MERRIFIELD, Va. – It happens so often because of all the construction on our roads: A change is made to a travel pattern, and traffic becomes worse in a location.
That’s what some drivers are complaining to WTOP about, now that a new travel pattern is in place where Interstate 66 meets the Beltway as part of the Beltway Express Lanes project.
Virginia Department of Transportation crews narrowed the ramp over the weekend from the Outer Loop to I-66 west from two lanes to one. This was done so that a third travel lane could be put in place on I-66 west over the Beltway.
Shawn from Manassas writes WTOP:
“Please find what the reasoning is behind making the bottle neck on the outer loop to go west on 66! it was fine the way it was before,no slow down! now the traffic comes to a complete stop and backs up on to 495! This latest change has added 15 to 20 minutes to my already 1 hr commute, it makes no sense and is really frustrating!”
The good news is that the change on the ramp from the Outer Loop to I-66 west isn’t permanent. However, it will be there for a while.
“The lane reduction is only a temporary configuration and the second lane will be returned during this summer,” says VDOT spokesperson Jamie Breme.
Until that time, veteran WTOP Traffic Reporter Bob Marbourg has some advice for those merging on the ramp.
“A little cooperation could go a long way toward picking up the pace,” says Marbourg.