Drivers Pleased With New Telegraph Road Interchange

Commuters say they are already reaping the benefits of a major road project completed Thursday.

Drivers are saving several minutes on the Beltway at the Telegraph Road interchange.

Stefan Galatis, an elevator mechanic who has been driving through that part of the area for years, said it’s a completely different experience now.
"It used to take 20 to 30 minutes at 8 o’clock in the morning to go 1.7 miles,” he said. “It was ridiculous. And now I can make it in about seven or eight minutes."

Commuter Cherean Hinckley commended the signage that makes the interchange easy to navigate.

The project was part of the overall Wilson Bridge Project that connects Virginia and Maryland. The old Wilson Bridge was so hated that a commuter was selected to push the button to detonate it.

Now, a brand new bridge and brand new interchange make the ride smoother. The project also widened about 2-and-a-half miles of the Beltway as well.

Leaders from around the area attended Thursday’s ribbon-cutting.

"Finally, the entire project is done,” Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton said. “It's been 12 to 13 years between when it was approved to finally being done."

As transportation chief for Virginia, Connaughton can't help notice how much is happening on the Virginia side of the Potomac. He's calling on Maryland leaders to step up their transportation game.

"I think at one point almost 80 percent of the transportation projects in the region were going on here in northern Virginia, and actually the majority of what was left was going on in the District of Columbia," he said.

Connaughton said he's working on scheduling a meeting with Maryland leaders to talk about transportation needs.

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