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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 11:35 AM ET, 05/06/2011

The weekend and beyond

There’s a chance of a shower on Mother’s Day, the Capital Weather Gang says, but travelers should find the going relatively easy this weekend. The Virginia Gold Cup races are Saturday at Great Meadow, The Plains. For transportation buffs, Saturday is Space Day at the National Air and Space Museum on the Mall, and a little north at Union Station, it’s National Train Day.

Here are some things you should know about getting around this weekend and beyond.

Mother’s Day travel

If you’re planning a long-distance trip with a quick turnaround, remember that the highway speed E-ZPass lanes are still under construction in the middle of the I-95 toll plaza at Newark, Del. The weekend bottleneck can be particularly bad in the northbound lanes.

Before you leave home, check the live traffic reports from the Delaware Department of Transportation.

Approaching the toll plaza, tune in to radio station WTMC (1380 AM) for traffic updates.

Springfest at Ocean City

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend, it’s Springfest in Ocean City, and the annual event usually adds traffic to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

The Maryland Transportation Authority said it will monitor traffic through the weekend and, if the weather permits, allow two-way operations on the Bay Bridge’s westbound span to ease eastbound delays.

As usual, the authority encouraged off-peak travel and said the best travel times to avoid congestion are: Friday before noon and after 10 p.m., Saturday before 7 a.m. and between 5 and 10 p.m., Sunday between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (877-229-7726) for current traffic conditions or go to baybridge.com to view live traffic cameras.

Dulles Metrorail disruptions

The Dulles Metrorail project will continue working this weekend on the area that will become the junction between the new line and the Orange Line.

For transit riders, that means trains will share a single track on the Orange Line to get around the work zone. (See below.) For drivers on Interstate 66, watch for a closing of the left through lane eastbound from 300 feet west of the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) overpass to 500 feet east of the Great Falls Street overpass.

This lane will be closed from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday night and from 10 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Saturday night.

Va. Beltway lane closings

The Woodrow Wilson Bridge project plans to close the Capital Beltway’s outer loop THRU lanes from 10 p.m. Friday through mid-morning Sunday. During that time, workers will place a large storm drain across the THRU lanes.

The closing will extend from just before Telegraph Road to the Route 1 interchange in Virginia. The two LOCAL lanes on the outer loop will remain open, and outer loop access to the Telegraph Road exits will remain open.

The LOCAL lanes are called that because they provide access to local exits, but they continue through to the Wilson Bridge and Maryland. Use them while the THRU lanes are closed or consider taking the 14th Street or American Legion bridges across the Potomac River during the closing.

Metro weekend delays

Expect delays of 20 to 30 minutes on sections of the Red, Orange and Blue lines this weekend.

Red Line: From 9:30 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing Sunday, trains will share a track between Grosvenor and Twinbrook. Workers will be repairing the White Flint platform.

Trains also will share a track between New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue, where work continues on the aerial structure outside the Rhode Island Avenue Station.

Throughout the weekend, trains will leave the ends of the line at Shady Grove and Glenmont about every 16 minutes. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, trains will operate more frequently through the interior portion of the line. They will arrive about every six to 10 minutes at the stations between Friendship Heights and New York Avenue.

Orange Line: From 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday’s closing, trains will share a track between Ballston and West Falls Church while workers replace cross ties. This also clears space for work on the Dulles Metrorail extension.

On Saturday and Sunday, every other train traveling toward Vienna will terminate at Ballston and head back toward New Carrollton. Trains will operate about every 12 minutes between New Carrollton and Ballston. Between Ballston and Vienna, trains will operate about every 24 minutes.

Blue Line: From 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday’s closing, trains will share a track between Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street. Workers will be resurfacing the ground underneath the tracks.

On Saturday and Sunday, every other train traveling in the direction of Franconia-Springfield will terminate at Van Dorn Street and head back toward Largo Town Center. Trains will operate about every 12 to 15 minutes between Largo Town Center and Van Dorn Street . Trains between Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield will operate about every 24 to 30 minutes.

Notley Road/Intercounty Connector

On Saturday, the Maryland State Highway Administration plans to close Notley Road between Royal Forest Lane and Paula Lynn Drive in Montgomery County from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Workers will be finishing the paving for a new bridge over the future route of the Intercounty Connector.

During this work, access to Royal Forest Lane and Paula Lynn Drive from Notley Road will be maintained.

Later this spring and summer, the detour roadway will be completely removed, and new curbing and sidewalk completed along northbound Notley Road.

Next weekend at Telegraph Road/Beltway

The Wilson Bridge project plans some lane closings and traffic shifts around the Telegraph Road interchange next weekend to prepare for the new ramp opening from Telegraph Road South to North Kings Highway and for roadway construction.

The opening of the ramp will permanently eliminate the left turn from Telegraph South onto North Kings Highway, lengthening green light time for Telegraph Road travelers.

For southbound drivers on Telegraph Road, the turn to North Kings Highway will be the first right after crossing the Cameron Run Bridge, while the turn to Huntington Avenue will be the second right.

The new ramp is scheduled to be open by 5 a.m. May 16, but the weekend work is likely to cause local traffic delays, and it would be a good idea to use alternative routes.

From 8 p.m. May 13 through 5 a.m. May 16, southbound Telegraph Road lanes will be closed from the Beltway interchange to North. Kings Highway. Traffic will be shifted left onto one of the northbound lanes. One lane will remain open each to southbound and northbound Telegraph Road traffic all weekend.

The right-hand ramp from Telegraph Road South to Huntington Avenue also will be closed during the weekend. Drivers will use a temporary left-hand turn onto Huntington Avenue.

The Beltway’s outer loop exit to southbound Telegraph Road will be closed for the weekend, as well as the ramp from southbound Telegraph Road to the outer loop.

Metrobus hearings

Metro and transportation agencies in the District and Maryland have scheduled two public meetings this coming week about their Metrobus A and Y Line studies to improve bus service along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue in Southeast Washington and Georgia Avenue in Maryland.

These sessions continue a string of efforts to improve Metrobus service on some of the most heavily used lines. They are not related to the public hearings coming up this month on Metro’s operating budget for fiscal 2012.

Here’s the schedule for the two bus meetings:

A Line. 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Savoy Elementary School, 2400 Shannon Place SE. The school is a block east of the Anacostia Metrorail station.

Y Line. 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the First Baptist Church of Wheaton, 10914 Georgia Ave. The church is on the Metrobus Y Line, and a block south of the Wheaton Metrorail station.

By  |  11:35 AM ET, 05/06/2011

Categories:  Weekend Work, Metro, Bay Bridge, Capital Beltway

 
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