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Virginia plans to expand the 495 Express Lanes north to the American Legion Bridge.
Virginia plans to expand the 495 Express Lanes north to the American Legion Bridge. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

The governors of Maryland and Virginia have announced plans to rebuild and widen the American Legion Bridge, which connects the two states.

Govs. Larry Hogan and Ralph Northam made the announcement Tuesday at the Capital Region Transportation Forum in Washington.

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The project will replace the existing lanes in each direction across the Potomac River. It also will add two new express lanes in each direction for about three miles, between the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia to the vicinity of River Road in Maryland.

New bicycle and pedestrian access will connect trails on both sides of the Potomac River.

Officials say the bridge has been operating beyond capacity for nearly four decades. Daily traffic has grown 390 percent since it opened in 1962, with 235,000 vehicles using it daily.

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