Capital Beltway problems: Inner Loop delays

As the rain poured down Thursday, drivers continued to find heavy delays on the Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway in Virginia and Maryland.

Around 2:30 p.m., water receded enough to allow crews to reopen the left-center lane coming out of Tysons, but it remains jammed as of 6 p.m. Thursday.

Thursday is day number two of a water backup and traffic backup on the Inner Loop with long delays: nearly an hour to drive from Route 123 to River Road.

The work zone is in the same area near River Road, where on Wednesday there were issues with storm drainage. Water on the highway closed the Inner Loop early Wednesday, forcing drivers headed from Virginia into Maryland to wait for the water to be cleared.

In a statement, MDOT-SHA said that flooding Thursday morning was due to a blocked pipe that crews were able to unclog.

However, “Crews have since identified another blocked pipe and are working to unclog it. Currently, the left lane remains closed as crews make repairs. Motorists should expect a single-lane closure until the situation is resolved,” MDOT-SHA said.

Over the years, there have been recurring drainage issues, especially in the low spots between the American Legion Bridge and Old Georgetown Road, WTOP Traffic reporter Dave Dildine said.

“A year ago, every storm led to deep water under Bradley Boulevard not far from this latest pipe issue,” Dildine said.

WTOP Traffic Reporter Jack Taylor said the problems were back, despite Maryland State Highway crews working on the issue.

High standing water blocked the two left lanes for hours.

“The storms did their damage. Déjà vu. It’s slow again in Tysons. Again, two days in a row of problems here,” said Taylor.

This has also backed up the northbound George Washington Parkway and you’re going to find delays along Georgetown Pike. And there are heavy delays on the Chain Bridge, as well.

Drivers on the Capital Beltway on the Outer Loop also experienced morning problems after Md. 450 due to volume after high standing water.

“You’re gonna see regional side effects, either rerouting or self-diverting Wilson Bridge Outer Loop, up river Point of Rocks 15, and a lot more inbound traffic across the Chain Bridge,” Dildine said.

For the latest road and traffic conditions, see WTOP’s traffic page or listen to updates every 10 minutes online or on the air at 103.5 FM. Download the free WTOP News app for Android and Apple phones to sign up for custom traffic and weather alerts.


THURSDAY TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 30s to mid 40s.
FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy with some passing showers. Highs upper 50s to lower 60s.
SATURDAY: Breezy and cool with a risk of showers. Highs 55 to 60.
SUNDAY: Partly sunny, breezy and cool. Highs mid- to upper 50s.
MONDAY: Partly cloudy and warmer. Highs 65 to 70.

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 in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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