New lane designed to reduce traffic Beltway traffic

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The Virginia Department of Transportation is starting on a project designed to ease traffic merging from the northern end of the 495 Express Lanes and reduce congestion for drivers headed toward the American Legion Bridge.

VDOT will spend $20 million to convert 1.5 miles of a shoulder on the Beltway into a travel lane during rush hour. The project will run from Old Dominion Drive to the George Washington Parkway Interchange.

“The additional lane will provide five travel lanes, helping traffic merge from the northern end of the I-495 Express Lanes facility to the regular Beltway and easing backups for drivers headed to the American Legion Bridge and into Maryland,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement. “This project is among several transportation improvements that will move traffic with greater ease, helping commuters get to their destinations sooner.”

The lane will only be open during afternoon peak travel times and will be lane-controlled by overhead signals.
Environmental work will begin this summer, with construction scheduled to start in mid-2014. The new lane will be open to traffic by late 2014.

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