County leaders: Study shoulder traffic for bridge

WASHINGTON – Leaders of two counties used to competing with each other are joining forces to push for an unusual traffic solution.

Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova each have sent letters to their respective state highway administrations asking that they look into allowing traffic on the shoulders approaching the American Legion Bridge and on the bridge itself.

The often-bottlenecked bridge, which turns 50 this year, spans the Potomac River to connect Maryland and Virginia. Berliner says a possible solution could be allowing shoulder traffic “about two miles, if you will, south to four or five miles north of the American Legion Bridge going to 270.”

“Use the shoulders, come up with a plan so that we don’t have this terrible gridlock any longer,” Berliner says.

Berliner says he thinks the shoulders possibly could be used for dedicated bus lanes or High-Occupancy Vehicle lanes, and that any resulting safety concerns can be addressed.

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