Motorists will begin driving on the first half of the Route 1/Capital Beltway overpass as early as this Sunday when crews switch all Route 1 lanes onto the new elevated roadway, according to Michelle Holland, public information, WWB Project.
The new traffic pattern should be very apparent to local drivers, as all lanes will be shifted onto a completely new overpass approximately 180 feet east of the current roadway alignment, according to the WWB Project.
Both directions of Route 1 traffic are scheduled to be transferred onto the new overpass on or about March 4, weather permitting. If weather conditions are adverse this weekend the switch will be take place the weekend of March 9.
Route 1 drivers in Alexandria should prepare for heavy traffic impacts throughout Sunday, as implementing the traffic switch will require extensive temporary ramp and lane closures at and around the affected area. These closures are necessary to mill and pave connections to and from the new Route 1 alignment and Beltway ramps, complete paving and striping work, and relocate traffic signal poles on the north and south ends of the overpasses, Project personnel said.
Travelers are urged to avoid the area by choosing alternate routes. Less severe impacts are expected to occur as early as Saturday, March 3 after 2 p.m., as new traffic patterns take effect. Extra time should be allowed to get through the Route 1 Interchange area this weekend.
Details of the altered traffic patterns are as follows:
Saturday after 2 p.m.: North bound traffic from I-95 North/Beltway Outer Loop to north bound Route 1. Motorists will exit the Outer Loop at the same location but will take a detour ramp that connects with Route 1 North, rather than using the current traffic signal to go northbound. Outer Loop to Route 1 north traffic will be the first to travel on the new Route 1 overpass. There will only be one lane open until late Sunday.
Sunday, 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. - Closures and detours:
* Southbound Rt. 1 closed immediately after Beltway ramps. Detour: I-95 South/Beltway Inner Loop to Telegraph Road South Exit to access I-95 North/Beltway Outer Loop then exit at Rt. 1 south. Access to I-95 North/Beltway Outer Loop across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge toward Maryland will remain.
* One of two lanes closed on northbound Rt.1 for the majority of Sunday.
* Ramps from northbound Rt. 1 to Beltway Outer and Inner loops: Detour - Huntington Avenue to Telegraph Road to I-95 North/Outer Loop or I-95 South/Inner Loop.
* Ramps from Inner Loop to Rt.1 North and South: Detour - Continue on I-95 South/Beltway Inner Loop to Telegraph Road Exit to access Inner Loop and exit onto Rt.1 North or South.
* Franklin Street between Henry Street and Route 1. Detour: Fayette to Wilkes to Route 1.
* Westbound Ft. Hunt Road between Huntington Avenue and Rt. 1. Detour: Huntington Avenue West to Route 1.
Ramps and roadway closures will be reopened gradually on Sunday with everything open no later than 10 p.m.