Weekend repairs on Va. Beltway
Emergency repairs on a Capital Beltway bridge over Cameron Run are scheduled for this weekend, and the work is likely to back up traffic for miles on the inner loop at Virginia's Telegraph Road interchange.
The Woodrow Wilson Bridge project, which is rebuilding the interchange, announced the repair plan for the aging bridge on Wednesday. Workers have been making frequent repairs to potholes that keep appearing on the bridge, because the subsurface pavement is failing. The Beltway bridge, built in 1961, is scheduled for replacement later this year as part of the project, but engineers decided a major repair now was unavoidable.
So if the weekend weather allows, workers will tear out the degraded concrete and pour 500 to 600 square feet of new concrete around underlying steel to strengthen and stabilize the bridge. Only the left lane will be open. Ramps from Telegraph Road to the inner loop also will be closed.
It isn't worth watching. Stay away this weekend from that portion of the inner loop, which is just west of the Wilson Bridge. Workers plan to narrow the inner loop to a single lane from 9 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday.
Project managers, who have plenty of experience with the consequences of narrowing the Beltway, said that even if 40 percent of weekend travelers avoid the area, backups could reach 10 to 15 miles, which would stop inner loop traffic across the Wilson Bridge and into Prince George's County. Delays could extend to 90 minutes.
For long-distance travelers heading south, the best option is to swing around to the western side of the Beltway and cross the American Legion Bridge.
During the work, inner loop traffic will be narrowed to one lane just after the exit for Pershing Avenue/northbound Telegraph Road. The Beltway will be back to three lanes again before the Eisenhower Connector.
These are the detours for the ramp closings:
Telegraph Road south ramp to inner loop. From southbound Telegraph Road, take Mill Road to right on Eisenhower Avenue to left on the Eisenhower Avenue Connector to the ramp onto the inner loop.
Telegraph Road north ramp to inner loop. From northbound Telegraph Road, take Pershing Avenue to right on Stovall Street to right on Eisenhower Avenue to left on the Eisenhower Avenue Connector to the ramp onto the inner loop.
May 19, 2010; 12:55 PM ET
Categories: Congestion , Construction , Driving , Wilson Bridge | Tags: Beltway delays, Dr. Gridlock
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