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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 11:07 AM ET, 08/20/2012

Work on I-95 and Metro, closures, D.C. parking passes: The week ahead for traffic, transit

It’s mid-August, which means quite a few people have left the Washington region for summer vacations. Everyone still in town needs to know about potential headaches awaiting them on the roads and rails, so here’s a look at what could impact your travels this week.

The Capital Weather Gang’s weekly forecast calls for a wet and rainy Monday, followed by potential showers and storms on Tuesday and Wednesday. After that, it’s dry and warm weather from Thursday on through the weekend.

Here are some things to know/attend/watch out for this week:

I-95 North to Sandy Spring Road

The right exit lane from northbound I-95 to eastbound Sandy Spring Road/MD 198 will be closed between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday so crews can work, according to the Maryland State Highway Administration.

Additionally, crews will close I-95 South’s right lane on Monday and Tuesday nights from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following mornings; they will also close the I-95 North left lane on Wednesday and Thursday nights from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following mornings.

Metro work closing Orange Line stations, slowing Red Line travel

Looking ahead to the weekend, here’s what you can expect in terms of Metro work and (planned) delays.

Orange Line: Metro work scheduled for this weekend will close the three stations on the western end of the Orange Line from Friday at 10 p.m. through the system’s closing on Sunday night. Buses will replace trains between the Vienna and East Falls Church stations to allow for insulator replacement, tie renewal and testing related to the Silver Line.

With the Vienna, Dunn Loring and West Falls Church stations all shut down, expect significant delays. Express shuttle buses will run between Vienna and East Falls Church (Metro says to add at least 15 minutes to your travel time if you’re making that trip). Local shuttle buses will stop at Vienna, Dunn Loring, East Falls Church and West Falls Church, and you should add at least 40 minutes to your trip if you plan on riding those buses.

Red Line: No Red Line stations are closing, but single-tracking in two areas will create delays. Trains will share a track between Grosvenor and Medical Center (where the rail fasteners and third-rail insulators will be upgraded) and between Takoma and Forest Glen (for platform reconstruction). Add at least 20 minutes to your projected travel time.

Public meeting on Fairfax Connector/495 Express Lanes

Fairfax County is considering Fairfax Connector routes utilizing the 495 Express Lanes. To learn more about these proposed routes (which would connect Burke Center, Lorton and Saratoga/Springfield to Tysons Corner and operate every 15 minutes during rush hour), you can attend a public meeting this week. (You can also view view the relevant presentations here.)

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 7 p.m. at Braddock Governmental Center in Braddock Hall (9002 Burke Lake Road, Burke).

D.C. visitor parking permits

The District Department of Transportation announced last week that it mailed out more than 71,000 new visitor parking passes in July. The passes, which are valid through Sept. 20, 2013, let guests of D.C. residents park for more than two hours on Residential Parking Permit-controlled streets.

Some people may not have received these passes because DDOT doesn’t have their addresses on file. Call 202-673-6813 between 8:15 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. weekdays for more information.

BWI runway closing for two months

One of the two main commercial runways at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport is closed for two months to allow for runway reconstruction. Airport spokesman Jonathan Dean said the closure won’t affect travelers — unless there are severe weather-delated problems. In that case, any delays stemming from the weather would be exacerbated by the runway closure.

Telegraph Road/Beltway interchange closures

The Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project will continue ramp and road closures around the Telegraph Road/Beltway interchange this week (assuming the weather cooperates).

The closures:

• Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Mill Road will be closed between Stovall Street and Telegraph Road.

• Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.: The right shoulder of the outer loop local will be closed between the Van Dorn and Eisenhower Connector interchanges.

• Monday through Thursday (9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and Friday (9:30 a.m. to noon): The right lane of the outer loop local will be closed between the Eisenhower Connector and U.S. Route 1 for roadway construction.

• Monday at 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning: Telegraph Road North will be completely closed between Huntington Avenue and Duke Street; the exit ramp from the outer loop local to Telegraph Road North/Duke Street will be closed; the exit ramps from the inner loop local to Pershing Avenue and Telegraph Road North will be closed; the access ramps from U.S. Route 1 South and North to the inner loop local will be closed.

• Monday and Tuesday from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning: The inner loop exit ramp to Telegraph Road South will be closed.

• Tuesday at 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. on Wednesday morning: Telegraph Road South will be completely closed between Duke Street and Huntington Avenue.

• Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning: The ramp from Telegraph Road North to Eisenhower Avenue will be closed.

• Tuesday through Friday nights from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning: The access ramps from Telegraph Road North and South to the inner loop will be closed.

• Wednesday through Friday nights from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning: The ramp from Telegraph Road to N. Kings Highway will be closed, OR the ramp from Telegraph Road to N. Kings Highway will be closed. (One of them will happen, but they won’t both take place at the same time.)

• Wednesday through Saturday nights from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning: The exit ramps from the outer loop local to Telegraph Road South, Huntington Avenue and N. Kings Highway will be closed.

• Friday at 9 p.m. until Saturday at 5 a.m.: The exit ramp from the inner loop to Telegraph Road South will be closed.

Blackburn Road bridge reopening

The Virginia Department of Transportation has finished replacing the Blackburn Road bridge in Woodbridge and will reopen the roadway on Wednesday, Aug. 22. (This is assuming there are no weather problems, of course.) The bridge closed on Jan. 9 after a routine inspection found severe vertical cracks on the bridge’s abutments, according to VDOT. The new bridge’s pricetag is about $2.7 million.

SmarTrip minimum fare and rebate

Just a reminder about two SmarTrip changes going into effect on Sept. 1. Beginning on that date, you will need at least $1.20 on a SmarTrip before you can enter the system. Additionally, if you register your card online on Sept. 1 or beyond, you can get a $3 rebate. (Cards will still cost $5.)

School is back in Prince George’s County

School resumes Monday in Prince George’s County, which means about 120,000 students will be returning to the classroom. That also means you should watch for potential delays around schools across the county, as students, buses, parents, teachers and other staff members could bring congestion around those spots.

By  |  11:07 AM ET, 08/20/2012

Tags:  Commuting, Metro, Capital Beltway, Construction

 
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