The Commonwealth Transportation Board recently was updated on a study of traffic demand for the American Legion Bridge corridor, a joint effort of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation and the Maryland Department of Transportation.
The study aims to identify a range of current and future multimodal solutions that can be implemented to reduce congestion while improving trip reliability and regional connections.
The study is being conducted in concert with related studies undertaken by the Virginia and Maryland state governments. Draft recommendations are expected to be available mid-November for public input, and the final report is scheduled to be complete in January.
The study also is looking at the potential ridership levels and associated costs of connecting the Virginia and Maryland sides of the bridge through transit (bus) service. The highest-scoring option in the draft report is a link between Dunn Loring and Bethesda via Tysons.
American Legion Bridge, which opened for vehicular traffic in 1962, provides the only direct connection between the region’s two most populous counties, Fairfax County in Virginia and Montgomery County in Maryland. The 1965 traffic average of 48,000 vehicles daily has grown to about 235,000 vehicles (pre-pandemic), and is expected to rise to 280,000 vehicles per day by 2040.
Last year, the governors of Virginia and Maryland agreed to rebuild the bridge in an effort to relieve congestion and provide options for bicyclists and pedestrians across that stretch of the Potomac River.
Information can be found at www.drpt.virginia.gov.
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