Lanes to close for reconstruction on Capital Beltway Outer Loop

| 2/15/2007

Traffic on the Capital Beltway Outer Loop in the Washington, DC, area, will be disrupted this weekend as construction crews continue work on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge project.

The bridge itself is being expanded and interchanges are being added in Maryland and Virginia.

The far right lane at the south end of the Capital Beltway Outer Loop - part of Interstate 95 North - will be closed at the Route 1 interchange beginning at 9 p.m. Feb. 16, 17 and 18. The lane will reopen at 8 a.m. each day.

While this is going on, the construction team could completely stop all lanes of traffic for periods of up to 40 minutes at a time between midnight and 5 a.m. for cranes to move steel beams across the roadway.

The southbound ramp from Route 1 to the outer loop will also be closed nightly at 8 p.m. on the specified nights.

Northbound travelers on I-95 are encouraged to take U.S. 301 or the Interstate 495 North portion of the Capital Beltway Inner Loop to the American Legion Bridge. Alternate routes will be designated with signs.

The Woodrow Wilson Bridge was completed in 1961 to handle 75,000 vehicles per day. It currently handles 190,000 vehicles per day, according to the project Web site,

The reconstruction project consists of three phases costing a total of $1.9 billion. The $600 million bridge phase calls for two new 6,000-foot span bridges at a total width of 257 feet.

Design expenses and work to ramps are projected to cost $300 million, while four interchanges incorporated into the project are projected at $1 billion.