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New Beltway bridge opening

The Capital Beltway's outer loop is scheduled to shift onto a new bridge over Route 123 in Tysons Corner next week, as the HOT lanes project advances another step. The Beltway traffic shift, set for Wednesday night, will be followed eight days later by a full weekend closing of Route 123 to demolish the old outer loop bridge.

More and more during 2010, the lane and ramp closings that drivers have experienced since the High Occupancy Toll lane project began will evolve into new bridge and overpass openings. Bridge work is underway at 12 Beltway interchanges between the Springfield interchange and just north of the Dulles Toll Road. The HOT lanes project, which will add four tolled lanes to the Beltway, is on schedule for completion in late 2012 or early 2013.

The shift of traffic on the outer loop in Tysons Corner is scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and be done by 5 a.m. Thursday. Drivers will shift to the right as they approach the Route 123 interchange on Interstate 495 south. Exit ramps to Route 123 north and south have been realigned. As motorists pass the Route 123 interchange, they will shift back to the current lane configuration.

Weekend closing
The complete shutdown of Route 123 under the Beltway to demolish the old outer loop bridge is scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 11, and continue til 5 a.m. Monday, June 14. This will be interesting. Detours will be set up to move traffic in and out of this very busy commercial area throughout the weekend.

Motorists leaving the Tysons Corner shopping areas will be directed to Route 7. McLean traffic heading into Tysons will be directed to use Georgetown Pike (Route 193). If you're planning on shopping that weekend, expect delays. If it's just an area that you would be passing through, consider another route. Traffic is likely to be slow on the outer loop as well as on the roads within Tysons.

Another new bridge
Once the old Beltway bridge is gone, workers will start building another new one for the inner loop, as well as the new connections into Tysons Corner at Westpark Drive. Meanwhile, construction will be underway on the piers and guideway that will take the Dulles Metrorail line over the Beltway.

By Robert Thomson  |  May 28, 2010; 6:30 AM ET
Categories:  Construction , Driving , highways  | Tags: Capital Beltway, Dr. Gridlock, HOT lanes  
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