This post has been updated.
Summer is almost over, with a mere two weekends standing between us and Labor Day. September is looming, which means everyone will be returning to work and school, which means the roads and trains are about to get significantly more congested.
So enjoy it while you can! Bask in the (relatively) emptier roads. Go outside, if you feel like it. The Capital Weather Gang forecast predicts a slight chance of showers Friday night, with a higher likelihood of rain on Saturday and Sunday.
There are plenty of events this weekend to keep you busy. Some of them, like the Battle of Bladensburg and the Maryland Renaissance Festival, could create traffic problems and congestion in the vicinity. The Renaissance Festival, held in Annapolis, begins on Saturday and runs through Oct. 21. (Visit the Going Out Guide for a more complete list of activities.)
Still, if you’re in town and need to get around, there are some things to know. Metro work on two lines could cause headaches, as could several road closures. Here’s our rundown of what you need to know for this weekend and beyond:
Metro work closing Orange Line stations, slowing Red Line travel
Metro work will create delays on the Orange and Red Lines this weekend. The Orange Line delays will be significant, because three stations will be closed, while the Red Line work will create issues on both sides of that line.
Orange Line: Metro work will close the three stations on the western end of the Orange Line from Friday at 10 p.m. through the system’s closing on Sunday night. Buses will replace trains between the Vienna and East Falls Church stations to allow for insulator replacement, tie renewal and testing related to the Silver Line.
With the Vienna, Dunn Loring and West Falls Church stations all shut down, expect serious delays. Express shuttle buses will run between Vienna and East Falls Church (Metro says to add at least 15 minutes to your travel time if you’re making that trip). Local shuttle buses will stop at Vienna, Dunn Loring, East Falls Church and West Falls Church, and you should add at least 40 minutes to your trip if you plan on riding those buses.
Red Line: No Red Line stations are closing, but single-tracking on both sides of the line will create problems. Trains will share a track between Grosvenor and Medical Center (where the rail fasteners and third-rail insulators will be upgraded) and between Takoma and Forest Glen (for platform reconstruction). Add at least 20 minutes to your projected travel time.
New York Avenue Bridge lane closures
Beginning Friday, New York Avenue NE between Florida Avenue and Penn Street will be limited to just one lane in each direction overnight to allow for bridge deck installation as part of the bridge’s rehabilitation project.
The lane reductions will take place between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. the following morning. They begin tonight and will end at 5 a.m. Saturday, and then will continue for the next six weeks on Monday through Friday nights, according to the District Department of Transportation.
I-66 West at the Beltway
Numerous lanes on westbound I-66 will close at the Beltway this weekend to allow for demolition, excavation, paving and other roadway work. (The work is part of the 495 Express Lanes project.)
The closures begin on Friday at 9 p.m. and last until Monday at 5 a.m. Lanes will be closed on westbound I-66 in phases. The first phase of closures will run from Friday at 9 p.m. to Saturday at 9 a.m. and again on Saturday at 9 p.m. through Sunday at 10 a.m. The second phase will run from Saturday at 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., followed by the third phase on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The fourth and final phase is scheduled for Sunday at 9 p.m. through Monday at 5 a.m.
The main point here: Expect significant delays on westbound I-66 at the Beltway. Traffic will be backed up thanks to the lane closures, so avoid this area if at all possible.
Additionally, one lane on the exit ramps from both directions of the Beltway at the exit for I-66 West will be closed from Friday night through Sunday night.
And the ramp from the outer loop of the Beltway to I-66 West will close completely on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. Traffic will be guided to the exit for the westbound Little River Turnpike, back onto the inner loop of the Beltway and from there traffic can exit onto I-66 West.
All lanes and ramps should reopen by 5 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 27.
Bay Bridge travel
As always, expect congestion on the Bay Bridge during the summer. The best times to travel depend on the day. On Thursday or Friday, travel before 10 a.m. or after 10 p.m. On Saturday, try before 7 a.m. or after 5 p.m. On Sunday, it’s before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m. again.
Maryland Bridge Inspections
A routine bridge inspection on Saturday morning will close the right lane on I-495 NW Ramp over Cabin John Parkway. It will also partially close the ramp on the outer loop of I-495. These closures will occur between 4:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Montgomery County road closures
• Wisconsin Avenue/MD 355 will have single and double lane closures between Jones Bridge Road and South Drive in Bethesda. These closures, which are due to resurfacing work, will take place on Sunday through Thursday from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.
• River Road/MD 190 will have single lane closures between Gary Road and Huntington Drive in Potomac this week. The closures , which will allow paving to occur, will take place on Sunday through Thursday from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Telegraph Road/Beltway interchange closures
The Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project continues ramp and road closures around the Telegraph Road/Beltway interchange. (Several of these closures have been recurring all week, so if they occurred earlier this week we’ve included that.)
• Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Mill Road will be closed between Stovall Street and Telegraph Road.
• Tuesday through Friday nights from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning: The access ramps from Telegraph Road North and South to the inner loop will be closed.
• Wednesday through Friday nights from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning: The ramp from Telegraph Road to N. Kings Highway will be closed, OR the ramp from Telegraph Road to Huntington Avenue will be closed. (One of them will happen, but they won’t both take place at the same time.)
• Wednesday through Saturday nights from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning: The exit ramps from the outer loop local to Telegraph Road South, Huntington Avenue and N. Kings Highway will be closed.
• Friday at 9 p.m. until Saturday at 5 a.m.: The exit ramp from the inner loop to Telegraph Road South will be closed.
[UPDATE: I-95 item added on Friday at 2:34 p.m.]
I-95 Lane Closure in Maryland
The Maryland State Highway Administration will close one lane on a stretch of I-95 in both directions next week. The left lane will be closed on I-95 North and I-95 South between the MD 200 interchange and the Sandy Spring Road/MD 198 exit. This will happen on Sunday through Wednesday nights from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.
Beach Drive closing
Tree maintenance on Beach Drive will close a chunk of the roadway this week. Beach Drive will be closed between West Beach Drive NW to the Maryland/D.C. border. The closure will occur on Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Overnight Anacostia Freeway/DC-295 closure
The northbound lanes of the Anacostia Freeway/DC-295 will close between Howard Road and Pennsylvania Avenue SE overnight on Monday and Tuesday evenings. This is so the District Department of Transportation can install a drainage pipe under the road.
A single lane will be closed on northbound 295 at 8 p.m. each night, and all northbound lanes will be closed at 10 p.m. All lanes should reopen by 5 a.m. the following morning.
Detours will be put in place. Northbound traffic will be directed onto the inbound 11th Street Freeway Bridge, M Street SE and onto the Southeast-Southwest Freeway via the 9th Street SE ramp. From the eastbound Southwest-Southwest Freeway, drivers can get to northbound 295 from Pennsylvania Avenue.
Tysons Corner road closures
The Dulles Metro work continues to impact traffic in Tysons Corner. Overhead electrical work will close the left turn lane from northbound Chain Bridge Road/Route 123 onto Capital One Drive on Monday through Thursday from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Additionally, overhead work will close the thru lanes on eastbound Tysons Boulevard, the turn lanes from Galleria Drive (in both directions) and southbound Route 123 onto Tysons Boulevard. These closures will occur on Monday through Thursday from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Gleedsville Road bridge reopening
The Virginia Department of Transportation reports that the Gleedsville Road bridge over Sycolin Creek will reopen by Sunday. Crews will keep doing minor work on the bridge through September. The project, which cost $3.5 million, involved giving the bridge two new 11-foot-wide lanes and two four-foot-wide paved shoulders. Additionally, the bridge was raised about two feet.
Beulah Road bridge work begins
The Beulah Road bridge over Wolftrap Run in Fairfax County is about to get a facelift. The Virginia Department of Transportation will begin working to rehabilitate the bridge on Wednesday. A week later, on Sept. 5, the road will be reduced to one lane. Crews are going to repair abutments and bearings, among other work. This work should take until December.
SmarTrip minimum fare and rebate
This is just another reminder about two SmarTrip changes going into effect on Sept. 1. Beginning on that date, you will need at least $1.20 on a SmarTrip before you can enter the system. Additionally, if you register your card online on Sept. 1 or beyond, you can get a $3 rebate. (Cards will still cost $5.)
More school resumes next week
School is back in session next week for students in the District, Montgomery County and Loudoun County, (They join students in Prince George’s County, who went back this week.) Expect additional traffic around schools in those areas, particularly during the hours right before and after school.