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Next Week: Major Delays at Night Near Wilson Bridge

Starting next week, there will be a nightly series of lane and ramp closures around the Telegraph Road interchange as workers place steel beams for a new bridge ramp over the Capital Beltway. Setup for the work may begin as early as 9 p.m.

The Variable Speed Limit system will be in use. Watch the speed limit signs, because they will change according to the level of congestion around the work zone. The closer drivers come to obeying the posted speed limits, the quicker and more safely they'll get through the area. The system's technology also allows drivers to look at the Wilson Bridge Project Web site before starting their trips to see how bad the congestion is likely to be. Once they're out in the traffic, drivers can look at the message boards to see time estimates on the delays getting through that corridor.

Here's more information about the work areas and some suggestions on alternative routes.

This Monday to Friday, 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Traffic on the Beltway's outer loop from east of Eisenhower Avenue Connector to east of Telegraph Road will be down to one lane. After work zone, all the Thru and Local lanes will be open. Ramps from Telegraph Road to the outer loop and from the outer loop to Telegraph Road southbound will be closed.

Detours: Traffic from Telegraph Road heading for the outer loop will be detoured to Huntington Avenue eastbound, then to Route 1 northbound. Traffic from the outer loop heading for Telegraph Road will be detoured from the Eisenhower Avenue Connector along Eisenhower Avenue to Mill Road and Telegraph Road.

Monday, April 19, to Friday, April 24, 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The inner loop from west of Route 1 to west of Telegraph Road, the Thru and Local lanes will go down to one lane each. Ramps to Pershing Avenue and Telegraph Road, north- and southbound, will be closed.

Detour: Traffic heading for Telegraph Road and the Eisenhower Valley will be detoured south on Route 1 and west on Huntington Avenue to Telegraph Road.

Friday, April 24, to Sunday, April 26, 10 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
The outer loop from east of the Eisenhower Avenue Connector to east of Telegraph Road will go down to one lane. Exit ramps from the outer loop to Telegraph Road will remain open. Traffic will be limited to the Local lanes, with no access to the Thru lanes.
Ramps from both directions of Telegraph Road to the outer loop will be closed.

Detour: Traffic heading for the outer loop from Telegraph Road will be detoured east on Huntington Avenue and north on Route 1 to the outer loop.

The inner loop from west of Route 1 to west of Telegraph Road will be reduced to one Thru lane and one Local lane. Ramps to Pershing Avenue and Telegraph Road north and southbound will remain open. The ramp to the inner loop from Telegraph Road will be closed.

Detour: Traffic heading for the inner loop from Telegraph Road northbound will be detoured to Pershing Avenue, then to Stovall Street and Eisenhower Avenue to the Eisenhower Connector.

The ramp bridge under construction is part of a new split ramp that will carry traffic from the outer loop back over the Beltway into Eisenhower Valley or onto Telegraph Road northbound. It is scheduled to be open next spring.

By Robert Thomson  |  April 9, 2009; 8:46 AM ET
Categories:  Driving  
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Comments

The variable speed limit system through this work zone DOES NOT WORK, and neither do the message signs that are often grossly inaccurate with information. More often than not, I approach Van Dorn Street on the outer loop with the variable speed limits set at 55 MPH (where they've been set EVERY time I've driven through the corridor) and the message sign reporting a 1-5 minute delay to the bridge. Then, as soon as you pass Van Dorn, it's bumper to bumper all the way through to Route 1 with the variable speed limits through the work zone still set at 50 MPH (where they've been set EVERY time I've driven through the area).

The same goes for the inner loop, where the bridge speed limit is ALWAYS set at 55 MPH, and lowers to 50 MPH once you pass route 1, regardless of how much traffic is backed up through the Telegraph Road bottleneck. This system VDOT is using is USELESS and only serves as a revenue generator because police can double fines through the corridor and have been rather aggressive enforcing the "non-variable" speed limit.

If someone has seen this system actually work correctly, I'd love to know, because as far as I can tell, it's a COMPLETE waste, especially since in most cases I'm driving north towards Baltimore and would bail out onto I-395 if I had an accurate account of traffic through the work zone.

Posted by: Russtinator | April 10, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

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