As early as this week, work crews will begin replacing the existing Georgetown Pike Beltway Bridge, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officials said. The work is part of the I-495 Express Lanes Northern Extension (495 NEXT) Project, which will extend Express Lanes from the Dulles Access Road to the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
Initially, the center median of the Georgetown Pike Bridge will be demolished and a temporary traffic barrier installed along the westbound shoulder. Temporary traffic signals will be installed to enable the removal of the existing signals. East- and westbound traffic on Georgetown Pike then will be shifted south on the existing bridge.
Following the traffic shift, crews in mid-July will demolish the northern portion of the bridge to enable construction of the center pier of the replacement bridge and subsequently the remainder of the new bridge, which will be longer in order to span the future, wider Beltway.
Drivers and residents can expect:
• Specialized equipment will be used to demolish the bridge, including excavators fitted with hammers, saws and hydraulic jaws. While every effort will be made to control noise, some demolition is unavoidably noisy and must be performed during nighttime hours when Beltway traffic below the bridge is lightest and necessary lane closures can occur.
• Overnight triple- and double-lane closures on the Beltway and periodic stoppages of all lanes for brief intervals will be necessary to ensure the work is performed safely. Virginia State Police will implement periodic shutdowns of all lanes for up to 30 minutes. Traffic will be cleared before subsequent shutdowns take place.
• Officials expect this demolition to take about three weeks, but it is reliant on weather and other factors. VDOT will share updates with the public as the work progresses.
• The Georgetown Pike Bridge work also will require periodic lane closures during non-peak travel periods (midday and overnight hours). Travelers approaching the Georgetown Pike Bridge should use caution, pay attention to roadway signs approaching and in the work zone, anticipate delays and plan trips accordingly.
When completed, the reconfigured Georgetown Pike interchange will provide several improvements over the existing interchange, including:
• A channelized, free-flow right turn from westbound Georgetown Pike to northbound I-495.
• An on-ramp to northbound I-495 that will provide increased merge distance.
• A wider Georgetown Pike Bridge that will include a 6-foot-wide sidewalk and a trail connection to Scotts Run Nature Preserve.
Visit 495NEXT.org for the latest construction and lane-closure information.