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Chain Bridge Bottleneck Eased

There's a new right turn lane on the Virginia side of Chain Bridge this morning. It should help ease one part of the congestion that drivers have been complaining about during the bridge rehabilitation project.

If you're heading from the District, you'll find that the lanes split as you approach the traffic signal across the bridge. There are right turn arrows for traffic heading toward Route 123 and a straight ahead arrow for traffic bound toward Glebe Road.

Some drivers were complaining that the single-lane setup had blocked them from making the right-on-red turn up Route 123. They were stuck behind drivers heading straight up Glebe Road. Some other drivers complained that people were pulling out of the line of waiting traffic and driving on the left side of the other waiting cars so they could pull to the front and make the right turn.

This isn't a complete solution to the congestion stemming from temporarily closing one of the bridge's three lanes. But it should help improve traffic flow during the project, which is scheduled to end in January.

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By Robert Thomson  |  July 28, 2009; 6:51 AM ET
Categories:  Commuting , Congestion , Construction , Driving  | Tags: Chain Bridge, Dr. Gridlock  
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Talk about putting lipstick on a pig. If they're serious about easing the congestion they'd change the timing on the light at the DC end of the bridge to allow more cars coming from VA in the morning and change the light on the VA end in the afternoon to allow more cars coming from DC. DC's protecting their own commuters at VA's expense. The traffic is unbearable and metro/bus doesn't go everywhere.

Posted by: matt44 | July 28, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Changing the timing of those lights might help. But note that those changes really don't impact DC drivers, more likely to impact those coming from Maryland (to DC or Virginia) in the morning. The contention issues at the Virginia end light in the afternoon would primarily affect Virginia drivers trying to make a left from Glebe to 123.

Also, please caution drivers to take advantage of the new turning lane-- safely. This morning a driver went into the turning lane toward 123, then changed his mind and cut me off going straight off the bridge to Glebe. Scary! Maybe more signage midbridge would help. Just painted arrows on the ground is not sufficient.

Posted by: Tenleytowner | July 28, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

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