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New Phase of Beltway Paving to Start at Arena Drive

Capital Beltway drivers have seen a lot of work lately on the $26.5 million project to open up the Arena Drive interchange, and there will be more starting tonight.

The State Highway Administration is going to resurface two miles of the inner loop between Landover Road and Arena Drive. The job should take about three weeks. If you're traveling overnight, watch for single lane and double lane closings on the inner loop between 9 p.m. and midnight and triple lane closings between midnight and 5 a.m. Sundays through Fridays.

Since that leaves just one lane open for drivers in the very early morning, they might consider using Routes 193 or 301 to the east of the Beltway or Interstate 295 to the west to work their way around the bottleneck.

When I saw this notice come out from the State Highway Administration, it reminded me that during my weekly online discussion Monday, a traveler asked about the Arena Drive project, and I didn't get a chance to address that. This was the traveler's comment.

"Bowie, Md.: Dr. G, can you provide an update on the Outer Loop work at Landover Rd/Arena Dr that has reduced the lanes from 4 to 3? When will the work be complete, and what will that interchange look like when it's done? Hopefully not just 3 lanes through."

You'll have four lanes when this project is done. The idea is to make Arena Drive into a a full-time Beltway interchange, not just an entrance and exit for events at FedEx Field, as it has been since the stadium opened.

To achieve the upgrade at Arena Drive, the state also had to improve the traffic flow for the ramps at the close-by interchanges with Routes 214 and 202. That was a safety issue, because vehicles need enough time to accelerate, decelerate and change lanes in that space. Work started started in the summer of 2007, and it's scheduled to be done late this fall, said SHA spokesman Chuck Gischlar.

The resurfacing of two miles on the outer loop started on May 26, and that side has been completed. So now the crews are going to do a similar job on the inner loop.

Road Essentials:  Incident Map  |  Traffic Cams   |   Key Routes

By Robert Thomson  |  June 17, 2009; 9:45 AM ET
Categories:  Construction , Driving  | Tags: Arena Drive, Capital Beltway, Dr. Gridlock, Maryland SHA  
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