McLEAN, Va. (AP) — Drivers approaching the Capital Beltway from the Dulles Toll Road will confront a new traffic pattern Monday that planners hope will ease congestion.

The improvement plan is slightly counter-intuitive: reducing the available lanes from six to five.

Virginia Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Titunik says that taking away the sixth lane on the left side of the highway will force motorists to commit earlier to the lanes they will use. As the toll road ends, drivers must exit onto either a connector to Interstate 66 or the Capital Beltway.

The six lanes shrink down to five under the previous configuration anyway. The new configuration, debuting Monday, simply cuts back from six to five lanes a little sooner.

Titunik says VDOT will monitor the change to see if it’s effective.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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