Mike Salmon 703-383-2850
Sept. 18, 2009
VDOT ADDRESSING RECENT BACKUPS AT I-66 AND BELTWAY
New traffic pattern in effect until 2011
ALEXANDRIA—The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is adjusting sign and pavement markings on the ramps from eastbound I-66 to northbound I-495, in an effort to ease backups caused this week by a recent traffic shift through the Beltway HOT lanes work zone.
The new traffic shift, which will remain in place until 2011, requires the HOV lane and regular lane to merge into one lane on the ramp to I-495. Previously the HOV lane and regular lane merged onto the outer loop of the Beltway in separate lanes.
Since the shift was put in place on Monday, average travel times on I-66 between Route 50 and the Beltway between 7 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. have increased from 20 minutes to 43 minutes. “That’s unacceptable and we are working to make it less painful for motorists,” said VDOT project manager Larry Cloyed.
VDOT will add yield signs on the ramp and re-stripe the pavement where the lanes merge. The merge will switch so that HOV traffic (about 400 vehicles per hour) will now yield to traffic in the regular lane (about 2,000 vehicles per hour). In addition, message signs on I-66 will alert HOV traffic heading to Tysons Corner that continuing east on I-66 to Route 7 is an alternate route.
Tonight, Sept. 18, both the I-66 east left HOV exit ramp and the right general-purpose exit ramp to I-495 north will be closed from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. to adjust sign and pavement markings. Detours will be in place. Both exit ramps will reopen to motorists by 2 a.m. Saturday morning.
For more information on the Capital Beltway HOT Lanes project, visit www.vamegaprojects.com.
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