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Early traffic on Virginia roads [Updated]

6:45 A.M. UPDATE: The traffic was caused by overnight lane closures that spanned into the morning rush, creating problems on I-495 (both north and southbound) at I-66.

All I-495 North lanes at I-66 opened up by 6:20 a.m. By 6:30 a.m., the I-495 South lanes were open south of I-66. The I-495 South area from Route 7 to I-66 has just one lane open, though it's expected to reopen within the next few minutes. But the residual delays will hang around for a while -- all of that traffic built up and had nowhere to go. So be advised, if you commute in this area, expect to see traffic for a while.

There were construction delays in connecting pieces needed to hold steel beams in place (part of the new bridge for Route 29). This necessitated keeping the cranes out there longer, which necessitated the traffic cones being out longer, which in turn kept lanes closed. The work, part of the Virginia HOT lanes project, was supposed to wrap up by 5 a.m., according to Steve Titunik, a VDOT spokesman.

The day has barely started and I-66 East and I-495 (in Virginia) are already seeing problems. Traffic cameras show big congestion on 66 from just after Nutley Street to the Beltway.The overnight lane closures on and near the Beltway -- among them lane closures on I-495 North and lanes closing on Braddock Road, Arlington Boulevard and Gallows Road at the ramps to the Beltway -- should be lifted by this time. But be advised, the traffic is heavy -- particularly on I-495 South at Route 7, and I-495 North at Little River Turnpike.

By Mark Berman  |  December 18, 2009; 5:55 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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These delays had better result in some massive, massive fines. We all understand that stuff happens, but there need to be consequences when it does happen. Delaying tens of thousands of people for an extended period of time cannot be ignored.

Posted by: member5 | December 18, 2009 7:08 AM | Report abuse

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