After the Friday rain ends, travelers will enjoy a sunny and relatively mild weekend, the Capital Weather Gang says. That will be good for people out to enjoy the Chinese New Year parade or just waiting to board the buses that will replace trains on a portion of Metro’s Red Line.
And the mild weather should ease the pain of those participating in Maryland’s Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis on Saturday afternoon.
For those looking for a less challenging outing — let’s say, a shopping expedition to Tysons Corner, notice the Saturday closing of a Route 7 exit on the Capital Beltway.
Metro’s weekend maintenance
Once again, the weekend work schedule will affect all Metrorail lines, but the big impact is on the Red Line, where buses will replace trains between Dupont Circle and Van Ness. The main task is track circuit replacement, a program scheduled to be done later this year. (After this weekend, the Red Line gets a break and the big weekend disruptions focus on the Orange Line till late February.)
Here’s the full schedule for work starting at 10 p.m. Friday and continuing through the midnight closing Sunday.
Red Line: Trains will operate between Shady Grove and Van Ness, and between Dupont Circle and Glenmont. The stations at Woodley Park and Cleveland Park will be closed. Free shuttle buses will bridge the gap in train service. During the daytime, every other train from Dupont Circle will turn back at Silver Spring.
Riders traveling through the work zone should allow about 25 minutes of extra time, Metro said. All other riders should allow about 10 minutes of additional travel time.
Orange Line: Trains will share a track around a work zone between McPherson Square and Smithsonian. They will leave the ends of the line at Vienna and New Carrollton about every 16 minutes throughout the weekend. Service will be coordinated with the Blue Line to provide service about every eight minutes at stations from Rosslyn to Stadium-Armory, where the two lines share a tunnel.
Riders should allow for 10 to 15 minutes of extra travel time.
Blue Line: Trains will share a track around a work zone between McPherson Square and Smithsonian. They will leave the ends of the line at Franconia-Springfield and Largo Town Center about every 16 minutes. Riders should allow 10 to 15 minutes extra travel time.
Green Line: Trains will share a track around a work zone between Naylor Road and Branch Avenue. They will leave the ends of the line at Greenbelt and Branch Avenue about every 16 minutes. Riders should allow 10 to 15 minutes for extra travel time.
Yellow Line: There’s no work on the Yellow Line, but because of the Green Line work, Yellow Line service will operate between Huntington and Mount Vernon Square only. At off peak hours and on weekends, the trains normally continue north to Fort Totten. Riders who want to do that this weekend should switch over to a Green Line train on the same platform at Mount Vernon Square.
Yellow Line trains will leave Huntington and Mount Vernon Square about every 16 minutes. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for extra travel time.
Tysons lane closings
The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to close the Capital Beltway inner loop exit to westbound Route 7 from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday to work on installing a bridge deck. This is part of the high-occupancy toll lanes project, also referred to now as the 495 Express Lanes.
The Saturday work is likely to cause delays for Beltway traffic heading through Tysons Corner. Drivers who would normally use that exit will be directed to continue on the Beltway to Exit 46A for southbound Chain Bridge Road, then follow signs to the outer loop and on to Exit 47A for westbound Route 7 west. But drivers trying to reach Tysons Corner Center could just stay on southbound Chain Bridge Road to enter the shopping mall.
Maryland highway bridges
The Maryland State Highway Administration is continuing its routine inspections of highway bridges, which will result in some lane closings over the weekend.
On Saturday, watch for double lane closings on northbound Interstate 270 at Shady Grove Road from 4:30 to 11:30 a.m. On Sunday, watch for double lane closings on northbound Interstate 95 at Brooklyn Bridge Road from 5 to 8:30 a.m. followed by double lane closings on the southbound side from 9 a.m. to noon.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year Parade in the District’s Chinatown is scheduled for 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. (It’s the Year of the Dragon.)
These street closings are scheduled for those hours:
I (Eye) Street NW from Fifth Street to Seventh Street NW, Seventh Street NW from I (Eye) Street to G Street NW, G Street NW from Seventh Street to Ninth Street NW, Eighth Street NW from G Street to H Street NW, H Street NW from Eighth Street to Sixth Street NW and Sixth Street NW from Massachusetts Avenue to G Street NW.
I (Eye) Street between Fifth and Sixth streets NW will be closed for the parade assembly starting at 11 a.m., and should be reopened by 3:30 p.m.
H Street NW between Sixth and Seventh streets NW will be closed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the new year’s festival.
The nearest Metro stop for the parade and festival is Gallery Place.
D.C. ticket amnesty ending
Friday is the last day to take advantage of the ticket amnesty program at the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles. Drivers can pay tickets issued before Jan. 1, 2010, with no penalties.
After Friday, all penalties will be back in effect for parking, photo-enforcement and moving violation tickets issued before January 2010, unless a payment plan has been established, the DMV said.
See the DMV’s quick facts page about the amnesty program.
Anacostia Freeway lane closings
Weather permitting, the District Department of Transportation is planning single lane closings on the northbound Anacostia Freeway (I-295/DC295) between Howard Road and Pennsylvania Avenue from 8 p.m. Friday through noon Saturday. Drivers may also encounter complete traffic stoppages of about 20 minutes between midnight and 5 a.m. Saturday.
This work is part of the 11th Street Bridge construction project.
From 9 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday, the ramp from Duke Street East to Telegraph Road South will be closed for paving. Drivers will follow a detour route taking them east on Duke Street to Route 1 South to the ramps to the Capital Beltway. Drivers going to Telegraph Road South should turn right from Route 1 South onto Huntington Avenue to return to Telegraph Road.
From 6 a.m. Saturday through 5 a.m. Monday, the ramp from Duke Street West to Telegraph Road South also will be closed for paving. Drivers will be detoured to Van Dorn Street South to the Beltway ramps. Drivers bound for Telegraph Road South should then take the Beltway’s outer loop (I-95/495 North) exit to Telegraph Road South.
This work is part of the Wilson Bridge project, which is rebuilding the Telegraph Road interchange.
D.C. streetcar drains
The District Department of Transportation is replacing 23 drain systems along the streetcar tracks on Firth Sterling Avenue and South Capitol Street in Anacostia.
That’s good news for bicyclists who were concerned that their wheels would get caught in the old-style drains, but it means some off-peak lane closings and traffic shifts on those roads starting Tuesday and continuing through Thursday.
Interstate 66 meetings
The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to hold two public information meetings this coming week about the future of I-66 between Route 15 and the Capital Beltway.
The first session is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Four Points Sheraton, 10800 Vandor Lane, Manassas. The second will be 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at VDOT’s Northern Virginia headquarters, 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax.
Dupont Circle escalators
The south entrance to the Red Line’s Dupont Circle station is scheduled to close for eight and a half months starting Wednesday. Metro pledges that all the escalators on the northside entrance, the Q Street entrance, will be working when the closing begins. I’ll have more about this and other Metro projects on Sunday’s Commuter page.