Most Read: Local

Dr. Gridlock
Traffic and Commuting Home  |  Discussions  |  Columns  |  Q&A  |      Twitter  |     Facebook |  phone Alerts
Posted at 10:55 AM ET, 08/05/2011

The weekend and beyond

Several major changes in traffic and transit are scheduled for the first weekend of August. Metro’s maintenance program splits the Red Line all weekend and disrupts the Blue Line on Sunday. The end phase of the lane shifts on the northbound 14th Street Bridge leads the list of weekend highway projects, but its a long list that also includes potential delays at the Capital Beltway’s Telegraph Road interchange.

The pleasant break from 90 plus temperatures will last only till Sunday, the Capital Weather Gang says, and the chance for rain increases on Saturday. D.C. United play at RFK Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, which also is the Redskins’ annual Fan Appreciation Day starting at 10:15 a.m. at Redskins Park in Ashburn. The final rounds of tennis in the Legg Mason tournament also will be played this weekend.

Metro maintenance disruptions

From 10 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing Sunday, buses will replace Red Line trains between Rockville and Bethesda. The Twinbrook, White Flint, Grosvenor and Medical Center stations will be closed.

Metro will operate free shuttle buses between the Rockville and Bethesda stations. Local shuttle buses will make stops at all intermediate stations (Twinbrook, White Flint, Grosvenor and Medical Center). In addition, express shuttle buses will operate directly between Rockville and Bethesda.

Red Line service will operate normally between Bethesda and Glenmont. Trains between Shady Grove and Rockville will operate every 20 minutes. On Friday and Saturday, the last train will depart Shady Grove 45 minutes earlier than usual, at 1:58 a.m. Saturday and at 10:58 p.m. Sunday.

Riders should allow 45 minutes to get through the work zone. If they want to avoid the work-zone delays, they could instead take Metrobus J and Q routes or Ride-On buses. (Those buses aren’t free.)

That’s the most significant rail disruption advisory for people planning to attend the final weekend rounds of the Legg Mason tennis tournament, which operates a free shuttle bus service from the Van Ness station on the Red Line.

One other major disruption will occur on Sunday only: The Wilson Bridge project’s work on the Telegraph Road bridge over the tracks will require Metro to use buses to replace trains between Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield on the Blue Line.

The Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street stations will be closed. The bus shuttles will operate between the Franconia-Springfield and Eisenhower Avenue stations via the Van Dorn Street station. Riders traveling through the work zone should add a half-hour to their regular trip times.

All Blue Line trains will operate to and from the Huntington station. Trains will operate about every 20 minutes.

Those are the major disruptions. In addition, service on the Blue and Orange lines will be slowed through a work zone that will require trains to share a take turns using a single track.

From 10 p.m. Friday through closing time Sunday, Orange and Blue Line trains will share a track between Eastern Market and Stadium Armory. Workers will be replacing rail fasteners.

Throughout the weekend, Blue and Orange Line trains will leave the ends of the lines about every 20 minutes. Riders should plan on an extra 20 minutes to get through the work zone

Tennis tournament

The annual Legg Mason Tennis Classic continues through Sunday at the FitzGerald Tennis Center, 16th and Kennedy streets NW.

Tennis fans can take the Red Line to the Van Ness station and board a free shuttle to the stadium. (However, its very important to note the Metrorail disruption scheduled for this weekend. See below.)

The shuttle service, operating every 10 to 12 minutes, will begin 90 minutes before the start of matches through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the shuttles will begin two hours before the start of the matches. The service continues for a half-hour after the end of the last matches each day.

Another transit option: Take the S2 or S4 Metrobuses that operate between Silver Spring and downtown D.C. via 16th Street NW.

14th Street Bridge

The lane closings on the northbound span of the 14th Street bridge are ending after two years of rehabilitation work. The District Department of Transportation says that the final resurfacing work is scheduled for this weekend. After the permanent pavement markings are put down, all lanes will be open in their original configuration.

Here’s the plan for wrapping up the job:

At 9 p.m. Friday, crews are scheduled to begin the job of laying down the permanent pavement markings.Work will continue through the weekend until all striping is done, finishing no later than 5 a.m. Monday.

During that weekend, temporary traffic controls will guide traffic through the shifting work zone. Two lanes will be open to through traffic during the striping.

While this will complete work on the road surface, activity will continue on the underside of the span. That involves retrofitting piers and other elements of the substructure. Placement of equipment for that work may require periodic lane closures, but these would take place during off-peak hours.

Beltway/Telegraph Road

The Wilson Bridge project is setting up several work zones and making major change in the local traffic pattern this weekend.

Watch for lane closings from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday on the Beltway’s inner loop (I-95/495 South) between Telegraph Road and the Eisenhower Connector as workers lay asphalt. This is likely to cause significant traffic delays.

The left lane will close at 9 p.m. Friday. The middle lane will close at 11 p.m., leaving one lane open. At 5 a.m. Saturday, the middle lane will reopen. All three lanes will be open by Monday’s rush period.

During those same hours, Telegraph Road will be completely closed for road construction and girder placement. Drivers should avoid this area because of the traffic delays. Telegraph Road South will be closed from Duke Street to Huntington Avenue. Telegraph Road North will be closed from just after the ramp to Eisenhower Avenue to Duke Street.

The Wilson Bridge project also plans to close westbound Pershing Avenue in the Eisenhower Valley of Alexandria starting Friday and continuing for two months. Drivers will not be able to take Pershing Avenue to Telegraph Road North toward Duke Street.

The closing will clear space for workers to build the new Pershing Avenue approach to the widened Telegraph Road bridge over the railroad tracks.

Detours: Drivers can take Stovall Street North, then make a right on Mill Road and a left on Eisenhower Avenue to the traffic circle to Holland Lane and Duke Street. They also could take Stovall Street South, make a left on Eisenhower Avenue to the traffic circle to Holland Lane and Duke Street. There will be detour signs posted.

Bethesda bridge reopening

Montgomery County’s transportation department hopes to have the Cedar Lane bridge over Rock Creek reopened this weekend and available for commuters Monday. Cedar Lane is an important link in the road network that will have to absorb the extra traffic created by the military base consolidation at Bethesda Naval Medical Center.

The bridge was closed to traffic in June to rehab its deteriorating concrete beams and piers. Montgomery County planners and the surrounding communities decided that it would be better to shut the bridge completely and get the work done in several months, rather than keep it partially open to traffic but extend the length of the project.

The work went faster than scheduled and is beating its target date by three weeks.When the bridge reopens, RideOn bus route 34 will end its detour and go back to its original route on Cedar Lane.

Constitution Avenue NW

This Saturday, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., expect up to three lanes on either side of Constitution Avenue to be closed between 23rd and 17th streets NW.

Interstate speed cameras

The Maryland State Highway Administration announced that it has created three new speed camera enforcement areas for highway work zones in the D.C. area, including the first two on the Capital Beltway.

The third is on Interstate 270 at Route 80 (Fingerboard Road), south of Frederick, and about 25 miles from where I-270 meets the Capital Beltway.

The highway administration said the camera zone has been created in advance of a traffic shift that will move northbound I-270 onto a temporary bridge in the median. The shift is scheduled for late August. Once it’s complete, workers will begin to demolish the old bridge deck.

The two enforcement areas on the Beltway are at the bridge reconstruction site over Northwest Branch, between University Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue, and on the inner loop between D’Arcy Road bridge and the Branch Avenue (Route 5) interchange, where the state is beginning a repaving project.

The camera zones are active now, the highway administration said, but speeding drivers will receive warning notices rather than fines through Aug. 22. After that, the owners of vehicles photographed exceeding the work zone’s 55 mph speed limit by at least 12 mph will receive $40 citations.

By  |  10:55 AM ET, 08/05/2011

Categories:  Weekend Work, Events, Metro, Construction, Driving

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company