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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 12:34 PM ET, 09/06/2011

The week ahead in traffic and transit: Back to the Grind edition

For the latest transportation and transit news, follow us on Twitter: @drgridlock.

It’s September and Labor Day is in our rearview mirror. Commuters know what this means: workers and students alike are piling back onto the roads and rails now that the vacations are over. This means you should expect more congestion than you encountered while everyone was out of town in early August. Particularly bad weather this week could exacerbate the problems.

Here are some things to remember going into this holiday-shortened week. (And don’t forget, scheduled roadwork could wind up being postponed due to inclement weather.)

Rain, rain and more rain

Expect a perpetual threat of rain for the next couple of days, according to the Capital Weather Gang. There’s a flash flood watch for the region until Wednesday afternoon. Any time there's rain, commuters can expect delays, flooding and generally unpleasant conditions. Add extra time to your commutes while the rain sticks around, and remember to be careful out there.

“September Shock”

The impact of having everybody back on the roads and rails causes “September Shock.” Dr. Gridlock has identified a few trouble spots that could be particular concerns this month; head over here to see if base realignment programs Beltway lane shifts could slow your commute.

Virginia students head back to school

More than 300,00 Virginia students returned to school on Tuesday, joining their counterparts in the District and Maryland. Students, teachers and other staff members returned to schools in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William. Drivers should expect more congestion around schools, watch out for students and remember to slow down for school zones.

Changes to weekday Metro service

Metro will single track trains on the Red, Blue and Green Lines this week. Remember the following:

Red Line:

• Trains will share the same track between Friendship Heights and Grosvenor (for rail renewal and tunnel leak repairs) and between New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue (for rail and tie renewal) from 10 p.m. through closing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

Blue Line:

• Trains will share the same track between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road (for floating slab repairs) from 10 p.m. through closing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

Green Line:

• Trains will share the same track between Naylor Road and Branch Avenue (for rail renewal) between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Tuesday through Friday. (There are no delays expected due to this work.)

Lots of weekend track work planned for four Metro lines

Metro will have track work on the Red, Blue, Orange and Green lines this weekend. As you start planning for the upcoming weekend, keep these service changes in mind.

The following work will begin on Friday at 10 p.m. and last until the system closes on Sunday night.

Red Line:

• Trains will share one track between Dupont Circle and Judiciary Square to allow utility work and ceiling repairs at Farragut North, replacement of rail fasteners and installation of new emergency phones and communication cables to expand cell phone coverage.

• On Saturday and Sunday between 9:30 a.m. and 9 p.m., trains will depart every 10 minutes from Shady Grove and Glenmont. Every other train leaving Shady Grove will end at Dupont Circle, while every other train leaving Glenmont will end at Union Station,

• At all other times, Red Line trains will depart approximately every 20 minutes from Shady Grove and Glenmont.

• The last train departing Glenmont will leave 11 minutes earlier than usual (2:26 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11:26 p.m. on Sunday).

• Expect at least 30 minutes of additional travel time.

Blue and Orange Lines:

• Trains will share one track between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory as crews install new rail and other infrastructure.

• Orange Line trains will single track between Vienna and West Falls Church while personnel replace cross ties and insulators.

• Trains on both lines will depart the end terminals approximately every 20 minutes.

• Expect at least 20 minutes of additional travel time.

Green Line:

• Trains will share the same track between Greenbelt and College Park while personnel install new rail and other infrastructure.

• Expect at least 20 minutes of additional travel time.

New traffic patterns on Caton Avenue

New traffic patterns will be implemented in both directions on Caton Avenue between Joh and Benson avenues in Baltimore. (Weather permitting, of course.)

On Wednesday from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next morning, the ramp from southbound I-95 to eastbound Caton Avenue and the center and right lanes on eastbound Caton Avenue will be closed and the new traffic pattern implemented on eastbound Caton Avenue.

On Thursday from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning, the ramp from northbound I-95 to westbound Caton Avenue and the center and left lanes on westbound Caton Avenue will be closed and the new traffic pattern implemented on westbound Caton Avenue.

At 5 a.m. each morning, two lanes of each direction of Caton Avenue will open to traffic. The new traffic patterns are expected to remain in effect through mid-October.

Overnight closures of Anacostia Freeway

The Anacostia Freeway (295) will be closed in one direction over two nights this week as part of the 11th Street Bridge Project, according to the District Department of Transportation. The closures will last from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning, with a single lane closure beginning at 8 p.m. Signed detours will be posted during the closures.

Northbound 295 will be closed on Wednesday night at 10 p.m. and reopen on Thursday morning at 5 a.m. The detour will direct traffic to cross the 11th Street Bridge, turn onto M Street SE, turn onto 9th Street SE to access eastbound lanes of Southeast-Southwest Freeway and access northbound 295 via Pennsylvania Avenue SE

Southbound 295 will be closed on Thursday night at 10 p.m. and reopen on Friday morning at 5 a.m. The detour will direct traffic to exit onto Pennsylvania Avenue SE, turn right on Minnesota Avenue SE, travel to Good Hope Road SE and cross the 11th Street Bridge via the 13th Street SE ramp. Drivers will then be directed to exit onto M Street SE and turn onto 11th Street SE to access southbound 295.

Lane closures possible due to 11th Street Bridge Project

The District Department of Transportation might close lanes during off-peak travel times on bridges, ramps, portions of 295 and local streets beginning Tuesday, Sept. 6, and lasting through Nov. 23. This is due to construction activities for the 11th Street Bridge Project.

Lane closures are possible Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.:

• One lane on I-295/295 northbound between Pennsylvania Avenue SE and Howard Road SE.

• Good Hope Road SE might be reduced to one lane between Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Anacostia Drive SE.

• One lane on 12th Street SE between N and M streets.

• One lane and one bicycle lane on 11th Street SE between M and O streets.

• One lane on ramps and inbound 11th Street Bridge from northbound 295 to the Southeast-Southwest Freeway.

Lane closures possible Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.:

• One lane of O Street SE between 11th and 12th streets.

Lane closures possible Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.:

• One lane on the ramps and outbound 11th Street Bridge from the Southeast-Southwest Freeway to southbound I-295.

Lane closures possible Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.:

• One lane on southbound I-295 between Pennsylvania Avenue SE and Howard Road SE.

Lane closures possible Sunday through Thursday from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next morning:

• One lane in each direction of I-295 between Pennsylvania Avenue SE and Howard Road SE.

• Good Hope Road SE might be reduced to one lane between Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Anacostia Drive SE.

• One lane of O Street SE between 11th and 12th streets.

• One lane on the ramps and one or two lanes on the inbound 11th Street Bridge from northbound I-295 to the Southeast-Southwest Freeway

• One lane on ramps and outbound 11th Street Bridge from the Southeast-Southwest Freeway to southbound 295.

Lane closures possible each weekend from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.:

• One lane of O Street SE between 11th and 12th streets.

• One lane and one bicycle lane on 11th Street SE between M and N streets.

• One lane on 12th Street SE between O and M streets.

Landslide repair work beginning on northbound G.W. Parkway

Crews are scheduled to begin landslide repair work on northbound G.W. Parkway between Spout Run Parkway and the first overlook on Tuesday.

Right lane closures will occur between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. All lanes of the parkway will remain open during the morning and evening rush hours, and no weekend work is scheduled.

Crews will work to install signage, shift the pavement markings and install barriers on the northbound lanes of the parkway to repair landslide damage.

Hunter Mill Road closure rescheduled

Hunter Mill Road was scheduled to close at the Dulles Toll Road on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. the following mornings. The closing was so work can be done on the bridge that will carry tracks for the Dulles Metro over Hunter Mill Road, and it will be rescheduled.

By  |  12:34 PM ET, 09/06/2011

 
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