FAIRFAX, Va. — In their latest upkeep effort for the commonwealth’s roads, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) announced that it will aimlessly move construction equipment from one side of the I-495 beltway to the other, sources confirmed Wednesday.
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The new construction initiative centers around moving the entirety of VDOT’s equipment, consisting of bulldozers, backhoe loaders, dump trucks, and hundreds of traffic cones, from the northbound lanes of I-495 in Fairfax County to the southbound lanes. According to Leonard Smith, a VDOT spokesperson, the initiative is part of the multiyear plan to help repair and maintain highways throughout Northern Virginia.
“We’re ready to begin the next step of the extensive process of maintaining the beltway,” Smith said of the plan, which consists of nothing more than manually moving construction equipment. The plan is expected to take several weeks to complete. “We understand this may cause a couple of delays and inconveniences, but it’s a necessary pain we all have to endure in order to honor taxpayer money that goes towards keeping our highways in tip-top shape.”
“Plus, with all of this equipment sitting on the northbound lanes,” Smith continued, “it’s been causing a mess on this side of the highway. This will give a small breather for motorists on the northbound side while transferring the congestion to the southbound side.”
The moving of equipment is expected to take place on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., and between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., with occasional operations taking place on weekend afternoons. Smith says that VDOT does not plan to rush this, as they want to ensure that tax dollars are being spent wisely and carefully.
To prepare for the move, VDOT also plans to reduce traffic lanes on the beltway. “The safety of our workers is our top priority, no question. So we plan on cutting out one, maybe two, lanes of the beltway to slow traffic down a bit before we haul all of this mess over.”
“Hell, we may even cut out three lanes if we’re feeling up to it,” he added.
VDOT hasn’t confirmed how long the construction equipment will sit idly on the other side of the beltway, but Smith asked motorists to consider alternative routes for their daily commutes.
“We encourage everyone to use other options until we decide to move all of this heavy equipment elsewhere,” Smith said. “Take back roads, auxiliary routes, or even Route 1 if you have to. Just give yourself an extra hour or two for your commute.”
“Trust us,” he added. “It will all be over in a couple of weeks. When have our projects ever gone over schedule?”