County leaders call for American Legion Bridge traffic fixes

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Local,Transportation,Liz Essley

Leaders from Montgomery and Fairfax counties sent a letter to their respective states Tuesday, asking that they work together to provide room for express buses and carpools over the American Legion Bridge.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulvoa and Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner called the Beltway between Virginia's Dulles Access Road and the Interstate 270 west spur "one of the most congested highways in the Washington Metropolitan Area" and asked Virginia and Maryland to work together to make the best use of Virginia's new Beltway Express lanes by allowing buses to travel on the shoulder over the American Legion Bridge and into Maryland, or by allowing carpoolers onto the shoulder during rush hours.

"Our concern is that with the Beltway High Occupancy Toll [HOT] lanes scheduled to open soon, there are no plans to provide a connection on the Beltway between the northern terminus of the HOT lanes and the I-270 West Spur [the southern terminus of the I-270 HOV lanes]," the two leaders wrote. "Lacking that connection will leave a 7-mile gap with no priority for buses, carpools and vanpools. In order to maximize the potential of the existing HOV lanes and imminent HOT lanes, we request that the two [departments of transportation] work together to provide a plan for connectivity for this 7-mile segment that would go into operation as soon as practical."

Elected officials from both counties met this summer to discuss what to do about traffic on the bridge. Maryland officials are completing a study on what to do about the congestion.

lessley@washingtonexaminer.com

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