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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 09:06 AM ET, 07/16/2012

The week ahead for traffic, transit: high heat, heavy road work

Travelers need to watch out for more high heat in the D.C. area through Wednesday, the Capital Weather Gang says, but then a cool front may bring a little relief, along with some storms, before a dry-out for the weekend.

Commuter traffic is down somewhat in the region because of summer vacations, but your experience on a particular route may vary. Work zones continue to slow drivers on the Capital Beltway near Springfield and in Silver Spring.

There’s baseball at Nationals Park from Tuesday through Sunday. See the Going Out Guide for other outdoor and indoor activities this week. But note the road work zones and transit issues below that may slow you down.
Traffic on the Washington Beltway near White Oak, Md. (Linda Davidson)

Beltway/Springfield

On the outer loop just past Springfield, the LOCAL lane section is restricted to a single lane through the end of July for paving. The THRU lanes into Maryland are open.

On the inner loop, drivers now should find the LOCAL lanes completely open following the weekend’s final paving.

Dulles Metrorail

The last span on the Silver Line’s aerial guideway through Tysons Corner is scheduled to be finished Tuesday after a crew lowers 360 tons of pre-cast concrete segments into place along the median of the Dulles Access Highway near Route 7.

Meanwhile, stations and pedestrian access pavilions are well underway. Escalators and elevators are being installed. Furthest along is the Wiehle-Reston East station, clearly visible in the median of the highway.

Drivers will continue to encounter some lane closings along routes 7 and 123 and along the Dulles Toll Road corridor.

Midday track work

Metro announced last week that it won’t routinely schedule midday track work in the congested downtown corridor for the rest of this year.

Although the transit authority isn’t making any promises for 2013, this does represent a bit of a break in a maintenance program that requires trains to share tracks when many people are traveling between heavily used stations. But we’re still not off the hook for late-night and weekend maintenance, which disrupts rides for tens of thousands of people.

The major track work scheduled for next weekend will close the Red Line’s Bethesda and Medical Center stations.

Fairfax County Parkway extension

Both southbound lanes of the parkway ramp are now open at the Rolling Road interchange, providing congestion relief during the morning rush for motorists heading to the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and I-95. The southbound flow is no longer disrupted at this point, the final segment of the 1.8-mile parkway extension project begun in 2008.

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, a hearing will be held about widening a ramp on the other side of the parkway that has become congested. The hearing is at Rolling Valley Elementary School, 6703 Barnack Dr., Springfield.

Riggs Road/South Dakota Avenue

Conversion of this partial interchange into a more traditional intersection is almost done. The lanes are in their final configuration and some wrap-up work should be complete by the end of July.

Northwest Branch bridge

In the latest phase of the Beltway bridge reconstruction in Silver Spring, three lanes on each loop go to the left of a construction barrier and one to the right. Drivers seem to be having a bit more difficulty with the outer loop pattern, partly because some need to be in the far right lane for the University Boulevard exit.

That right lane is pretty skinny, and trucks are banned from it during this phase, which is scheduled to last until the end of July.

C&O Canal parking

Repairs continue on the retaining wall for the C&O Canal towpath, and that requires periodic closures of all parking areas across from the Old Angler’s Inn on MacArthur Boulevard, the National Park Service says.

Vehicles generally are prohibited from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily in the upper lot and the lower drop-off lot.

Limited parking is available after 5 p.m. Alternative parking is available at Carderock, which is two miles east, and at Great Falls, 2.2 miles west. The project is scheduled to be done this fall.

Metro auditions

The arts program known as MetroPerforms! will hold auditions Tuesday for singers, dancers, musicians, poets and other live performers who want to show off their talents — for free — at station entrances over the next several months.

Performances at Metro stations and on the Mall will take place from July through September.

This program has entertained passersby for several years, but for the first time, the artists selected for station performances also will be invited to perform at the Music on the Mall program during the same time period.

The auditions are set for 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Metro headquarters, 600 Fifth St. NW. It’s first come, first seen and heard.

By  |  09:06 AM ET, 07/16/2012

Categories:  Commuting, Metro, Capital Beltway, Construction | Tags:  DC transportation, Metro, WMATA, District Department of Transporation, Maryland Department of Transportation, Virginia Department of Transportation, Wilson Bridge, Silver Line, Virginia Department of Transportation VDOT news July 2012, District Department of Transportation DDOT news July 2012, Maryland Department of Transportation MDOT news July 2012, Fairfax County Parkway schedule 2012, C&O Canal parking 2012

 
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