May 17, 2009

A few WWB-related notes

As a few of you may know, I live very close to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge (I-95/I-495/DC Beltway across the Potomac). I've been more or less watching the progress on the bridge project, and the related interchange and Beltway reconstruction projects on either end, since I moved here. Especially since I use the WWB every day on my commute. It's been neat to watch the progress on both the bridge (seeing the new Thru Lanes open back in December) and the approaches on either end (moreso on the Virginia side, as most of the Maryland-side ramps were already built when I moved here).

Anyway, here's a few notes from over the past week:

A few items of note lately with the projects related to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge:

- Early last week (around Monday the 11th, give or take a day), the ramp from SB US 1 to the Outer Loop Thru Lanes opened.

- Around that same time, the configuration of the Outer Loop Local Lanes was changed slightly, to where the 3rd lane going across the bridge begins with the on-ramp from NB US 1. Not sure if this is a temporary or permanent looks temporary given that the right shoulder at that merge point (NB US 1 ramp onto the Local Lanes) is blocked off for some sort of work.

- On Friday, the right lane on NB US 1, before the ramp to access the Beltway, was reopened. It had been closed for the past 2 months.

- The new ramps from the Outer Loop to Telegraph Rd/Kings Hwy/Huntington Ave are progressing nicely. Paving of the approaches is now underway as well. According to the project website, these ramps are supposed to open by the end of this month (and will make my drive home from Springfield or points west a little easier).

- Permanent pavement and striping is in progress in some areas (except for the Thru Lanes themselves, most road surfaces through the project area have been old pavement/temproary pavement/base pavement, and not the permanent top layer). Areas that have had permanent pavement and striping added lately include the loop ramp from the Inner Loop to SB US 1, the Inner Loop just prior to the Thru/Local Lanes split (east of MD 210). Judging from the bridge-approach milling I've seen, permanent pavement for the Inner Loop Local Lanes in Maryland is in progress.

- The bike/ped path on the north side of the WWB is set to open on June 6. I have duty that weekend, but still intend to check out the trail one of those afternoons (Saturday the 6th or Sunday the 7th). I also intend to host a "meet" of fellow road/highway hobbyists after the trail opens, as it'd make a great vantage point for touring the WWB.

- No word yet on when the path connection to US 1 will open (it's being "unofficially used" already). The WWB website currently says "Late Spring 2009", but we're already into late spring, so who knows...