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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 09:52 AM ET, 07/27/2012

Storms, Beltway widening, Metro delays, tennis and sharks: the weekend and beyond

Travelers could face thunderstorms as they begin their weekend getaways from the very hot D.C. region on Friday. Check the Capital Weather Gang for updates on this summer weather pattern.

Those sticking around in the sticky heat and seeking an indoor experience could head for Shark Weekend at the National Aquarium in the District.


D.C. United plays Toronto FC at RFK Stadium on Aug. 6, 2011. (Mitchell Layton - Getty Images)
But there are many interesting outdoor events, including a summer celebration Saturday at St. Elizabeths East, 1100 Alabama Ave. SE; the Capitol Groove Festival on Saturday at the Fairgrounds, Half Street SE by Nationals Park, and vintage baseball at the Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg on Sunday.

D.C. United is back at RFK Stadium for a game with Paris Saint-Germain at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Citi Open tennis tournament, formerly known as the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, starts Saturday and continues for a week at the FitzGerald Tennis Stadium, 16th and Kennedy streets NW. That always means increased traffic congestion on upper 16th Street by Rock Creek Park and parking restrictions on neighborhood streets.

Metro will split the west side of the Red Line just as it did last weekend. Buses also will replace trains on the southernmost part of the Blue Line.

The paving work that is part of the Wilson Bridge project will again affect the Capital Beltway/Telegraph Road interchange and Beltway traffic between Springfield and the bridge.

Here are more details about some of the projects that could affect your travels this weekend and beyond.

D.C. 295/Pennsylvania Avenue

From 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, the District of Department of Transportation is closing the right lane of northbound D.C. 295 from just north of the ramp to westbound Pennsylvania Avenue to just north of the ramp from Pennsylvania Avenue. This is for survey work on a project to improve the interchange.

Metro weekend delays

Metro maintenance projects will affect service on all five lines between 10 p.m. Friday and the train system’s midnight closing Sunday.

Red Line: Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Grosvenor and Friendship Heights. Medical Center and Bethesda stations will be closed. Trains will operate between Shady Grove and Grosvenor and between Friendship Heights and Glenmont.

On each segment, they will operate every 10 minutes between 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. and at regular weekend intervals at other times. But if you’re traveling on the shuttles through the work zone, add half an hour to your normal travel time.

This is the same maintenance disruption that riders experienced last weekend, and it will be repeated the weekend of Aug. 10-12.

Blue Line: Free shuttle buses will replace trains at the Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street stations. Blue Line trains will operate between Largo Town Center and Huntington on their regular weekend schedules.

The buses will operate between Franconia-Springfield, Van Dorn Street and Eisenhower Avenue stations. So if you’re heading south on a Blue Line train, you want to get off at Eisenhower Avenue to pick up the shuttle to Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield.

Using the buses will add about a half hour to your normal travel time. A weekend rider might prefer to park at Huntington rather than Franconia-Springfield.

Orange Line: Trains will share a track between East Falls Church and West Falls Church, and between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly. Throughout the weekend, they are scheduled to leave the ends of the line at Vienna and New Carrollton every 24 minutes.

Between 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, additional trains will operate between Vienna and Stadium-Armory. So on that part of the line, trains should arrive at platforms about every 12 minutes.

Green Line: Trains will share a track between Fort Totten and Prince George’s Plaza. Add about 10 minutes to normal travel times.

Yellow Line: There’s no track work along the Yellow Line, but because of the Green Line work, the Yellow Line trains will end their runs at Mount Vernon Square. Riders who want to go north from there should wait on the same platform for a Green Line train.

Beltway/Telegraph Road

Woodrow Wilson Bridge project plans to continue ramp and road closings in the Telegraph Road/Capital Beltway interchange this weekend. This is likely to create significant delays for drivers and require detours.

From 8 p.m. Friday till 5 a.m. Monday, the ramps from Telegraph Road to the outer loop LOCAL segment will be closed.

From 8 p.m. Friday to noon Sunday, the outer loop LOCAL segment will be closed just before the Eisenhower Connector. Traffic will merge into the two THRU lanes. The ramp to the Eisenhower Connector will be closed. This will leave only the two THRU lanes open to motorists on this section of the outer loop, and project managers expect lengthy backups. The LOCAL lane will reopen just before the Telegraph Road interchange.

From 9 p.m. Friday till 5 a.m. Monday, Telegraph Road will be completely closed between the Beltway and Duke Street for construction on the bridge over the railroad tracks.

A highlight of the summer construction season will be the completion of the paving that fully opens the outer loop’s THRU and LOCAL lanes in their final configuration, which will remove the long-time bottleneck for outer loop drivers at the Telegraph Road interchange. That work now is scheduled to be done on Monday morning, Aug. 6.

Beltway/Northwest Branch

On the Maryland side of the Beltway, the main trouble spot for drivers continues to be the work zone at the Northwest Branch bridge in Silver Spring, between University Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue.

The lengthy project is still in its second phase, a difficult one for drivers, because three lanes go to the left of a construction barrier and one to the right. The tightest spot is the far right lane on the outer loop. Avoid that unless you need to take the exit for University Boulevard.

Telegraph Road at Piney Creek

Telegraph Road is scheduled to close to through traffic near Piney Creek from 10 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday while crews install a sanitary sewer line.

There will be a detour using Hayfield Road, Kingstowne Village Parkway and Beulah Street. Look for the electronic message boards.

This work is part of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s $41 million widening and improvement project for Telegraph and Mulligan roads, which is scheduled to be done in the summer of 2014.

Telegraph Road/Van Dorn Street/Kings Highway

Just to the northeast of the Piney Creek project, drivers will notice some changes starting Monday at the Telegraph Road intersections with South Van Dorn Street and South Kings Highway.

They will see new signs to notify them that left turns from southbound Telegraph Road to South Kings Highway are prohibited during rush hours (6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.).

The turn area for left turns from Telegraph Road to South Van Dorn Street has been re-marked and lengthened. The Virginia Department of Transportation also re-timed the signals at the Telegraph Road intersections with Van Dorn Street and South Kings Highway.

By  |  09:52 AM ET, 07/27/2012

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

 
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