wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost2

Most Read: Local

Dr. Gridlock
Traffic and Commuting Home  |  Discussions  |  Columns  |  Q&A  |      Twitter  |     Facebook |  phone Alerts
Posted at 02:11 PM ET, 08/29/2011

The week ahead in traffic and transit

For the latest transportation and transit news, follow us on Twitter: @drgridlock.

[This post has been updated.]

Hurricane Irene came and went over the weekend, but people who live and work in the Washington area can expect problems to linger in the storm’s wake. Hundreds of thousands are still without power, and commuters could encounter downed tree limbs, flooded roadways and other obstacles at some point in the coming days.

Still, there’s some good news to report: The weather this week should be “delightful,” according to the Capital Weather Gang.

Here’s what you can expect in the coming days as things get back to normal, along with other things to remember this week:

Dark traffic signals and blocked roadways could cause commuting problems

As we’ve said before: Power outages, flooding and debris will remain the biggest issues for commuters in the coming days. Even if your home or neighborhood was unaffected, remember that plenty of traffic signals could be dark while lanes and roads might be closed due to water or debris.

Remember to treat intersections without working traffic signals as four-way stops. If you encounter barriers, don’t just move them and drive around. If you see a flooded roadway and you aren’t sure your if car can make it through the water, don’t take the chance. Just turn around and take another route.

For a list of resources for reporting power outages, downed trees and debris in roadways, head here and scroll down to Utilities.

Major Metro track work planned this weekend

Major Metro track work is scheduled for the Orange and Blue Lines this weekend, though not on the stretch where the lines service the same stations.

Orange Line: From 8 p.m. on Friday through closing time on Monday night, free shuttle buses will replace trains between the East Falls Church and West Falls Church stations. Both stations will remain open, but add extra time to your trip (at least half an hour, if not more). The work will involve a switch installation for the Dulles Metro extension, tie replacement work and replacement of rail.The last train will depart Vienna 20 minutes earlier than usual during this work, while trains will share one track and operate every 24 minutes between the Vienna and West Falls Church stations.

Blue Line: From 10 p.m. on Friday through closing time on Monday, the Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street stations will be closed as Metro installs new track switches between the Van Dorn Street and King Street stations. Free shuttle buses will operate between the Franconia-Springfield and Eisenhower Avenue stations via the Van Dorn Street station. Blue Line trains will operate to and from the Huntington station every 20 minutes, according to Metro. Again, add at least half an hour to your trip (and preferably more).

Weekday Metro single-tracking on Red and Blue Lines

Trains will share one track on portions of the Red and Blue Lines for the next four nights due to a variety of minor repairs this week.

Red Line: Trains will single-track between Friendship Heights and Grosvenor (rail renewal, tunnel leak repairs) and between Fort totten and Silver Spring (emergency phone repairs). From 9:30 p.m. through closing on Monday through Thursday.

Blue Line: Trains will single-track between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road (floating slab repairs) and between Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street (rail renewal). From 10 p.m. through closing Monday through Thursday.

School resumes in Loudoun County, Frederick County (Md.) and most of Montgomery County

The school year begins Monday in Loudoun, Frederick and (most of) Montgomery counties. Drivers know what this means: Added congestion around the schools and speed-reducing school zones.

Next week brings students back to school in Fairfax, Prince William, Arlington and Alexandria. (As you saw in Emma Brown’s story on Monday, there’s an interesting backstory behind why Loudoun resumed classes a week before Northern Virginia’s other school districts.)

Amtrak running between Washington and Philadelphia; no Acela Express, no trains between Philadelphia and Boston

Amtrak is slowly resuming service in the wake of the storm, with crews inspecting and making repairs along the Northeast Corridor. Most Northeast Regional trains between Washington and Philadelphia are running, as are trains between Philadelphia and Lynchburg and Washington and Chicago.

All service between Philadelphia and Boston remains canceled, as does all Acela Express service between Washington and Boston. All Northeast Regional trains between Washington and Newport News have also been canceled. Check Amtrak.com to keep tabs on the latest service updates.

Thursday night football

The Redskins are scheduled to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a preseason game on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Games at FedEx Field crowd the roads around Landover, including the Capital Beltway, which has three exits that provide access to stadium parking: Landover Road, Arena Drive and Central Avenue. The Maryland State Highway Administration says the Central Avenue exit tends to be the least crowded of the three.

Many fans also use the Morgan Boulevard station on Metro’s Blue Line. The stadium is a little under a mile north along a sidewalk. Metro has no plans to extend or alter service due to the game, so remember that stations close at midnight on Thursday.

Flight delays and cancellations continue to impact travelers

Widespread flight cancellations on the East Coast over the weekend will continue to cause problems for travelers during the early part of this week as passengers reschedule flights and airports and airlines restore service in the wake of the storm.

Numerous flights scheduled to arrive at or depart from Dulles International, Reagan National and Baltimore Washington International airports were delayed or canceled on Monday. Officials at the three Washington area airports warned that it takes a few days for schedules to settle down after severe disruptions like this, so expect some delays and cancellations to continue impacting flights in and out of this region.

The three major New York area airports, which closed to air traffic over the weekend, are all scheduled to be reopened by Tuesday morning: John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International airports both reopened to arriving flights on Monday at 6 a.m., with departures resuming at noon, according to the Port Authority. LaGuardia Airport fully reopens on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

If you’re flying to or from the Washington area over the next few days (or if you were scheduled to fly over the weekend or next few days), contact your airline to check on your flight status or to see about rebooking. Here are some resources:

Airlines

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

MARC and VRE operating, albeit with some delays and service reductions

MARC riders can expect full service on the Camden and Brunswick lines, while Penn Line trains are running on a reduced “S” schedule on Monday. Power is still out at several MARC stations, so passengers who ride early morning or late evening trains are encouraged to bring a flashlight to the station in case lighting has not been restored.

VRE riders can expect full service, but there could be some delays on the Fredericksburg Line due to power outages along that route.

Beltway/Telegraph Road

On Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., the left lane of the Capital Beltway’s inner loop through lanes (I-95/495 South) will be closed between Route 1 and Telegraph Road for roadway construction. The Wilson Bridge project, which is doing the work, expect congestion and advises drivers to use the local lanes or find an alternate route.

On Wednesday and Thursday, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning, two of the three through lanes will be closed on the Capital Beltway’s outer loop (I-95/495 North) between the Eisenhower Connector and Telegraph Road. This is so signs can be hung. The center through lane will remain open. However, just after midnight, all traffic will be stopped in these lanes for 15 minutes, so avoid those lanes around that time.

Tysons Corner delays

There will be daytime delays in Tysons Corner along the Dulles Connector Road/Route 267, Leesburg Pike/Route 7 and Dolley Madison Boulevard/Route 123. This work, part of the Dulles Metro project, will occur between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Bay Bridge Stop-In Center

The Maryland Transportation Authority plans to conduct a trial period of extended hours at its Bay Bridge Stop-In Center from Monday, Aug. 29, through Oct. 1.

The trial hours are Mondays through Fridays: 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Saturday: 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

State officials said they are trying to gauge the best hours for the center to operate.

The address of the center is 850 Revell Hwy., Annapolis.

Northwest Branch bridge

The Maryland State Highway Administration is working on a lengthy project to rebuild the bridge that takes Beltway traffic over Northwest Branch between University Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring. Lanes closures are possible overnight during the week.

Roadwork in Maryland

These are the locations and times for some potential lane closings announced by the Maryland State Highway Administration.

— I-495 between U.S. 29/Columbia Pike and Seminary Road. Lane closures can occur from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday.

— Rockville Pike between the Washington D.C. line and Bradley Boulevard. Single lane closures can occur 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, while double lane closures can occur from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

— University Boulevard between Arcola Avenue and U.S. 29/Columbia Pike. Lane closures can occur from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

— Georgia Avenue between Norbeck Road and Glenallan Avenue. Lane closures can occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. Sunday through Friday.

— Old Georgetown Road between North Brook Lane and Wisconsin Avenue. Single lane closures can occur 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, while double lane closures can occur from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Kenilworth Avenue lane closures

Single lane closures are possible between Tuxedo Road and Frolich Lane and the related ramps from 9 p.m. t o 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday.

Bald Eagle Road lane closures

Single lane closures are possible between Oxon Hill Road and Indian Head Highway from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

No Labor Day weekend roadwork in Maryland

According to the State Highway Administration, there will be no lane closures over the holiday weekend (from Friday, Sept. 2, through Monday, Sept. 5) unless emergency roadway repairs are needed.

By  |  02:11 PM ET, 08/29/2011

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company