Thursday, August 20, 2009

Eisenhower Connector to Reopen to Bicycle Traffic

We just received this notice that the Eisenhower Connector, which is a popular bicycle connection across the Beltway, will reopen to bicycle traffic this weekend:

Eisenhower Connector to Reopen to Traffic, Bicyclists and Pedestrians the Weekend of Aug. 21-23 - All Changes to Take Effect for Morning Rush Hour, Mon. Aug. 24

ALEXANDRIA - All traffic access will be restored between the Eisenhower Connector and the Outer Loop of the Capital Beltway Interstate 95/495 over the weekend of Aug. 21-23. The Eisenhower Connector was closed in July 2009 for deck replacement work in support of the widening of the I-95/495 Beltway as part of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project.

Work to reopen the area will be completed in two stages. Starting on Fri., Aug. 21 at 10 p.m. lanes will be narrowed down to one lane and will remain closed overnight to prepare lanes for reopening. All three lanes of the Outer Loop of the Beltway will be restored by 12 p.m., Sat. Aug. 22. Motorists are encouraged to choose alternate routes when traveling I-95/495 during the overnight switch to avoid expected delays.

Construction crews will work throughout the weekend to restore service to and from the Connector as well as the bike and pedestrian path between Clermont Drive and Eisenhower Avenue. Traffic movements to and from the Connector and Outer Loop of the Beltway will open by 5 a.m. Mon., Aug. 24, in time for the morning commute. The bike and pedestrian path will reopen to residents needing to access the Eisenhower Valley from south of the Beltway by this time.

The earlier closure of the exit ramp from the Inner Loop to the Connector is scheduled to remain in place into October, when the new Inner Loop Local lanes will be completed and all Inner Loop traffic shifted over to the new lanes west of the Beltway Bridge over Cameron Run.


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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dr. Gridlock discusses Eisenhower Connector closure

As we noted back in June, VDOT planned to close the Eisenhower bike connection at Clermont Drive in early July. The WashCycle pointed out that Dr. Gridlock recently discussed some of the frustrations being encountered by cyclists who use the connector.

There are very few alternatives for cyclists in this area. Using Van Dorn St involves a long detour for cyclists riding north-south near Route 1 who use the connector to avoid Telegraph or Route 1. There are very few good Beltway crossings for bicyclists in this area and it's unacceptable that VDOT isn't doing more to provide temporary alternatives for those who use the Eisenhower connection. To complain, write to Bryan Johnson of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge project.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Clermont Connector to Eisenhower Ave closed July 6

We just learned that the Eisenhower Avenue Connector will be closed on July 6 through September. As part of the deck replacement work on the Beltway, the bicycle connection from Clermont Dr to Eisenhower Avenue will also be closed to cyclists. We are trying to find out more information about the closing and any proposed detours for cyclists. Read the Eisenhower Avenue Connector closure press release. See our blog entry about an earlier closing last September.

Last year we met with Woodrow Wilson Bridge staff to discuss the closing, originally planned for last year. We did not think the detour that was proposed for cyclists was adequate. It used a 4-foot sidewalk along Franconia Road that was overgrown with weeds and crossed many driveway entrances. There has been no discussion about the proposed detour since that time.

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