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VDOT’s Detours During Route 50 Interchange Project

by ARLnow.com May 16, 2011 at 9:13 am 3,797 8 Comments

Construction on the new Route 50 / Courthouse Road interchange is set to begin this month.

The project, which is expected to wrap up in 2013, will result in major improvements to what is now a rather confusing and even dangerous series of on and off-ramps. In the meantime, however, drivers will have to put up with some minor headaches as the project forces the closure of some busy routes and ramps, starting later this year.

Among the closures, according to VDOT:

  • Westbound 50 ramp to N. Courthouse Road (Winter 2011 to Spring 2012)
  • Fairfax Drive between N. Troy Street and N. Scott Street (Winter 2011 to Spring 2012)
  • Ramp from southbound 10th Street to eastbound Rt. 50 (Spring 2012 to Winter 2012/Spring 2013)
  • Ramp from eastbound Route 50 to Courthouse Road (Fall 2012 to Winter 2012/Spring 2013)

For each closure, there will be a signed detour. Some local residents have expressed concern that the detours would siphon highway traffic onto residential streets, but we’re told that transportation planners expect the impact on residential streets to be minimal.

See maps of each detour, after the jump.



View Route 50 Closure 1 in a larger map
Detour: 10th Street N. to N. Barton Street.


View Route 50 Closure 2 in a larger map
Detour: N. Scott Street to 13th Street N. to N. Troy Street.


View Route 50 Closure 3 in a larger map
Detour: Washington Blvd to N. Pershing Drive to Route 50, and N. Barton Street to N. Pershing Drive to Route 50.


View Route 50 Closure 4 in a larger map
Detour: Washington Blvd to Garfield Street to Clarendon Blvd.

  • ??

    The blue is the detour I assume, some of these go where there are no roads. This makes no sense.

  • Carolyn

    I really don’t understand these maps…

  • Thes

    I understand the maps. Red is what’s closing. Blue is the detour. Arrows would help. Also using actual compass directions instead of officialese would help. For example, at this location 10th is an east-west street, so there really is no “southbound” 10th. It’s eastbound 10th.

    (You can see on the 3rd map how Lyon Park neighborhood will receive a rain of destruction from this project as some people attempt to use Barton Street to get around the construction. If I lived there, suppose I’d go rent an apartment or hotel room for the duration.)

  • cj

    The maps need better labeling to clarify in which directions which connections will be closed. It would also be helpful to know the volume of traffic using each connection per day to get some sense of the potential impacts of the detours.

  • ArlLiver4

    Just as this is happening, I see that Arlington is adding traffic calming measures to Garfield St at Washington. The curb and sidewalk is being extended well into the street.

    Why isn’t the detour using Highland or Filmore? Both streets are wider, with longer green cycles for the North/South traffic.

  • charlie

    i don’t get any of this. is 10th street going to be closed at Route 50?

    • Novanglus

      Only eastbound.

  • SoCo Resident

    ARLNOW writes: ” we’re told that transportation planners expect the impact on residential streets to be minimal.” How could forcing the two eastbound lanes of 10th St. onto narrow N. Barton St. (900-700 blocks) for 6 solid months, 24/7, have only a “minimal” impact? N. Barton is the only totally residential street singled for this, while the Lyon Park Citizen Association refuses to protect the residents of N. Barton. When pressed at a meeting, VDOT did not have the traffic counts for these streets and could offer no methodology for these detours, As for confusion about which streets go which way, that comes from both the geographically challenged VDOT and ARLDoT which never seem to present this correctly. .
    Poor planning and poor execution assure an utter traffic nightmare!

    And, ARLNOW deleted the forum on this momentous event which will greatly disrupt the core of Arlington.

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