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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 09:39 AM ET, 12/05/2011

The week ahead for traffic, transit

Travelers may encounter showers Tuesday through Thursday, and the temperatures will fall as the week develops, the Capital Weather Gang says. It’s not a bad forecast for holiday shoppers, but despite the declining temperatures, there’s plenty of roadwork along the routes to the malls and shopping areas.

Here are some of the issues that travelers in the D.C. area can expect to encounter this week.

Intercounty Connector

With the free test drives over, traveling from one end of the Inner County Connector to the other now costs $4 at peak periods (6 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays), $3.20 off-peak and $1.60 overnight (11 p.m. to 5 a.m.).

Owners of vehicles without an E-ZPass will receive a bill in the mail charging them a Video Toll Rate for a trip on the connector. The charge generally will be 150 percent of the E-ZPass toll rate, but there is a minimum video surcharge of $1.

If you want to get a Maryland E-ZPass — and there’s no requirement that your E-ZPass come from Maryland to use the connector — go to ezpassmd.com or to the E-ZPass Stop-in Centers at the Beltsville and Gaithersburg Motor Vehicle Administration offices. They’re open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

This weekend, the Beltsville office will have special Saturday hours, 8:30 a.m. to noon. The address is 11760 Baltimore Ave. The Gaithersburg office is at 15 Metropolitan Grove Rd.

Beltway/Telegraph Road

From 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night through Thursday, a lane of the Capital Beltway’s inner loop will be closed between Telegraph Road and the Eisenhower Avenue Connector to remove a barrier and install an overhead sign. This is part of the final phase of the Wilson Bridge construction project.

Beginning at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday; the inner loop will close completely for 15 minutes. Consider alternative routes, because the closing is likely to lead to lengthy backups.

During those same hours, a lane of the outer loop also will be closed between the Eisenhower Avenue Connector and Telegraph Road. Starting at 11:59 p.m. tonight and Wednesday, full closings of the outer loop are scheduled.

Constitution Avenue NW

From 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, as many as two lanes in each direction on Constitution Avenue may be closed between 23rd and 15th streets NW for replacement of bus pads and sidewalks, landscaping, traffic signal work and clean-up. The exact location of the lane closings will vary daily.

Temporary lane closures also may be necessary throughout the work zone. There is no night work scheduled this week.

George Washington Parkway

The rock stabilization work in the northbound lanes of the GW Parkway in Rosslyn is scheduled to continue this week, and traffic delays are likely.

The northbound ramp from Rosslyn will merge with the two northbound lanes of the parkway. A short section of the merging left lane from the northbound parkway between the Key Bridge and the Spout Run Parkway exit will remain closed during the project, which is scheduled to be done late this month.

The National Park Service suggests using westbound Route 50 to reach the Capital Beltway during the project.

Rock Creek Park

Crews are planning to do tree work in Rock Creek Park this week. Bingham Road NW is scheduled to close between Oregon Avenue and Beach Drive from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Dulles Metrorail project

Construction of the rail bridge over the Capital Beltway in Tysons Corner is scheduled to continue this week. Several lanes of the Beltway may be closed overnight. The closings could include ramps at the Route 123 interchange. This work will continue through the end of the month.

MLK Avenue project

The District Department of Transportation is starting a road improvement project this week on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue between Good Hope and Howard roads.

DDOT says the crosswalks will be redone and wheelchair ramps improved. Sidewalks, curbs, gutters and alley entrances will be repaired. The avenue will be repaved.

Construction will take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays, and possibly Saturdays during the four months of the project. Lanes may be closed between the morning and afternoon rush periods, but at least one lane in each direction will be open. Street parking will be limited sometimes, and no-parking notices will be posted 72 hours in advance.

Dulles Toll Road meeting

On New Year’s Day, the toll at the main toll plaza on the Dulles Toll Road is going to rise by 25 cents.

On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates the highway, plans to host a public information session about the toll road’s finances, operations and planned improvements.

The session is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. in the South Lakes High School cafeteria, 11400 South Lakes Dr., Reston.

Shopping trips to Tysons

If you’re like me, and you visit shopping malls only for gift-giving emergencies, like Christmas, here’s a heads-up about a change in the road pattern this holiday season.

On Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) at the Capital Beltway, the left lanes have been restored. On the northbound side, heading away from Tysons, the ramp to the Beltway’s inner loop also has been restored, and the left-turn lane at the traffic signal is gone.

Meanwhile, I have seen some significant backups on the inner loop approaching the Route 7 exit on the south side of Tysons.

D.C. streetcars

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the District Department of Transportation’s streetcar team have scheduled a meeting to update the public on plans for the the H Street/Benning Road streetcar line.

The meeting is set for 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. The closest Metrorail stop is at Union Station. The center also can be reached via Metrobus Routes X2, X8, X9. (X9 service ends at 6:30 p.m.)

SoberRide for holidays

The SoberRide program offered by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program through a network of cab companies is going to be operating from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. each night between Dec. 16Friday and New Year’s Eve. Adults in the D.C. region who are at risk of driving while impaired can get a free ride home up to a $30 fare value by calling 800-200-TAXI.

By  |  09:39 AM ET, 12/05/2011

Categories:  Commuting, Construction, Capital Beltway

 
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