Construction aims to smooth car, bike travel through Boundary Channel Drive maze

If your travels have taken you near the Pentagon in Virginia, you’ve seen highway signs for Boundary Channel Drive — and on Wednesday, construction begins to make the current maze of cloverleaf interchanges easier and safer to navigate for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.

A morning groundbreaking of the Boundary Channel Drive at I-395 Interchange Improvement  project aims to reduce vehicle congestion on ramps on and off the highway, and improve options for non-car travel in the area that’s within walking distance to the new Amazon HQ2 and Pentagon City.

The project’s location at Boundary Channel Drive and I-395, just east of the Pentagon. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy VDOT)

The current ramps that dump drivers on Boundary Channel Drive will be replaced by roundabouts on either side of Interstate 395. The road itself — Boundary Channel Drive — will be reduced from four lanes to two.

Sidewalks in the area will be improved, a shared-use path will be built along the westbound side, and tie into the Mount Vernon Trail within National Park Service property.

West of I-395, Boundary Channel Drive passes the Pentagon Lagoon Yacht Basin and follows the Boundary Channel, and provides access to the larger Washington Boulevard, also known as Va. Route 27, as well as Va. Route 110, also known as Richmond Highway.

The regional project, coordinated by the Virginia Department of Transportation with Arlington County and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, is expected to be completed by late 2023.

NVTA, which focuses on regional commuter projects, invested more than $4.3 million to fund the project.

By the time it’s completed, some of the existing on-and-off ramps with I-395 will be closed and removed.

The groundbreaking ceremony will be held at the Long Bridge Aquatics and Fitness Center on Long Bridge Drive, located east of I-395. The eastern roundabout will connect Long Bridge Drive to Boundary Channel Drive.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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