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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 11:20 AM ET, 08/28/2011

Latest Hurricane Irene transportation news: Flight cancellations continue, traffic signals dark throughout region

For the latest Hurricane Irene news and information, stay with PostLocal and the Capital Weather Gang. For our rundown of what you need to know this weekend, head here. For the latest transportation updates, follow us on Twitter: @drgridlock.

Here’s the latest transportation news in the wake of Hurricane Irene. [This post will be updated. Most recent update on Sunday at 9:58 p.m.]

Traffic signals down throughout region

More than 1 million homes and businesses remain without power in the Washington area. This means quite a few traffic signals are likely dark. Remember to treat intersections with dark traffic signals as four-way stops and be extra cautious.

There are 69 traffic signals out in the District, according to the city’s Department of Transportation.

VRE running full schedule; MARC’s Penn Line runs reduced schedule

UPDATE II: MARC riders, Penn Line trains will run on a reduced “S” schedule on Monday, the Maryland Transit Administration just announced. Trains designated with an “S” under the train number will operate. Find a complete schedule at mta.maryland.gov.

UPDATE: The Maryland Transit Administration warns MARC riders that there might not be Penn Line service on Monday. The agency had previously announced that the three MARC lines would all operate full service on Monday, but Sunday evening amended that to say that there could be reduced or no Penn Line service. Amtrak found numerous problems with the railroad and will let the MTA know by 10 p.m. on Sunday whether they will be able to run Penn Line trains on Monday. Full service is still expected on the Camden and Brunswick Lines. Check mta.maryland.gov for the latest service information.

All three MARC train lines will have full service on Monday morning, according to the Maryland Transit Administration. Power is still out at several stations, so passengers who ride pre-dawn or late evening trains are encouraged to bring a flashlight to the station in case lighting has not been restored.

The Virginia Railway Express is also operating a full schedule on Monday, according to the rail agency. There might be some minor delays on the Fredericksburg Line due to power outages along that route.

VRE riders: Check Train Talk or call 800-RIDE-VRE (743-3873) for service updates.

MARC riders: Check Twitter and on the MTA site.

Metro on normal schedule Sunday, expects normal service on Monday; power may be out to some elevators, escalators

UPDATE: Metro also expects normal service on Monday.

Metro said its ridership on the rail system was down about 67 percent yesterday compared to last Saturday. According to the agency, 128,390 customers entered the rail system yesterday, compared to 345,425 on Aug. 20.

Today, Metro is running its bus, rail and MetroAccess service for disabled customers on a regular Sunday schedule. The rail system opened at 7 a.m. There is no scheduled track work being done today.

Customers should expect possible detours around downed trees and wires and allow for additional travel time, according to a Metro press release from this morning. Metro warns that customers needing elevator access are advised to check wmata.com before they travel to check on the status of the elevators.

Metro said escalators and elevators may be “temporarily impacted by local power issues.”

The agency’s Operations Control Center “will continue to monitor the system for any storm-related after effects,” according to the release.

On the Blue Line, trains are single-tracking between Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon because of a fallen tree at Arlington Cemetery. There are no reported delays because of it.

— Dana Hedgpeth

Airline delays and cancellations continue

All three area airports remain open on Sunday, though flight cancellations continue to cause problems for travelers. Scores of flights scheduled to arrive at or depart from Baltimore Washington International Airport today have been canceled, and the same is true for arrivals and departures from Reagan National and Dulles International airports.

“Flights are arriving and departing,” BWI airport spokesman Jonathan Dean. “That being said, delays and cancellations will continue throughout the day.”

Crowds were light but increasing at Baltimore on Sunday afternoon as the sun peeked through the clouds shortly after 1:30 p.m., Dean said. He warned that travelers should expect delays to last into Monday.

Dulles and Reagan National both have flights coming and going, said Courtney Mickalonis, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. She warned that cancellations remain widespread and are likely to continue on Monday. “Things are starting to get back to normal, but it’ll take another few days before it’s completely back on schedule.”

US Airways, the dominant carrier at Reagan National, had canceled all of Sunday’s scheduled flights to and from the airport. As a result, that airport was relatively uncrowded on Sunday.

It’s best to contact your airline directly to see about your flight status and rebooking. Some resources:

A irlines

Airlines serving BWI
Airlines serving Dulles
Airlines serving Reagan National
The FAA's Flight Delay map

Airline advisories
AirTran Airways
American Airlines
Continental Airlines
Delta Airlines
Frontier Airlines
JetBlue
Southwest Airlines
United Airlines
US Airways
Virgin America

Majority of D.C. Public schools will open on-time Monday

The majority of D.C. Public Schools will open on-time on Monday, according to a news release issued by the school system. If you drive anywhere near a D.C. school on Monday morning, remember that school zones will be in effect.

Amtrak service suspended on Sunday

All Amtrak service is suspended on Sunday north of Jacksonville, Fla., and east of Indianapolis, Ind., and Toledo, Ohio. Amtrak has dispatched workers to inspect the infrastructure along the 363 miles of the Northeast Corridor and make any repairs between Washington and Boston. Passengers can rebook or receive a refund without any pentalty. Contact Amtrak at their Web site or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-827-7245).

Several trains have already been canceled for Monday:

— Auto Trains 52 and 53 (Sanford, Fla., to Lorton, Va.)

— Carolinian Trains 79 and 80 (New york to Charlotte, N.C.) canceled between New York and Raleigh; trains will operate betwen Raleigh and Charlotte

— Palmetto Trains 89 and 90 (New York to Savannah)

— Silver Star Trains 91 and 92 (New York/Tampa/Miami) are canceled between New York and Jacksonville, but will operate between Jacksonville and Miami

— Silver Meteor Trains 97 and 98 (New York and Miami)

Meanwhile, the Piedmont Service (Raleigh to Charlotte), the Carolinian (between Raleigh and Charlotte) and the Silver Star (between Jacksonville and Miami) will operate on Monday.

Additional cancellations are expected. Again, check in with their Web site or call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-827-7245).

Greyhound service remains suspended on Sunday

Greyhound bus service remains closed on Sunday along the I-95 corridor from Richmond to Boston, said Greyhound spokeswoman Maureen Richmond.

“Pretty much that whole stretch of I-95 will remain closed today,” she said. “We anticipate we’ll resume service on Monday depending on the weather in specific areas.”

Greyhound is figuring out the resumption of service based on conditions in each area. Passengers are encouraged to call the ticket line (1-800-231-2222) before heading out or go to Greyhound’s Web site and click on the yellow “Service Alert” tab.

Passengers scheduled for trips on Sunday and into Monday morning can be booked onto the next available trip with no penalty, she said.

Ride On routes detoured and delayed

Two Ride On routes are experiencing detours: Route 12 (leaving the Silver Spring station, making a left on Arliss Street, a right on Piney Branch Road, a left on Philadelphia Avenue and a right on Carroll Avenue) and Route 16 (using New Hampshire Avenue to Eastern Avenue due to downed trees and power lines). There are also delays on some routes due to downed trees and power lines and dark traffic signals.

Capital Bikeshare reopened

Capital Bikeshare reopened earlier on Sunday. The service closed to new rentals on Saturday at 6 p.m. If you see any damaged Bikeshare stations, tweet @bikeshare.

Inter-city bus travel scrapped for Sunday, resuming Monday

BoltBus had already canceled all of their service for Sunday, while Megabus had canceled all routes to and from Washington, New York, Philadelphia and Boston on Sunday as well.

Megabus announced on Sunday afternoon that service would resume on Monday morning with some exceptions. Some trips to and from Washington and Baltimore have been canceled. For a complete list of these routes, go here: http://us.megabus.com/irene.aspx. To contact Megabus, call 1-877-GO2-MEGA or head to their site, Facebook page or their Twitter.

BoltBut will be running most of its service on Monday with the exception of buses from Boston to Philadelphia and from Philadelphia to Newark. There may also be other schedule cancellations on Monday and delays of up to an hour. To keep tabs on schedule changes (and to contact BoltBus), use their site or Twitter.

Roads blocked in Northern Virginia

The Post’s Anita Kumar says Virginia Department of Transportation officials are reporting no major road closures in Northern Virginia. But many secondary roads are closed due downed trees.

Here is a link to the road closures in Virginia

About 80 traffic signals are dark throughout Northern Virginia due to power outages, the majority of those are in Fairfax County.

Several roads remain closed in Arlington, the county reports: N. Quantico and N. 18th streets, N. Rock Spring Road and N. Wakefield Street and the 100 block of N. Liberty Street.

Road closed in D.C., roads reopen in D.C.

Wisconsin Ave is closed between Newark and Macomb streets in Northwest Washington due to a fire in the 3300 block of Wisconsin Avenue.

Broad Branch and Kalmia roads have reopened to traffic, according to the District Department of Transportation. Both roadways were closed on Saturday at 3 p.m. (Kalmia Road between east and west Beach drives, Broad Branch Road from Brandywine Street to Ridge Road) due to the storm.

Roads closed in Maryland

High water and power outages continued to cause traffic problems in Maryland on the Eastern Shore as well as in Cecil, Hartford and Kent counties, said Sandra Dobson, spokeswoman for the Maryland State Highway Administration.

Things are much better in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, she said. There’s isolated flooding and outages, but nothing as bad as on the shore and elsewhere in the state.

While they can move fallen tree limbs and unclog drains, there’s a limit to what state agencies can accomplish, she said. “With these kinds of nature-inspired incidents, we’re monitoring and managing more than really doing anything in particular that would mitigate the situation,” Dobson said.

She encouraged drivers to remember that the storm’s aftermath will cause problems going into the Monday morning commute, saying that drivers should visit Maryland 511 and be aware of the problems out there.

“We’re asking people to be alert and be vigilant when driving....if they follow all the normal rules of the road and be cautious in their travels through outages and high water, they’ll be fine,” she said.

Meanwhile, some key arteries in Maryland are blocked by high water this morning, according to the state’s Department of Transportation. They include:

— U.S. 1 in both directions at Honeygo Boulevard in Baltimore

— U.S. 301 in both directions at Pennsylvania Avenue/MD 4 in Upper Marlboro. UPDATE: This has reopened.

— Southbound U.S.1 at Ammendale Drive in Vansville

— Northbound Georgia Avenue at Norbeck Road in Aspen Hill

There are likely many more roads and lanes blocked by water and debris, so be careful when you head out.

Virginia tunnels reopen

The Post’s Anita Kumar reports that the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel carrying traffic on Interstate 64 has reopened in Hampton Roads, Va. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in Cape Charles, Va., has also reopened. It carries U.S. 13 traffic on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

UPDATE: The Midtown Tunnel in Hampton Roads has also reopened, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge reopens

Maryland transportation officials say the Chesapeake Bay Bridge has reopened and is operating under Phase II wind restrictions. House trailers, empty box trailers, campers and recreational vehicles are still prohibited from traveling the bridge.

If sustained wind speeds reach 55 mph, the Bay Bridge will be closed.

Pr. George’s road closures

The Post’s Miranda Spivack reports a number of roads closed in Prince George’s County:

Upper Marlboro, MD: Brooke Lane & Ritchie Marlboro Rd. (downed wire)

Upper Marlboro, MD: 15315 Rolling Meadows Rd.

Forestville, MD: Forestville Rd. - Suitland Parkway & Allentown Rd. (flooding)

Greenbelt, MD: Sunnyside Ave (flooding)

Bowie, MD: Governor Bridge Rd. (flooding)

Laurel, MD: Contee Rd at Mayfair (flooding)

College Park, MD: Metzerott Rd.west of U.S. Route 1 (flooding)

Clinton, MD: Wills Lane at Allentown Road (flooding)

Brandywine, MD: McKendree Rd near Accokeek Rd. (flooding)

Piscataway, MD: Livingston Road at Taylor/Chalfont Avenue (downed tree)

Oxon Hill, MD: 3500 Steed Road (downed tree)

Prince George’s County has set up a hurricane hotline to handle all non-emergency hurricane questions or concerns. That number is 301-352-1920. Resident’s should call the county’s DPW@T hotline at 301-350-0550 to report downed trees, power lines, flooding and road closings.

Nice bridge reopens

The Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge carrying U.S. 301 over the Potomac River in southern Maryland has reopened.

Officials closed the bridge Saturday night due to high winds.

Click here to see the updates from Saturday.

By  |  11:20 AM ET, 08/28/2011

 
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