Major tie-ups likely from work on Capital Beltway this weekend

July 14, 2005|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Motorists on the outer loop of the Capital Beltway will likely see major tie-ups near the Maryland-Virginia border this weekend while construction workers shift the interstate for construction on the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

Traffic engineers predicted that the closed lanes and detours could cause delays of up to 90 minutes and backups for as long as 15 miles. The changes will take place from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. The Beltway's outer loop will be reduced from three lanes to one between Route 1 and the Wilson Bridge. Closures will include ramps from the outer loop to Route 1.

The worst traffic jams will likely occur just south of the Beltway, where cars headed north toward Baltimore will be diverted west on the Beltway.

"We're telling all folks to stay away if they can," said John Undeland, a Wilson Bridge project spokesman.

The 11-year, $2.43 billion project is in its fifth year of construction. In two to four weeks, officials will reduce lanes and have similar closures on the inner-loop side.

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