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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 09:12 AM ET, 02/13/2012

The week ahead for traffic, transit

Travelers will find this week milder than the past few days, the Capital Weather Gang says. The best chances of rain are Tuesday and Thursday.

Despite the season, drivers will encounter some road work disruptions across the D.C. region, but the ones at the Capital Beltway/Interstate 66 interchange are particularly noteworthy.

Metro has plenty of track work scheduled this week, leading up to some major disruptions over the Presidents’ Day weekend.

Metro weekday maintenance

Metro plans maintenance on four train lines this week during off-peak hours.

Red Line: From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, trains will share a track between Friendship Heights and Medical Center. The transit authority anticipates delays up to 10 minutes.

During late-night service Monday through Thursday, trains will share a track between Van Ness and Medical Center and between New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue.

The single-tracking will begin at 10 p.m. Monday, and at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. (The Capitals play at Verizon Center at 7:30 p.m. Monday.) Once work begins, Red Line trains will leave their terminal stations every 30 to 35 minutes. Riders should add 20 to 25 minutes to their usual travel times.

Orange Line: Starting at 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, trains will share a track between Foggy Bottom and Ballston. This will clear room for work in preparation of this weekend’s switch replacement project. More details on that below.

Trains also will share a track between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory. After 10 p.m., trains will operate every 30 to 35 minutes. Add 10 to 15 minutes extra to your usual travel time.

Blue Line: From 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, trains will share a track between Foggy Bottom and Arlington Cemetery stations. As with the Orange Line single-tracking in the same area, this clears room for the prep work on the switch replacement.

Blue Line trains also will share a track between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory and the trains will operate every 30 to 35 minutes. Riders should allow 15 to 20 minutes more than their usual travel times.

Green Line: From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, trains will share a track between Southern Avenue and Naylor Road. Add 10 minutes to the usual travel time.

495 Express Lanes

Twelve interchanges along the west side of the Capital Beltway in Virginia are under reconstruction as part of the 495 Express Lanes (high-occupancy toll lanes) project, but several upcoming events stand out because of their effect on drivers.

Between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, the left lane for the new flyover ramp from eastbound Interstate 66 to the Beltway’s inner loop will be closed for drainage work.

Meanwhile, the HOV ramp from eastbound I-66’s HOV lane to the Beltway will be closed for road work. Traffic will be directed to use the I-66 general purpose exits — the ones on the right side of I-66 — to reach either the inner or outer loops. These ramp blockages are likely to cause extra congestion in an already congested area.

Beltway/I-66 interchange

In my Sunday column, a traveler complained about the impact of narrowing the ramp from the Capital Beltway’s outer loop to westbound I-66. The Virginia Department of Transportation made the change last week to create more room for drivers entering the westbound lanes from the inner loop.

The interchange is a very active work zone for the 495 Express Lanes project, as you saw in the item above. The traveler who wrote the letter reported outer loop traffic backing up to the American Legion Bridge and beyond now that the I-66 ramp has been reduced temporarily from two lanes to one.

VDOT says it is monitoring the traffic and will look for ways of easing backups, but so far, the narrowing is scheduled to continue till summer. The entire project is scheduled to be done by the end of the year.

Beltway/Telegraph Road

Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. each of those nights, and then again on Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, the ramp from Telegraph Road South to the Capital Beltway’s outer loop will be closed.

Drivers should take the Huntington Avenue ramp to Huntington Avenue East to Route 1 North to the outer loop ramp.

Also during those hours, the ramp from Telegraph Road South to North Kings Highway will be closed. Drivers should take the Huntington Avenue ramp to Huntington Avenue East to Route 1 South to North Kings Highway.

This work is part of the Wilson Bridge project.

Interstate 270 median

The Maryland State Highway Administration is beginning work on a new concrete median barrier on Interstate 270 between the Capital Beltway and Old Georgetown Road (Route 187).

Watch for single lane closings Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and double lane closings Sunday through Thursday from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. When the weather warms in the spring, SHA will begin milling and paving operations in this area.

Constitution Avenue NW

The National Park Service says drivers may find up to two lanes in each direction on Constitution Avenue closed between 23rd and 15th streets from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.

The location of the lane closings for the road rehabilitation project may change daily, the park service says.

Route 2 repairs

The Maryland State Highway Administration is repairing the ramp from southbound Route 2 (Ritchie Highway) to westbound Route 100 in Anne Arundel County.

This week, crews will move equipment and concrete barriers to the right side of the ramp for the final phase of the project. About 180 feet of underground drainage pipe collapsed during heavy flooding last fall from Tropical Storm Lee. Crews then replaced the pipe culvert with a new structure under the ramp and reopened the ramp to traffic in mid-December, pending further repairs.

George Washington Parkway

Watch for delays at midday Monday on the southbound side of the GW Parkway near Reagan National Airport.

The left lane is scheduled to close between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. At times, both lanes will be closed for 15 minute intervals. Workers will be removing loose concrete from the underside of the overpass coming from the airport onto the southbound side of the parkway.

Detour signs will be posted. To get around the area, the National Park Service suggests drivers consider using Interstate 395, Route 110 or Route 1. To reach the airport, Alexandria and points south of there, drivers could use Route 233.

Anacostia Metro station

The District is working on a program to enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety in the public spaces around the Anacostia Metro station.

The D.C. agencies involved have invited the public to two community meetings this week to discuss ideas on better connecting the station to the nearby neighborhoods and making the area safer for walkers and bikers.

An introductory session is scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, and a second discussion session is set for 12:30 to 2 p.m. Wednesday. Both meetings will be at Matthews Memorial Baptist Church, 2616 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE.

Presidents’ Day weekend

The transit authority is planning very extensive track work during the upcoming Presidents’ Day weekend. Two lines will be split from Friday night through the Metrorail system’s midnight closing on Presidents Day.

On the Orange Line, buses will replace trains between Rosslyn and Virginia Square. The Court House and Clarendon stations will be closed. Workers will be replacing switches and rehabilitating sections of track.

On the Red Line, buses will replace trains between Medical Center and White Flint. Grosvenor station will be closed. Work in this section will include replacement of track circuit equipment.

By  |  09:12 AM ET, 02/13/2012

Categories:  Commuting, Metro, Capital Beltway | Tags:  DC transportation, Metro, WMATA, Virginia Department of Transportation, District Department of Transportation, Maryland State Highway Administration,

 
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