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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 09:48 AM ET, 08/10/2012

Meteor showers, Metro delays, paving projects: the weekend and beyond


A bright Perseid meteor cuts across Orion's Belt at 5 a.m. during the peak of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 12, 1997. Late Saturday, there will be a similar meteor shower. (Wally Pachoka - Associated Press)
Friday’s stormy weather precedes improving conditions for the weekend, the Capital Weather Gang says. Some people will be staying up late Saturday night to get a look at the Perseid meteor shower.

Earthbound sights include Saturday’s Cantina Cup Regatta at the Washington Channel, the Silopanna Music Festival at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds and the Outside a Dog Book Festival at the Congressional Cemetery in Southeast Washington. (For a full list of weekend activities in the D.C. area, turn to the Going Out Guide.)

Our major sports teams are away this weekend, and while there are many active road projects, the impact on local travel should be limited, especially with traffic reduced during summer vacation season.

Metro, however, has a full schedule of weekend maintenance disruptions, including a split of the Red Line, so let’s start with a look at that.

Metro weekend delays

All five lines will be affected by maintenance projects from 10 p.m. Friday through the train system’s closing at midnight Sunday.

Red Line: Free shuttle buses will replace trains between the Grosvenor and Friendship Heights stations. Medical Center and Bethesda will be closed.

Trains will operate between Shady Grove and Grosvenor, and between Friendship Heights and Glenmont. They are scheduled to operate every 10 minutes between 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. and at regular weekend intervals at other times. If you’re going through the work zone on the buses, add about half an hour to your normal travel time.

Orange Line: Trains will share tracks around work zones between Foggy Bottom and Clarendon, and between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly. They will operate about every 24 minutes throughout the weekend, Metro said. Add about 20 minutes to normal travel times to get through the work zones.

Blue Line: Trains will share a track between Foggy Bottom and Arlington Cemetery. They are scheduled to operate about every 24 minutes, but add about 20 minutes to get through the work zone.

Green Line: Trains will share a track between Fort Totten and Prince George’s Plaza, and are scheduled to operate about every 16 minutes. Add about 10 minutes to get through the work zone.

Yellow Line: There’s no work scheduled for the Yellow Line, but because of the work zone on the Green Line, weekend Yellow Line trains will go only as far north as Mount Vernon Square. (On weekends, they normally terminate at Fort Totten.) Riders who want to go farther north should wait for a Green Line train on the Mount Vernon Square platform.

Beltway/Telegraph Road

The Woodrow Wilson Bridge project reached one of its final milestones this week with the full opening of the THRU and LOCAL lanes on the outer loop. That was a breakthrough for commuters because it uncorked the longtime bottleneck at Telegraph Road.

The reconstruction of the Telegraph Road is the last big task remaining, and project managers are trying to get that done by the end of the year, though the work could continue into 2013.

Ramp and lane closings continue. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, the ramps from the Beltway to Telegraph Road North are scheduled to close.

D Street ramp

The District Department of Transportation plans to close the ramp to D Street SW from the 11th Street SW Bridge near L’Enfant Plaza from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday. Workers will be installing a streetlight.

Drivers trying to reach D Street will be detoured through the 12th Street Tunnel and onto Constitution Avenue NW and Seventh Street NW.

I-66/Fairfax County Parkway

From 10 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Monday, the ramps from Interstate 66 to the southbound Fairfax County Parkway (Route 286) will be closed for paving as part of the interchange project at Fair Lakes and Fairfax County Parkway. Follow the detour signs.

For the weekend work, the southbound Fairfax County Parkway will be reduced to one lane between Fair Lakes Circle and the Route 29 interchange. This is likely to back up traffic, and it would be best to avoid the area for the weekend.

Baltimore-Washington Parkway

From 7:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights, lanes and ramps may be closed on both sides of the Baltimore Washington Parkway for paving between the D.C. line and Route 450 (Annapolis Road).

C&O Canal Towpath

The repairs on the retaining wall along the C&O Canal towpath continue to require periodic closings of the parking areas across from the Old Angler’s Inn on MacArthur Boulevard, the National Park Service said.

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

Alternative parking is available two miles east at Carderock and 2.2 miles west at Great Falls. The project is scheduled to be done this fall.

Route 15 paving

The Maryland State Highway Administration is about to start a milling and paving project along 5.5 miles of southbound Route 15 (Catoctin Mountain Highway) in Thurmont. The work is scheduled to begin Monday and will take about two months.

The project area is between Roddy Road, north of Thurmont, and the pedestrian bridge for the Catoctin Furnace Trail over Route 15. This is near Cunningham Falls State Park and the Catoctin Iron Furnace, south of Thurmont. This is one of the areas I mentioned in my Commuter page feature on summer driving near D.C.

Motorists should anticipate single-lane closures and anticipate delays between 9 a.m. and dusk, Monday through Friday. SHA will use signs, cones and barrels to guide motorists through the work zone.

By  |  09:48 AM ET, 08/10/2012

Categories:  Weekend Work, Metro, Events, Construction | Tags:  DC transportation, Metro, WMATA, District Department of Transportation, Virginia Department of Transportation, Maryland Department of Transportation, Wilson Bridge, Capital Beltway

 
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