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Lane reopens on Chain Bridge

Afternoon commuters on the Chain Bridge will see something that's been missing for almost a year: a third lane. The D.C. Department of Transportation says all lanes on the bridge have been reopened to traffic.

The re-striping of the lane markings on the bridge deck, the part of the restoration work delayed over the weekend because of rain, has been completed.

Two lanes will be available for outbound traffic this evening and one lane for inbound traffic. In the morning, DDOT said, the center lane will be reversed and there will be two lanes for inbound motorists, the same traffic pattern employed before repairs began on the bridge in June.

The rehabilitation of the 71-year-old bridge required closing one lane to serve as a construction staging area, but over the weekend, crews removed the concrete barriers and repaved the bridge deck. Temporary barrels were placed in the closed lane for safety until the new paving markings could be completed.

The bridge lane reopening was originally scheduled for January. Final construction underneath the bridge is scheduled to continue until August. As part of that work, temporary closures of one lane on the bridge may be necessary, but will only occur during off-peak periods, DDOT said. Contractors will use construction barrels to close a lane rather than the concrete barriers used over the past year.

By Robert Thomson  |  May 25, 2010; 4:40 PM ET
Categories:  Commuting , Construction , Driving  | Tags: Chain Bridge, DDOT, Dr. Gridlock  
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Next: Redesign at major D.C. route



Posted by: miked9 | May 25, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: miked9 | May 25, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: miked9, I think most drivers would agree this is worth two hallelujahs.

Posted by: Robert Thomson | May 25, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Finally! Question though: I do not see any evidence of repaving of the bridge deck. That was the claim for this past weekend's closing. Was the bridge deck repaved?

Also, will the lights on the Arlington side be adjusted so Glebe Rd gets the steady green arrow to the right lane of the bridge?

Posted by: pooooop423 | May 25, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I thought they were repaving the desk four months ago when they closed the bridge for the weekend?

I would really like to know the real story behind the delay in this project. I mean for a project to be six months overdue and have no one ask questions like, "Why would you not assume it is going to snow in the winter?"

We should also be questioning the initial design of the project in which they were surprised by the massive traffic delays.

The lack of urgency in work that seemed to be prevalent at the site.

I know not as many people use the chain bridge as other bridged in DC, but there needs to be some outrage over the way this project was handled.

Posted by: Tom8 | May 26, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Dr. Gridlock - Coming in down Canal Road this morning, it does not seem like they changed the traffic light cycle at Canal and Chain Bridge back to how it was prior to a few weeks ago.

Pre-construction and pre-change, at most I'd sit through one red light cycle coming in from Maryland. When they changed it a few weeks ago, Md drivers started sitting through several red lights.

With two lanes now turning onto Canal from Chain Bridge (VA) in the morning, I assumed they'd switch the lights back, but that does not appear to be the case.

Posted by: amw2d2 | May 26, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I kind of like the construction traffic light timings better. The construction timings were better for reverse commuters like myself.

When the light on inbound Glebe has the green arrow, that means 123 also has a green to turn into the center lane, which means all outbound traffic is held up. Outbound traffic only gets a very short green. During construction when there wasn't that arrow from Glebe, they had to stop 123 traffic and provide Glebe with a green light. When Glebe had its green, the outbound side had a green as well. So outbound got more green time as a result.

Posted by: thetan | May 26, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I like how it is now. My commute just got shortened by 10 minutes :) That's between a 25-33% reduction.

Posted by: jiji1 | May 26, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I agree with pooooop423.

I have not seen any evidence of repaving of the bridge.

Doc, can you shed light on this?

Posted by: jiji1 | May 26, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

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