54°Mostly Cloudy

Construction, Detours Set for New Pike Interchange

by ARLnow.com March 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm 4,690 16 Comments

Get ready for major construction on a new Washington Boulevard/Columbia Pike interchange and bridge.

Starting this spring — as soon as final regulatory approvals are issued — crews will begin work on the first of eight construction phases that will stretch through August 2015. During that first phase, a detour will be constructed, using the north interchange ramps to provide a signalized, at-grade intersection on Washington Boulevard.

That detour is expected to be used for 3 to 5 weekends per year, starting this summer, when crews need to shut down Columbia Pike for demolition of the existing Washington Boulevard bridge and construction of a pair of new spans, just east of the existing bridge. The detour will also include facilities for pedestrians.

During the week and on weekends when the detour is not in place, the project contractor has promised to keep existing travel lanes and pedestrian access open during construction, with the possible exception of one eastbound lane of the Pike.

By next fall one of the new Washington Boulevard bridge spans should be in place. We’re told that bridge will be able to carry all four lanes of Washington Boulevard in a temporary configuration while the existing bridge is torn down and the second span is built in its place.

The VDOT-led construction project is budgeted at $51.5 million, which will be paid for primarily with federal and state funds.

  • BreakPause02

    Awful timing with regard to the eastbound bridge to 50 from 10th Street N about to be demolished.

  • nom de guerre

    Let’s hope this project takes into account the possibility of the proposed streetcar project. I assume that it would go under the new bridge and would need to stay in contact with an overhead source of electricity. This might be asking for too much contingency planning.

  • DarkHeart

    They should close off Queen St access to the 395 ramp and Columbia Pike altogether.

    • Chris Slatt

      As nice as it that might be for those folks trying to get onto 27 and 395, it’d be pretty dangerous and obnoxious for the people who live back in that neighborhood. There are already only 3 streets that can get you out of there – Queen, Quinn and Rolfe and only one has a stoplight allowing you a decent shot at turn left onto the Pike.

      This plan is already sticking it to them somewhat by closing of outbound access from the Quinn St to the Pike.

  • LNE

    Is this project going to fix the approach from I-395S onto Washington Blvd in a way that will deter people from staying in the right lane (which is only for exiting on Columbia Pike northbound) and then merging over at the last minute to the left lane? That behavior causes significant backups on many evenings, esp. when the Columbia Pike S exit is clogged.

    • MC 703

      Do you mean that Northern VA drivers use a turn lane to zip around slow traffic, then cut them all off at the last second causing said slow traffic to go even slower? NO! NO!

      • Happy Endings

        Just like the new “transition” lane on I-66W between Glebe and Sycamore. The far right lane is the new Autobahn passing lane.

    • Chris Slatt

      Nope, I fully expect folks will still use it as a passing lane – but if you happen to get stuck in that right turn only lane you won’t stuck going to Pentagon City anymore – you’ll actually be able to turn right or left (or go straight onto Orme St) at the bottom of that ramp.

    • Dohler

      I have done this. Why? Because too many people SIT THERE timidly, waiting too long for every last car in the left lane to be gone–instead of nailing the gas and going, then moving left. I refuse to wait for the pusillanimous.

    • Josh S

      Yeah, even with the improved signage back on the approach warning people it’s an exit only lane, they still don’t seem to care. Should put up some of those flexible plastic stick-things to prevent lane changes within about 200 feet of the split.

  • John

    Pike was at my college they were sick.

    • Kirk


  • John Andre

    Maybe they can raise that bridge…and we can get double-decker buses on the Pike rather than the streetcar. I suspect the streetcar project could fail…due to refusal of Federal funds.

  • Those plans look nuts! The traffic must be intense.

  • Hi guys! I have recently found a construction company in Armenia offering apartments in new buildings. The prices are cheaper than I expected. Take a look http://www.has-profit.com


Subscribe to our mailing list