Accidents near Legion Bridge make for bad commutes along Beltway

Tuesday’s morning and evening commutes were a bit too eventful for local commuters who rely on the American Legion Bridge.

Early Tuesday, the bridge became a “skating rink” as multiple vehicles spun out or crashed on slick pavement — causing backups on the Outer Loop.



WTOP Traffic reporter Rich Hunter said he watched traffic cameras as the crashes occurred just after 4:20 a.m. “The bridge turned into a skating rink,” Hunter said. “There were cars scattered all over the bridge.”

At least four cars and two tractor-trailers were involved in the crashes.

Ice was not responsible. Diesel fuel was, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration.

Right after the crashes, traffic was narrowed to a single lane on the bridge, then the Outer Loop at the bridge was completely closed as crews began cleanup.

The bridge fully reopened just before 8:30 a.m.

Then late Tuesday afternoon, drivers who commute across the American Legion Bridge had another headache: A truck crash on the Inner Loop at Georgetown Pike in McLean blocked all but the far right lane for over three hours.

The crash happened around 4 p.m. and involved a box truck and a tractor trailer. It resulted in a large fuel spill. That diesel spill cleanup and a crash investigation took hours. Traffic was backed up for more than 6 miles, to near Arlington Boulevard.

All lanes reopened on the Inner Loop just after 7 p.m.

In addition, a series of crashes near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge lead to prolonged delays thru Alexandria on the Outer Loop.

Dave Dildine

A native to the Washington area, Dave Dildine is no stranger to the region's complex traffic and weather patterns. Dave joined WTOP in 2010 when the station launched its very own in-house traffic service. You can hear him "on the 8s and when it breaks" from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.

Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to WTOP.com in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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