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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 11:24 AM ET, 02/03/2012

The weekend and beyond

Friday and Saturday look good for local travel, the Capital Weather Gang says, but we may encounter rain or snow showers late Saturday and early Sunday. The weather should be clear for the Super Bowl parties Sunday afternoon and evening.

Metrorail has another big weekend of maintenance delays. But drivers also will find many disruptions, particularly on the Capital Beltway in Virginia and on D.C. streets. These are some highlights.

Metro weekend delays

The transit maintenance program will have its biggest impact on the Orange and Blue lines, while crews work in the Rosslyn tunnel under the Potomac River. But Red Line service also will be disrupted by several repair projects.

The work begins at 10 p.m. Friday and continues through the trains system’s midnight closing Sunday.

Orange and Blue lines: Free shuttle buses will replace Orange Line trains between Court House and Foggy Bottom and Blue Line trains between Pentagon and Foggy Bottom. The Rosslyn and Arlington Cemetery stations will be closed.

Orange Line trains are scheduled to operate every 20 minutes between Vienna and Court House and between Foggy Bottom and New Carrollton.

Blue Line trains will operate between Franconia-Springfield and Mount Vernon Square via the Yellow Line bridge, and between Foggy Bottom and Largo Town Center.

Riders using the shuttle buses should add 20 minutes to half an hour to their usual travel times.

These are the scheduled times for the last through trains Friday night before the work disrupts the lines.

Blue Line eastbound: The train leaves Franconia-Springfield at 9:12 p.m., arriving at Foggy Bottom at 9:43 p.m., and Largo Town Center at 10:16 p.m. Blue Line westbound: The train leaves Largo Town Center at 9:11 p.m., arriving at Pentagon at 9:52 p.m., and Franconia-Springfield at 10:15 p.m.

Orange Line eastbound: The train leaves Vienna at 9:28 p.m., arriving at Foggy Bottom 9:53 p.m., and New Carrollton at 10:25 p.m. Orange Line westbound: The train leaves New Carrollton at 9:18 p.m., arriving at Court House at 9:55 p.m., and Vienna at 10:15 p.m.

The work schedule alters the departure time for the last trains each night.

The last eastbound Blue Line Train from Franconia-Springfield will depart at 2:07 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. (That’s 22 minutes earlier than normal for the Friday night and Saturday night service). The last westbound Blue Line train from Largo will arrive at Foggy Bottom 2:54 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, leave Pentagon at 3:40 a.m., and arrive at Franconia-Springfield at 4:03 a.m.

The last eastbound Orange Line train from Vienna will depart at 2:10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. (That’s 15 minutes earlier than normal for the Friday night and Saturday night service.) The last westbound Orange Line train from New Carrollton will arrive at Foggy Bottom 3:10 a.m., leave Court House at 3:35 a.m. and arrive at Vienna at 3:55 a.m.

During regular Sunday service, the last eastbound Blue Line train from Franconia-Springfield will depart at 11:07 p.m., 22 minutes earlier than normal. The last westbound Blue Line train from Largo will arrive at Foggy Bottom 11:54 p.m., leave Pentagon at 12:40 a.m. and arrive at Franconia-Springfield at 1:03 a.m.

The last eastbound Orange Line train from Vienna will depart at 11:10 p.m., 15 minutes earlier than normal. The last westbound Orange Line train from New Carrollton will arrive at Foggy Bottom at 12:10 a.m., leave Court House at 12:35 a.m., and arrive at Vienna at 12:55 a.m.

Red Line: Trains will share tracks around work zones between Van Ness and Friendship Heights and between New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue.

Trains will leave the ends of the line at Shady Grove and Glenmont every 15 minutes throughout the weekend. But between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, extra trains operate between Van Ness and New York Avenue every 15 minutes. That means trains should arrive at downtown platforms every seven or eight minutes.

Riders traveling through the work zones should add 10 to 15 minutes to their regular travel times.

Beltway lane closings

The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to close all lanes of the Capital Beltway’s inner loop just before Exit 47 (Route 7) overnight Friday. During those hours, workers will set a 250-ton steel bridge girder, part of the high-occupancy toll (495 Express Lanes) project. At 9:30 p.m., crews will close one inner loop lane just before Route 7. By 11 p.m., all lanes will be closed.

Drivers will be detoured to Exit 47B (Route 7 east), then they will cross over a temporary access ramp and get back onto the Beltway. Watch for police directing traffic.

Beltway drivers who want to reach westbound Route 7 also will be directed to use Exit 47B, follow the detour, then turn left onto westbound Route 7.

The left lane in each direction on Route 7 also will be closed, and there will be temporary traffic stoppages of up to half an hour for all lanes after 11 p.m.

All lanes will be reopened by 7 a.m. Saturday. The delays during this work are likely to be extensive, and drivers should consider alternative routes.

Beltway/I-66

Drivers complain about congestion in and around the newly reconfigured exit from the Capital Beltway’s inner loop to westbound Interstate 66, a work zone for the high-occupancy toll (495 Express Lanes) project.

The Virginia Department of Transportation has been monitoring the area since the left exit was closed, VDOT spokeswoman Jamie Breme said. To address the delays along I-66 West at the interchange, crews will open a third lane at the Beltway. This change should occur this coming weekend, she said.

To do this, crews will modify Exit 49 from the outer loop to I-66 west, reducing the two-lane ramp to one lane. That will create room for the third through lane on I-66 in this area.

From 9:30 p.m. Friday till 7 a.m. Saturday, workers will close one lane on I-66 west and one ramp lane from the inner loop to I-66 west. The work includes installing lane markings and ramp modifications, placing concrete barriers and adding new signs.

By 7 a.m. Saturday, the new lane and ramp configurations will be open to traffic. But the interchange still will be in a temporary traffic pattern. Ultimately, there will be three through lanes and one HOV lane for westbound I-66. The work is scheduled to be completed by this summer.

Maryland bridge inspection

The Maryland State Highway Administration has scheduled another routine inspection of a highway bridge for Sunday. Watch for double lane closings on southbound Route 29 at Route 175 in Howard County from 4:30 to 11:30 a.m.

New York Avenue bridge

Drivers will be down to single lanes this weekend on New York Avenue between Penn Street and Florida Avenue in Northeast Washington. Westbound traffic will be detoured overnights.

The restrictions accommodate reconstruction work on the New York Avenue bridge over the railroad tracks north of Union Station. (The track restrictions on one segment of the Red Line listed above are also designed to make room for this work.)

From 10 p.m. to 6 am. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, a single lane will be open for eastbound traffic. Westbound traffic will be detoured at Penn Street to Sixth Street and Florida Avenue and then back onto westbound New York Avenue.

From 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, drivers in both directions on the avenue between Penn Street and Florida Avenue will have single lanes open.

Consider the alternatives of Rhode Island Avenue or H Street NE to avoid delays.

Canal Road

Drivers also will encounter single lanes and traffic stoppages this weekend on Canal Road between Foxhall Road and Arizona Avenue in Northwest Washington.

Flaggers will alternate lanes and stop traffic for five-minute intervals between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday and between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday to allow workers to resurface the roadway.

Super Bowl Sunday

Kurt Gregory Erickson, president of the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, issued some good advice for those who want to safely celebrate at Super Bowl parties this Sunday, and protect other travelers:

Designate a driver beforehand, or use alternative transportation like cabs or Metro.

If you’re hosting the party, don’t serve anyone who appears to be impaired; serve food, which can slow the body’s absorption of alcohol; offer non-alcoholic drinks as an option; don’t serve minors; designate a bartender rather than allowing guests to mix their own drinks; get the keys away from a guest who appears impaired.

Road rebuilding by Howard Theatre

The District Department of Transportation is reconstructing the streets around the Howard Theatre in Shaw, a project that coincides with the restoration of the historic building.

The road work includes T Street between Seventh Street and Florida Avenue and Wiltberger Street between T and S streets. Work also will be done in the alley just west of Wiltberger Street between T and S streets and in the alley between Florida Avenue and T Street. Work hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

T Street will remain closed between Seventh Street and Florida Avenue, and through traffic will be detoured. The theater is scheduled to reopen in April.

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By  |  11:24 AM ET, 02/03/2012

Categories:  Weekend Work, Capital Beltway, Metro | Tags:  Weekend delays, Metro, WMATA, DC transportation

 
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