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First Monroe Ave. Bridge Span To Open Sunday

This Sunday, Dec.2, the first new span of the Route 1/Monroe Avenue Bridge will open to traffic. The three-lane span will include a reversible center lane to accommodate morning and evening rush hour traffic, according to Potomac Yard Development, LLC and Shirley Contracting.

"The opening of the new span will allow us to begin demolition of the old bridge and continue with the construction of the second span of the new bridge. If all goes according to schedule, the second span will open at this time next year," said Kevin Hall, land development manager for PYD.

That center lane will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night to avoid any miscalculations in late night traffic flow, according to Bruce McLeod, public relations for PYD. "This opening will also allow Slaters Lane to be reopened to traffic in approximately two weeks," McLeod said. During this weekend, evening and night work may be conducted to prepare for the Dec.2 opening.

Several traffic and pedestrian pattern changes will take place as a result of the opening. Motorists and pedestrians will see the following changes after the switch.

For Route 1 Motorists:

- Northbound and southbound traffic will be utilizing the new span beginning mid-day Sunday, Dec.2.

- Southbound motorists accessing Del Ray can turn right on Monroe Ave. utilizing the old Rt.1 road alignment

- Northbound motorists accessing Del Ray will turn left on either Wythe St. to Braddock Road then right on Mt. Vernon Ave. or turn left on East Glebe Road, left on Commonwealth Ave., and left on Mt. Vernon Ave.

- The reversible center lane will be open to northbound traffic on weekdays from 5 a.m. to noon and southbound traffic on weekdays from noon to 10 p.m. On weekends, it will be closed to northbound traffic but open to southbound traffic from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. It will be closed to all traffic both weekdays and weekends from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

For Slaters Lane:

- It will open to northbound Rt. 1 traffic on or about Dec. 17. It will remain closed to southbound Rt. 1 traffic

- The slip ramp from Slaters Lane to southbound Rt.1 will be closed during the next phase of construction

From Del Ray:

- Monroe Avenue Rt. 1 access north and south will be closed during next phase of construction when coming from Del Ray. Access to and from Rt. 1 from Howell and Bellefonte avenues will be closed during next phase of construction

- Motorists wanting to access Rt. 1 can turn right from Windsor Avenue to southbound Rt. 1. Windsor Avenue will remain a right in/right out access point to Rt. 1

For Pedestrian Walkways:

- Old bridge will be open to pedestrians for approximately two weeks after its closing

- A signalized pedestrian crosswalk will be provided across Rt. 1 at Custis Ave., at the intersection of the new bridge and Howell Ave. and at First St.

- A walkway will be provided on the south side of Slaters Lane to Rt. 1. Pedestrians needing to access the west side of Rt. 1 will need to cross at either First St. or Howell Ave.

- Pedestrian can access Del Ray via Windsor Avenue or along the old Rt. 1 alignment to Monroe Ave.

For additional information go to www.potomacyardalexandria.com.

<1b>— Chuck Hagee