New traffic pattern planned for Beltway bridge work
Posted by WTOP/Dave Dildine
May 6, 2019
One of several big bridge projects on the Capital Beltway is shifting into high gear, and drivers will soon be shifted to the right around it.
During nighttime hours this week, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration will begin carving out a long-term work zone on the median strip of the Beltway near Md. Route 214, Central Avenue in Largo. When they're finished, drivers on both loops of the Beltway will be gradually shifted to the right.
The Highway Administration expects up to three lanes to be blocked on the Beltway from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. weeknights through the middle of the month. Multiple lane closures are not expected to occur before 10 p.m.
"It's going to take about a week and a half to two weeks to complete that entire shift," said SHA's Charlie Gischlar.
Crews will begin work on the Inner Loop and then turn their attention to the Outer Loop. The work area on the median strip will be used for the $26 million replacement of a pair of bridges that carry Interstate 495 above Central Avenue, a project underway since last year.
The new traffic pattern will "enable the crews to begin demolition of the existing structure — the old structure — near the median strip," Gischlar said.
The existing Central Avenue bridges were built in 1963, then widened in 1971, and are now structurally deficient. Work to replace several older Beltway bridges in Prince George’s County is ongoing, including the overpasses above Suitland Road and Suitland Parkway.