Fairfax, Montgomery counties push for HOT lanes on American Legion Bridge

May 30, 2023 | Two big counties back Beltway traffic changes -- but will they happen? (WTOP's Max Smith reports)

ROCKVILLE, Md.– Nothing unites competing counties like commiserating over gridlock.

Fairfax and Montgomery County leaders often compete to attract businesses and federal agencies, but lawmakers in both counties have united to push for a solution to the traffic jams that turn the American Legion Bridge into a parking lot.

Montgomery County Council member Roger Berliner,  Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chairman Sharon Bulova and the members of their bodies have signed a letter addressed to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, as well as  their respective secretaries of transportation, urging them to focus on updating the American Legion Bridge.

Bulova and Berliner agree that the focus on a future second Potomac River crossing won’t eliminate the need to fix the congestion on the American Legion Bridge. Bulova tells WTOP, “Whether people are looking at a second bridge crossing or not, somewhere, something needs to be done about the American Legion Bridge.”

Berliner says the message to transportation officials is, in part, “Don’t spend your time and energy thinking about a second crossing — let’s fix the first crossing!”

Right now, Berliner says the congestion on the bridge is nothing short of disastrous.

“It is destroying our economy, our environment and our quality of life” says Berliner.

Bulova says adding HOV (high occupancy vehicle) and HOT (high occupancy/toll) lanes on the Maryland side could dovetail with what has already been done on the Virginia side of the bridge. Berliner agrees.

“We’re suggesting two HOT lanes, which would include rapid transit vehicles, which would move more people easier and faster and solve this choke point.”

WTOP reporters Kate Ryan and Max Smith contributed to this report.

Montgomery-Fairfax American Legion Bridge Letter

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