Telegraph Road interchange is complete, that the outer loop merge from four to three lanes will disappear.
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