Moving Through the Braddock District
Safety is Paramount in HOT Lanes Construction Zones
When the Capital Beltway HOT Lanes open in late 2012, they will provide commuters with options for a faster, more reliable trip. In the short-term, however, the 14-mile HOT Lanes corridor is an active work zone and leaves little room for driver error. Approximately 210,000 individuals drive on the Capital Beltway each day – and more than half do so while distracted by cell phones. According to a recent survey conducted by Transurban-Fluor and AAA Mid-Atlantic, 56 percent, or 117,600 Beltway drivers, use their cell phone to make calls or read/write text messages. In fact, one-third of all Beltway drivers admit to using their cell phones while driving “most times.”
Everyone knows what an accident on the Beltway will do to the rush hour. More important, however, we all need to be proactive about assuring the safety of our fellow motorists. To combat this problem, Transurban-Fluor and AAA have launched an “Orange Cones. No Phones” Campaign to Promote Safe Driving. More information on the campaign can be found at: http://www.virginiahotlanes.com/beltway-distracted-driving-campaign.asp
“Virginia has taken great strides in improving highway safety and reducing the number of traffic fatalities year-after-year, but distracted driving is reaching a critical level,” said Pierce R. Homer, Virginia Secretary of Transportation. “Driving while distracted is a recipe for disaster – especially in construction zones.”
The Transurban-Fluor and AAA report is based upon a survey of 1,047 drivers who travel the Virginia side of the Capital Beltway. That survey data reveals that the chance of an incident or near miss doubles when the driver is using a cell phone compared to the chance of an incident or near miss for a non-cell phone user (24 percent vs. 11 percent).
UPDATE on HOT Lanes Construction
Braddock Road – Over the next two months the project should complete its bridge substructure, and by mid November workers anticipate placing steel beams for the westbound lanes of the new Braddock Road Bridge configuration. Ongoing work after the steel goes up will entail multiple lane closures during the night, stretching through to mid to late December. Construction activities will most likely include placing concrete on the new bridge due to lower temperatures inherent with the winter months. Traffic will not be switched over until spring, 2010, so traffic patterns will remain the same for the foreseeable future.
Fluor will also begin preliminary construction on the new HOT Lanes bridge which will accommodate traffic to and from the HOT Lanes to Braddock Road. This bridge will not impact travel this year.
A new waterline is currently being installed on the south side of Braddock Road, which will require a few ramp closures at night to allow installation of the line across these lanes
Little River Turnpike – Structural steel placement will soon be complete at Little River Turnpike and work on the deck will follow right behind. There will be multiple lane closures during the night for about another 30-45 days. Fluor is planning to pour the deck for the new bridge right at the tail end of this time period which could allow a switch in traffic during the month of January.
The traffic currently on the eastbound lanes will be shifted onto the new bridge and the traffic currently on the westbound lanes will be shifted onto the existing Eastbound bridge.
Fluor is also beginning construction of the new off-ramp from I-495 southbound to Little River Turnpike westbound. They do not anticipate placing structural steel on this new bridge for several months. The concrete pour for the bridge deck will not occur this year and traffic will be switched onto this bridge in spring of 2010.
Major Changes Coming to Route 7/Route 123 Interchange in Tysons
Drivers in Tysons Corner will soon face significant changes near the Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) and Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) intersections on or about Thursday, Oct. 15. Lanes will shift, and the access ramp from westbound Route 7 to southbound Route 123 will be relocated. Drivers using westbound Route 7 will see the right lane now being used to access the ramp to southbound Route 123 disappear. The ramp entrance is being moved approximately 120 feet west of its current location, and the new configuration will require drivers to make a much sharper right turn from a traffic lane to enter the southbound ramp.
Signs will be in place along Route 7 to alert drivers of the loss of the turn lane and the location of the new turn.
In preparation for these changes, drivers can expect lane shifts in both directions of
Route 7 between Route 123 and Marshall’s Drive. Paving and shifts of the eastbound lanes are expected to be complete by Thursday, Oct. 8. No work will be done between noon Friday, Oct. 9, and noon Tuesday, Oct. 13, because of the Columbus Day holiday.These shifts support the construction of the future Tysons Central 7 station in the median of Route 7 and accompanying tunnel work. A visual link to this shift can be found at: www.dullesmetro.com
Olley Lane Paving Scheduled
VDOT has announced that repaving of Olley Lane will begin on October 12 and continue through November 13 weather permitting. As part of this work the road will be milled down 1 ½ inches before new asphalt is placed. Deteriorated roadbeds at the bridge over Long Branch will be stabilized as part of the project according to a VDOT Maintenance spokesman.