Beltway Speed Controls Tonight
Late-night drivers on the Capital Beltway in Virginia are likely to see the new Variable Speed Limit system in action around midnight as utility crews replace power lines across the highway.
Both the inner and outer loops will be stopped for about 15 minutes between the Telegraph Road interchange and the Eisenhower Connector so the crews can work safely. (Project map)
When the speed-control system, operated by the Wilson Bridge project, detects that traffic is slowing and stopping, the speed limits approaching the work zone will be lowered. Watch the new electronic speed limit signs. The intention is to reduce the likelihood that drivers will slam on the brakes when they see the tail lights ahead.
When the power-line work is done, all lanes will reopen. Once the traffic backup has cleared, the speed limits will revert to normal.
The speed control system is in place along the seven miles between the Springfield interchange and the Maryland side of the Wilson Bridge. The operators intend to use it only at night to start. But in addition to regulating speeds, the system also provides drivers with travel time estimates on the variable message boards along the route.
Before leaving, drivers can check the project's Web site to see a display of travel times and levels of congestion on a color-coded map of the area.
July 30, 2008; 4:56 PM ET
Categories: Advisories , Congestion , Construction , Driving , Wilson Bridge
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