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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 09:35 AM ET, 04/30/2012

The week ahead for traffic, transit

Monday continues the string of cooler than average days, but travelers will find the rest of the week a lot warmer, the Capital Weather Gang says. The best chance for showers will occur Tuesday into Wednesday.

The Washington Nationals will be at Nationals Park for night games Tuesday through Friday, then a day game Saturday and a night game Sunday. The Capitals play the Rangers at Verizon Center on Wednesday night.

Watch for road workers


(Jahi Chikwendiu - The Washington Post)
Work zones are dangerous areas, but in many of them, the road crews at least are protected by concrete barriers. As the weather warms, and the construction season develops, drivers will be very close to workers in short-term work zones. Those workers may be protected by no more than orange barrels and safety vests.

Even in some of the long-term construction zones, conditions may vary. Drivers on the west side of the Capital Beltway in Virginia will see the 495 Express Lanes project concentrating more and more on activity in the middle of the Beltway, rather than on the sides. Eventually, the concrete barriers will come down, and hundreds of those workers out there in the middle will have only limited protection from passing vehicles.

That was one of the things on the minds of safety officials who met in Tysons Corner last week to renew their “Orange Cones. No Phones.” campaign, to get drivers to stop talking or texting while passing through the work zones.

Intercounty Connector night work

Part of Maryland’s Intercounty Connector between Georgia Avenue and Needwood Road will be completely closed during some overnight periods early this week while construction crews install steel rods designed to strengthen three bridges.

These are the brides at Georgia Avenue, Emory Lane and Needwood Road. The ICC closings in that area are scheduled for midnight to 5 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. The closings will last no more than 20 minutes at a time, the Maryland State Highway Administration said.

The project will continue into the summer. Other work will be done between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, but the ICC will be open at those times.

I-95/395 HOV lanes

The Virginia Department of Transportation is continuing its preparatory studies to replace the I-95 HOV lanes with HOT lanes (high-occupancy toll).

VDOT plans to close sections of the I-95/395 HOV lanes overnights this week. The hours will be 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights, and 11 p.m. to 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

Beltway/Telegraph Road

This portion of the Wilson Bridge project will be very active for the next few months as the project completes the work on the THRU and LOCAL lanes of the Capital Beltway.

From 9 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday: The exit ramp from the outer loop to Huntington Avenue will be closed for roadway construction. Drivers should take the exit ramp to Telegraph Road South and make a U-turn at Farmington Drive to return on Telegraph Road North, then go right on Huntington Avenue.

Wednesday, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.: The right shoulder of the inner loop LOCAL lanes will be closed between Route 1 and Telegraph Road for overhead sign construction, but the travel lanes will be open.

At the Telegraph Road interchange, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night through Friday: The ramp from Duke Street East to Telegraph Road South will be closed for bridge construction. Eastbound drivers should continue to Route 1 South to the inner loop to Telegraph Road South.

At midnight Thursday: Telegraph Road will be completely closed in both directions for about 15 minutes to put up the structure for an overhead sign.

Maryland lane closings

The Maryland State Highway Administration will be working on Wisconsin Avenue between Bradley Boulevard and the D.C. line. Watch for single lane closings from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays.

On the Capital Beltway in Prince George’s County, watch for double and triple lane closings on both sides at Kenilworth Avenue. These will begin at 9 p.m., with the lanes reopening by 5 o’clock each morning through mid-May.

D.C. bike lane

The District Department of Transportation has scheduled a public meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss a proposal for a protected bike lane on L Street NW. It’s part of what DDOT calls the Innovative Bicycle Facility Research Project, a yearlong effort to study three completed bicycle improvements and glean lessons for others.

The planned L Street bike lane is between 25th and 12th streets, and is scheduled to be set up this summer. Located on the north side of the street, it will be separated from the rest of the roadway by flexible posts. This will be similar in design to the north-south route along 15th Street NW.

The Thursday meeting will be held in the second-floor community room in the Reeves Center, at 14th and U streets NW.

Riverwalk open

The District last week opened the Riverwalk Trail Bridge along the Anacostia River. The bridge, which crosses the CSX tracks and a wetland just north of the Sousa Bridge overpass, completes the trail connections on the west side of the Anacostia River from South Capitol Street to Benning Road.

So far, 12 miles of what will be a 20-mile trail are open. It eventually will create a path for walkers and cyclists between the Tidal Basin and the Bladensburg Marina Park in Maryland.

Already, the Riverwalk is a great enhancement to the Anacostia River waterfront. Nationals fans, stroll down and see it before or after a game at Nationals Park.

Final demolition work

This should be welcome news among drivers enduring the 495 Express Lanes project: The demolition of the ramp that led from the left side of the Beltway’s inner loop to westbound Interstate 66 is the last major demolition for the project, which is scheduled to be done at the end of the year.

Building the new lanes is relatively easy compared to the reconstruction of the interchanges and bridges along the project’s 14 miles. Those are the parts that take the longest and tend to cause the most disruption for traffic.

This ramp, for example, crosses over part of I-66 and Metro’s Orange Line tracks. The demolition is being done from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., seven days a week, and will take a month or so to complete.

Metro weekend work

Looking ahead to this weekend, Metro has scheduled a lot of work that will disrupt service. I’ll remind you later this week, but here’s the information you need to prepare.

Green Line: Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Greenbelt and Fort Totten. The stations at Greenbelt, College Park, Prince George’s Plaza and West Hyattsville will be closed. Trains will operate on their normal weekend schedule between Fort Totten and Branch Avenue.

Using the shuttle bus service will probably add about 20 minutes to normal travel times. This will be a consideration for Nationals fans going to the Saturday afternoon and Sunday night games. If they want to stick with transit, they could swing north on the Beltway to Silver Spring on the Red Line (though that’s still in a single-tracking zone) or south to the Blue Line station at Largo Town Center or the Orange Line station at New Carrollton. (But that also means entering a single-tracking zone on both lines.)

There’s much more off-street parking now around Nationals Park, this weekend series is with the Phillies, so plenty of people will be driving down from the Philadelphia area. See our guide to Nationals Park.

Yellow Line: Because of the Green Line work, weekend Yellow Line trains will operate between Huntington and Mount Vernon Square. They normally continue north to Fort Totten on weekends.

Orange Line: Trains will share a track between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory, and between East Falls Church and West Falls Church.

Throughout the weekend, Orange Line trains are scheduled to operate every 20 minutes, but add about 10 minutes to your travel time through the work zones, Metro says.

Blue Line: As with the Orange Line, trains will share a track between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory. Throughout the weekend, Blue Line trains will be scheduled to operate every 20 minutes. But add 10 minutes to normal travel times through the work zones.

Red Line: Trains will share a track between Forest Glen and Takoma, and between Van Ness and Dupont Circle. Metro says that trains between Shady Grove and Glenmont will operate every 24 minutes throughout the weekend. But add 20 minutes to normal travel times to get through the work zones.

Between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, extra trains will operate between Farragut North and New York Avenue. That should provide service every 12 minutes in downtown D.C.

By  |  09:35 AM ET, 04/30/2012

Categories:  Commuting, Construction, Metro, Capital Beltway, Driving | Tags:  DC transportation, Virginia Department of Transportation, District Department of Transportation, Maryland Department of Transportation, Metro, WMATA

 
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