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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 09:14 AM ET, 03/19/2012

The week ahead for traffic, transit

[This post has been updated; Harlem Globetrotter “Flight Time” Lang will cross the Francis Scott Key Bridge instead of the Arlington Memorial Bridge. ]

The Capital Weather Gang’s forecast says this week’s commuting will be southern California style, with some fog in the mornings followed by warm afternoons. But by late in the week, we’ll probably lose the morning fog and the temperature may rise to 80. There’s little chance of rain till the weekend.

This good weather will continue to bring crowds to the streets and paths around the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms.

Metro weekday maintenance

This is the last week of midday track work before Metro takes a break for the blossom festival. There’s no work scheduled for this coming weekend.

Keep the night work listed below in mind if you’re going to the Wizards game at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Verizon Center. The schedule will be normal when you go to the game, but allow extra time for getting home on crowded trains.

Red Line: From 10 o’clock each night through Thursday, trains will share tracks between Van Ness and Medical Center and between New York and Rhode Island avenues. They will operate every 30 to 35 minutes, Metro says.

Orange Line: From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each weekday, trains will share a track between Vienna and West Falls Church. This will cause minor delays, Metro says.

From 10 o’clock each night through Thursday, trains will share a track between East Falls Church and West Falls Church and between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory. Add about 10 minutes to normal travel times.

Blue Line: After 10 o’clock each night through Thursday, trains will share a track between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory. Add about 10 minutes to normal travel times.

Green Line: From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, trains will share a track between College Park and Greenbelt. Add about 10 minutes to normal travel times.

Trotting over Memorial Bridge

My colleague, Mark Berman, reports:

The Harlem Globetrotters are coming to town to play ball at the Verizon Center and the Patriot Center. But why merely drive or take the Metro to town when you can head to D.C. in style? Globetrotter Herbert “Flight Time” Lang will be crossing the Arlington Memorial Bridge southern sidewalk of the Francis Scott Key Bridge on Monday at 1:30 p.m., dribbling and spinning a basketball from Arlington to the basketball courts at Georgetown Playground..

If you’re driving across that span, we wanted you to be adequately prepared.

Bikeshare on the Mall

The Capital Bikeshare program has opened two bike stations on the Mall, where they will be an advantage to people enjoying the Cherry Blossom Festival.

The new stations are at Ohio Drive and West Basin Drive SW, near the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and on Jefferson Drive between 14th and 15th streets SW, near the Washington Monument.

While these are right on the Mall, there also are many bike stations throughout downtown that can be useful for visiting festival sites. See a map of Capital Bikeshare stations in D.C. and Arlington.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service is making additional bike parking available between 15th and 14th Streets SW near the Washington Monument, and at the Jefferson Memorial. Bring a bike lock.

Tidal Basin lot closing

For the blossom festival, the park service has closed the parking lot at 1501 Maine Ave. SW, by the Tidal Basin. It’s scheduled to reopen April 19.

Constitution Avenue NW

From 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. each weekday, drivers may find the eastbound curb lane closed on Constitution Avenue NW between 17th and 15th streets for the installation of a fence. Parking is restricted.

Springfield interchange lane closings

The Virginia Department of Transportation will continue closing the Capital Beltway’s inner loop at the Springfield Interchange this week from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday and between 9 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday.

Workers are demolishing an old ramp over the highway, painting new bridge structures and completing other work on the bridge. This is part of the Interstate 495 Express Lanes project (the high-occupancy toll lanes).

During those nights, inner-loop traffic will be detoured to Exit 170B for Interstate 395 North, then to Exit 2 for Edsall Road West. Drivers will follow signs to I-395 South and back to Exit 1D for the inner loop toward Tysons Corner. The detour may add 15 to 20 minutes.

Bay Bridge painting

Workers are starting a paint job on the westbound span of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. They will be doing the steel parts of the suspension span and the towers. Drivers may see tarps and scaffolding around the towers, as well as a platform above the roadway.

Installing that equipment will require several overnight closings of the westbound span. During that time, two-way traffic will be allowed on the eastbound span. Painting is scheduled to be done by fall 2013, the Maryland Transportation Authority said.

Also getting underway this month is repaving and line striping along Route 50 before the toll plaza. The new striping will guide drivers to the plaza’s lanes and help improve the traffic flow, the authority said.

The work, including overnight lane closings near the toll plaza area, will take about two weeks.

Maryland bridge repair

The Maryland State Highway Administration has begun repairs on the Patuxent Beach Road (Route 4) Bridge over the Patuxent River, where it divides Calvert and St. Mary’s counties.

The work, which is scheduled to be done by spring 2013, should not have a big impact on either motorists or boaters, but it will require the closing of one lane on the bridge during overnight work, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays.

Arlington Boulevard interchanges

Westbound Arlington Boulevard (Route 50) is scheduled to close between Courthouse Road and 10th Street next weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 p.m. Sunday while workers demolish the 10th Street bridge over westbound Route 50. Avoid it, or try 10th Street to Washington Boulevard and back to Arlington Boulevard as a detour.

Earlier in the week, the Virginia Department of Transportation plans to impose several other closings that are part of this project, which involves rebuilding the interchanges at Courthouse Road and 10th Street. These closings, set to begin Thursday, will continue till the project is near completion in fall 2013.

The bridge from southbound 10th Street to eastbound Arlington Boulevard will close. Drivers can use Washington Boulevard to North Pershing Drive back to Arlington Boulevard as a detour. The ramp from westbound Arlington Boulevard to North Fairfax Drive between Courthouse Road and 10th Street also will close. Use 10th Street as a detour.

Finally, Fairfax Drive between Scott Street and Courthouse Road will close. Scott, Taft and Troy streets will remain open. Drivers won’t be able to make left turns from Courthouse Road to Fairfax Drive.

By  |  09:14 AM ET, 03/19/2012

Categories:  Commuting, Metro, Events | Tags:  DC transportation, Cherry Blossom Festival, Metro, WMATA, Virginia Department of Transportation, Maryland State Highway Administration

 
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