Major construction is about to begin on a section of the Capital Beltway. The road project will affect drivers heading from Northern Virginia into Maryland, and it's predicted to worsen backups at one of the region's biggest chokepoints.
The project will involve the closure of the left lane of the Capital Beltway's Inner Loop, from the end of the Dulles Toll Road to the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
That lane is also known as the green arrow/red X lane, which is activated during peak travel times to help with congestion. However, the lane is being closed this week permanently as part of the $660 million 495 Next project, which will extend existing Express Lanes another 2.5 miles to the GW Parkway.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) says the closure is necessary to make space in the center of the Beltway for the safety of workers constructing new bridges that will eventually widen the Beltway over Old Dominion Drive, Georgetown Pike and Live Oak Drive.
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Periodic closures will be required to complete this work. Although these lane closures will be during off-peak times, VDOT recommends that drivers give themselves a little extra time and plan accordingly.