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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 08:51 AM ET, 10/24/2011

The week ahead for traffic, transit

Travelers should have no difficulty with the weather in the early part of this week, but the forecast for the latter part of the week includes rain and chilly temperatures, the Capital Weather Gang says.

Throughout the week, there will be plenty of construction and maintenance on the roads and rails. These are some of the key projects that could slow commuters in the D.C. area.

Beltway/Telegraph Road

The Wilson Bridge project this week plans to close the right lane of the Capital Beltway’s inner loop between Telegraph Road and the Eisenhower Connector from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today through Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Friday.

Beltway/Gallows Road

The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to close the ramp from northbound Gallows Road (Route 650) to the Beltway’s outer loop (Interstate 495 South) for two weeks starting today. Workers will be replacing the old ramp and completing paving for the new Beltway lanes that are part of the high-occupancy toll lanes project.

I-295 repairs

Bridge deck repairs are scheduled for the Anacostia Freeway (Interstate 295) over Howard Road and Suitland Parkway through Nov. 28, the District Department of Transportation says.

The repair work will be performed lane by lane. While one travel lane on the bridge is closed, the two others will be kept open. The repairs are slated to occur between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. and between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

I-395 bridges and tunnel

The District Department of Transportation has set up work zones for the first phase of the Air Rights Tunnel project on the H Street and Massachusetts Avenue bridges and the Air Rights Tunnel (I-395).

The initial work zone for the H Street and Massachusetts Avenue bridges will occupy the center travel lanes between Second and Fourth streets NW.

Outside of the jersey barriers put up for the project, work will occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. There might also be some work on Sundays. Behind the barriers, work will occur between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. At least one lane in each direction will be open during work hours.

The initial work zone within the Air Rights Tunnel will occupy the shoulder lanes on both sides. Outside the jersey barriers, work will occur between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and might also take place on Sundays. Behind the barriers, work is scheduled for 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. During the work hours, at least one lane will be open in each direction.

Beltway in Maryland

Just west of where the Capital Beltway’s lanes shift for a bridge rehabilitation project in Silver Spring, the Maryland State Highway Administration this fall is resurfacing the Beltway between Colesville and Seminary roads.

Watch for single-lane closings 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. From 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights, two or three lanes may be closed.

Meanwhile, the rehabilitation project at the Northwest Branch bridge over the Beltway will close one or two lanes between University Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. Monday through Friday nights, as many as three lanes may be closed between midnight and 5 a.m.

I-270 median

Drivers on Interstate 270 between the Capital Beltway and Old Georgetown Road may find single lanes closed between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. weekdays and two lanes closed from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. The Maryland State Highway Administration will demolish the concrete barrier wall, then rebuild it. Next spring, watch for milling and repaving in this area.

Constitution Avenue NW

As the National Park Service continues to rebuild Constitution Avenue NW, drivers may find the four center lanes closed between 23rd and 21st streets from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays for work on the roadway. Expect two lanes in either direction to be closed between 17th and 15th streets for work on traffic signals and the sidewalk.

At least two lanes will be open in each direction during rush hour.

Some of the new streetlights are complete and working, the National Park Service says. Most of the sidewalk on the south side of the avenue between 17th and 23rd streets is done.

Rock Creek Parkway

The park service and Federal Highway Administration are rehabilitating the parkway corridor between P Street and Beach Drive. The project is scheduled to be done this winter.

On weekdays, drivers should find all lanes open on Cathedral Avenue south of Woodley Road, Shoreham Drive and Beach Drive. On the northbound parkway, drivers may encounter lane closings at off-peak periods. The southbound curb lane at the Waterside Drive ramp is closed for construction of a new retaining wall.

Chain Bridge

The District Department of Transportation says it’s trying to determine whether more weekend closings are needed to finish repairs under the Potomac River bridge’s deck. Most of the repairs are done, and there may not be a need for any more weekend closings, even though more have been scheduled.

Halloween SoberRide

Nearly half the nationwide traffic deaths during the Halloween period are caused by drunk drivers, says Kurt Gregory Erickson, president of the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, which once again will sponsor free cab rides home for adults in the D.C. area who shouldn’t be driving themselves.

The SoberRide program will be in operation from 10 p.m. Saturday till 6 a.m. Sunday. Even though Halloween isn’t until Monday, Saturday night is likely to be the high-risk period for drunken driving. During those hours, people 21 and older who celebrated with alcohol can call toll free to 800-200-TAXI (8294) and get a ride home at no cost, up to what would be a $30 taxi fare.

Marathon on Sunday

The Marine Corps Marathon will tie up many roadways near the Potomac River in Arlington and the District on Sunday. As always, Metro is the best bet for participants and spectators. The rail system plans to open at 5 a.m., two hours earlier than normal. Extra trains will operate on the Blue Line from from 5 to 9 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m. to   3:30 p.m.

Runners should use the Pentagon station to reach the start line. The Arlington Cemetery station won’t open until after the race starts. Buses that normally use the Pentagon Transit Center will be moved to the Pentagon City station between 4 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Because of Metro’s weekend maintenance program, buses will replace trains between L’Enfant Plaza and Southern Avenue on the Green Line.

Metro weekend work

The transit authority has scheduled work on the Green, Red and Orange lines this weekend, but the most extensive disruptions will be on the Red Line. Crews will continue working to stabilize a city water main and sewer line across the top of the Farragut North station.

To create a safe work zone in the station, one Red Line track be closed, and trains will share a track between Dupont Circle and Union Station. Red Line trains will operate every 20 minutes through this area, Metro says. I’ll have more details in another posting this morning.

On weekdays, Metro plans maintenance work on the Red, Blue and Green lines at off peak hours. Because the gap between trains is wider during those hours than during peak periods, Metro does not anticipate any delays, even though trains will share tracks through some work zones.

By  |  08:51 AM ET, 10/24/2011

Categories:  Commuting, Construction, Congestion

 
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