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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 10:17 AM ET, 11/04/2011

The weekend and beyond

It’s a great weekend to be traveling around the D.C. region, the Capital Weather Gang says. The weather will be dry, and daytime temperatures will be in the 50s. Speaking of daylight, we lose daylight saving time early Sunday, giving travelers more light in the mornings and less in the evenings.

This weekend, there will be more room for construction workers and less room for travelers on the roads and rails. Metro is closing some Red Line stations. Drivers who plan trips through Tysons Corner this weekend also should be on alert. And after a few weeks away, the Redskins will be back in Landover on Sunday afternoon, leading to some local traffic congestion. Here are the details.

Metro weekend work

Travelers on the Red, Orange and Blue lines will encounter delays between 10 p.m. Friday and the train system’s midnight closing on Sunday.

Red Line: Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Glenmont and Fort Totten. Takoma, Silver Spring, Forest Glen, Wheaton and Glenmont stations will be closed.

The last Shady Grove-bound train will leave Fort Totten at 2:51 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. (That’s the late Friday and late Saturday night service.) On Sunday night, the last train will leave at 11:51 p.m.

Allow yourself about a half hour of extra travel time if using the shuttle buses.

Orange/Blue lines: Trains will share a track between McPherson Square and Foggy Bottom. Throughout the weekend, trains will leave the ends of the lines about every 15 minutes. Allow about 20 minutes of extra travel time.

Tysons road work

If work scheduled for this weekend proceeds on schedule, Monday morning commuters will find the four lanes of the Capital Beltway’s inner loop (Interstate 495 North) have shifted to the right onto a new bridge over Chain Bridge Road.

Perhaps most significant to commuters, this shift will allow the reopening of the ramp that leads from the right side of northbound Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) onto the inner loop. That will eliminate the left turn lanes and the traffic light that served as a temporary entrance to the inner loop.

Weekend work: Crews will be very active in the work zone for the high-occupancy toll lanes this weekend as they prepare for the changes. This work is scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights.

From 9:30 p.m. Friday till 8:30 a.m. Saturday, the three right lanes on the inner loop from Route 7 to the Dulles Toll Road will be closed to prepare for the traffic shift. Ramps from the inner loop, Route 7 and Route 123 also will be closed. Detours will be marked.

From 9:30 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday, workers will close two left lanes on Route 123 to restore the left lanes, remove the traffic signals and reopen the ramp from Route 123 North to the inner loop. Ramps from the inner loop and Route 123 will be closed and detours marked.

Time change

The night owl service on Metrorail will operate as usual from the riders point of view, despite the time change early Sunday morning. Metro will stick to the normal weekend schedule until the rail system’s 3 a.m. closing, even though the clocks turn back an hour.

Riders should always check the schedules to see when the “last train” is due at their stations, but they can take comfort that there’s no early end to operations when the clocks fall back.

Constitution Avenue

From 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, expect all traffic to shift from the westbound lanes to the eastbound lanes on Constitution Avenue NW between 23rd and 17th streets for paving. One lane will remain open at all times in each direction.

The intersection at 22nd Street and Virginia Avenue will be temporarily closed to allow for the paving. The road will re-open once the asphalt has cooled. There will be no parking on Constitution Avenue between 23rd and 17th streets.

Rock Creek Parkway

As part of the road reconstruction in the Rock Creek Parkway corridor, southbound Beach Drive is scheduled to be closed from 7 a.m. Saturday to 4 a.m. Monday between Porter Street and the parkway. Calvert Street/Shoreham Drive southward to Waterside Drive also will be closed. Access from Massachusetts Avenue will be blocked temporarily.

Calvert Street/Shoreham Drive (adjacent to the Shoreham Hotel) and Cathedral Avenue will be open to northbound traffic only. Beach Drive will be open to outbound northbound traffic only. Watch for detour signs and expect delays.

The entry gate to the National Zoo on Beach Drive will be closed for the weekend. Closure in the southbound curb lane of Rock Creek Parkway approaching Waterside Drive continues.

Beltway/Telegraph Road

The Wilson Bridge project says workers will close lanes this weekend on the Capital Beltway’s outer loop between the Eisenhower Connector and Telegraph Road

Two right lanes will be closed Friday and Saturday nights between 11 a.m. and 6 a.m. One lane will be closed from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.

Redskins return

The Redskins have been away from FedEx Field for quite a while, but the team returns home Sunday for a 1 p.m. game against San Francisco, so here’s a reminder about traffic and transit to the stadium in Landover.

Driving: On game days, traffic volumes increase on Landover Road, Central Avenue, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and the eastern side of the Capital Beltway. Leave home early, because the traffic will be at its worst in the two hours before kickoff.

Three Beltway interchanges at Landover Road, Arena Drive and Central Avenue offer access to FedEx Field. As game time approaches, the Landover Road and Arena Drive exits tend to be the most crowded, especially Landover Road. Central Avenue, the southernmost of the three exits, is the one that the Maryland State Highway Administration recommends to minimize delays.

Consider Beltway alternatives. For example, a Northern Virginia driver could come across the 14th Street Bridge on Interstate 395, cross the Anacostia River via Pennsylvania Avenue, pick up Minnesota Avenue SE, turn right on B Street SE, right again on East Capitol Street, which becomes Central Avenue, then take Morgan Boulevard north to the stadium.

Parking: The parking lots usually open four hours before game time, and the stadium gates open two hours before kickoff. Drivers leaving the lots after games will be directed to dedicated lanes to ease congestion. Watch the stadium personnel and the overhead lane lights.

The lots closest to the stadium are open to permit holders only. The permits cover one parking space and can’t be used for additional tailgating room. There are several cash lots off Jericho City Drive, to the southeast of the stadium.

Metrorail: The Blue Line’s Morgan Boulevard station is the closest to FedEx. The stadium is a little less than a mile north along a slightly uphill sidewalk. Largo Town Center station, also on the Blue Line, is next closest. Make sure you have your SmarTrip card or paper fare card loaded for a round trip, so you won’t have to wait in a line at fare vending machines after games.

Parking is free on weekends at Metrorail lots and garages, other than Morgan Boulevard or Largo Town Center stations. Drivers who park at those stations to go to FedEx must pay $25 with a SmarTrip card. The reusable cards cost $5. Metrorail riders who park at those two stations on game days should use SmarTrip cards to pay for their train rides, so they can avoid paying the special event fee.

11th Street Bridge

The District Department of Transportation plans to close the exit ramp from the inbound 11th Street bridge to M Street SE from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m .Monday through Thursday.

During these hours, eastbound M Street SE between 11th and 12th streets also will be closed. There will be limited access to that block of westbound M Street. Detours will be marked.

The lane closings will allow crews to install bridge girders over M Street SE for a new freeway bridge.

Rhode Island Avenue Metro station

Starting next week, Metro plans to begin construction on the staircase that leads from Rhode Island Avenue to the Rhode Island Avenue station entrance. The transit authority expects the work to take about three weeks.

During that time, riders can enter the station via Washington Place through the bus bays or cross Rhode Island Avenue and use the pedestrian bridge to the station. Bus stops will be relocated temporarily.

The construction is part of the big development project adjacent to the Red Line station. Workers are building 274 residential units, 65,000 square feet of retail space and a parking garage.

Beltway paving

The Maryland State Highway Administration says the repaving is done on the Capital Beltway’s outer loop between Route 29 and Seminary Road. Drivers should watch for single lane closings of the inner loop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and for double and triple lane closings from 8 p.m. till 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights.

Riggs Road project

The highway administration is doing concrete patching on Riggs Road between University Boulevard and Sargent Road. There may be double lane closings from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. weeknights.

By  |  10:17 AM ET, 11/04/2011

Categories:  Weekend Work, Metro, Events

 
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