The State Highway Administration is planning to open a new elongated merge lane along westbound Interstate 695 to improve driver safety at the York Road exit.
The enhancement will allow drivers to appropriately build speed when coming off the exit, while affording enough time for commuters to decelerate when exiting the highway, according to an administration official.
From a release:
"Weather permitting, crews will change the traffic pattern Thursday evening, May 3 and the new lane will be open to traffic by 5 a.m. Friday, May 4. Crews will close one lane along the outer loop of the Beltway beginning at 8 p.m. and two lanes beginning at 10 p.m. In case of inclement weather, crews will open the new lane during daytime hours Monday, May 7."
Plans for the merge lane have been in place for years and are not being implemented as a result of a accident three weeks ago.
"The new lane is part of the State’s $38 million and make safety and operational improvements throughout the interchange area," according to the release. "The project began in winter 2009 and will be complete late summer, weather permitting."