The weekend and beyond: walks, runs, weather

October 26, 2012

Map provided by the Marine Corps Marathon shows 2012 course in Arlington and the District.

This weekend, eyes will be on three big events: the AIDS Walk, the Marine Corps Marathon and Hurricane Sandy. Stick with the Capital Weather Gang for the gloomy weekend forecast. Look below to see some of the activities on the ground that could affect your travels.

AIDS Walk

This is an annual fundraising walk and 5K run. The run is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and the walk at 9:15 a.m. It starts and ends at Freedom Plaza, Pennsylvania Avenue at 13th Street NW. The nearest Metro stations are Federal Triangle and Metro Center.

The block of Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 14th and 13th streets will be closed from 2 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Downtown streets along the run and walk courses will be closed from 8 till about 11 a.m. These streets range east to Third Street NW. In between, they include Constitution and Pennsylvania avenues.

Marine Corps Marathon

The runners start at 7:55 a.m. near the Pentagon, then cross the Potomac River into the District before returning to Virginia. Many streets on both sides of the river will be closed Sunday morning. Almost all will reopen by 3 p.m. The Going Out Guide has a map of the course, plus a description of related events this weekend.

Here’s a list of the street closings, starting in Arlington.

Route 110 ramp from Washington Boulevard to Route 110, Marshall Drive from North Meade Street to Route 110, Route 110 from Interstate 66 to Route 1, North Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Lynn Street, Wilson Boulevard from North Nash Street to Route 110, Lynn Street from North Meade Street to Lee Highway, Fort Myer Drive from North Meade Street to Lee Highway, North Moore Street from Wilson Boulevard to Lee Highway, 19th Street North from Lynn Street to North Nash Street, Lee Highway eastbound from Lynn Street to North Kirkwood Street, Spout Run Parkway from Lee Highway to George Washington, George Washington Parkway from Spout Run to Key Bridge off ramp, Army Navy Drive from South Eads Street to 12th Street South, 15th Street South from Crystal Drive to Eads Street,12thStreet from Army Navy Drive to Crystal Drive, Crystal Drive from 12th Street to 23rd Street, Long Bridge Drive from 12th Street to North Boundary Channel Drive, North Boundary Channel Drive from the I-395 ramps to Washington Boulevard.

The National Park Service emphasized these high-impact closings: All northbound lanes of the George Washington Parkway will be closed from Memorial Bridge to Spout Run Parkway from 6 to 10:30 a.m. Northbound traffic will be diverted onto Route 50, but the park service encouraged drivers to consider other routes, such as Route 50, I-395, or I-66 to reach the Capital Beltway.

Spout Run Parkway between Lee Highway and the George Washington Parkway will be closed from 4 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Arlington Memorial Bridge and Memorial Avenue will be closed from 6 to 10:30 a.m.

There will be no vehicle access to the Marine Corps Memorial and the Netherlands Carillon between 4 am. and 4:30 p.m.

On the D.C. side of the rider, these streets are scheduled to be closed from 6:50 a.m. Sunday till about 1:30 p.m.: Key Bridge, Canal Road NW from M Street to Reservoir Road, Reservoir Road from MacArthur Boulevard to Canal Road, MacArthur Boulevard from Foxhall Road to Reservoir Road, Foxhall Road from Canal Road to MacArthur Boulevard, M Street from Canal Road to Wisconsin Avenue, Wisconsin Avenue from M Street to K Street, K Street from Wisconsin Avenue, to Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway from K Street to Independence Avenue SW, Memorial Bridge, West Potomac Park, East Potomac Park (but there will be access to the golf course and tennis courts), Maine Avenue SW from East Basin Drive to Independence Avenue, Independence Avenue SW from Maine Avenue to Ohio Drive, Ohio Drive between Independence Avenue and Lincoln Circle, Lincoln Circle from Ohio Drive to Henry Bacon Drive, 23rd Street from Lincoln Circle to Constitution Avenue, Constitution Avenue from Bacon Drive to 15th Street, 15th Street from Constitution Avenue to Independence Avenue, 17th Street from Constitution Avenue to Independence Avenue, Madison Drive from 15th Street to Third Street NW, Third Street from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Independence, SW, Pennsylvania Avenue from Third Street to East Capitol Circle NW, First Street from  Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Maryland Avenue SW, Maryland Avenue SW from South Capitol Circle SW to Third Street SW, Jefferson Drive SW from Third to 15th Street SW, 14th Street SW from Jefferson Drive to the northbound HOV lanes, the HOV lanes from 14th Street SW to the HOV ramp at South Eads Street.

Metro for the marathon

Look below to see the Metrorail maintenance disruptions for the weekend. But here are some other things to keep in mind if you’re participating in the Sunday marathon, or just trying to dodge the congestion it will cause.

To reach the start line on Sunday morning, use Pentagon station on the Blue and Yellow lines. Metro will open at 5 a.m., two hours early, but  the Arlington Cemetery station won’t open till  8:30 a.m. The runners begin at 7:55 a.m., and the marathon sponsors advise getting to the start area two hours early, to get through security.

The Arlington Cemetery station is an easy walk to and from the finish area. But make sure you have enough value on your plastic SmarTrip card or paper Farecard to cover your round trip. The lines at the station’s fare vending machines will be very long.

Smithsonian station on the Blue and Orange lines is closest to the start point for the MCM10K. But the station tends to get very crowded for big events on the National Mall.

Metro will operate extra Blue Line trains between Franconia-Springfield and Stadium-Armory from 5 to 8:15 a.m., and from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Metrobus:  The Pentagon bus terminal will be closed from 4 a.m. to about 4 p.m. All Metrobus routes that normally use the station will move to Pentagon City station. The Rosslyn bus terminal also will close at 4 a.m. and will reopen about 6 p.m. Its bus stops will move over to Oak Street.

Metro weekend maintenance

Here’s the plan for each disrupted line. On all lines but the Blue Line, work begins at 10 p.m. Friday and continues through the end of rail service at midnight Sunday.

Red Line: Trains will share a track between Twinbrook and Grosvenor and between Forest Glen and Takoma. Trains will operate about every 24 minutes between the ends of the line. But from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Metro will put extra trains in service in the middle of the line, between Grosvenor and Fort Totten. In that zone, trains should reach the platforms about every 10 to 12 minutes. If you travel through the work zones, add about 15 minutes to your normal travel time.

Orange Line: Trains will share a track between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly. They will operate about every 20 minutes. Add about 10 minutes to get through the work zone.

Blue Line: On Saturday, trains will share a track between Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street. They will operate about 20 minutes apart.  Add about 10 minutes to get through the work zone.

Green Line: Trains will share a track between Greenbelt and College Park. Every other train will terminate at College Park, rather than Greenbelt. Between College Park and Branch Avenue, the trains will operate on a normal weekend schedule. But riders traveling through the work zone should add about 10 minutes to normal travel time.

I notice that the marathon’s Web site refers to another work zone where stations will be closed. This is no longer part of Metro’s plan. The only Green Line disruption will be the single tracking between Greenbelt and College Park.

BW Parkway bridge

[5:30 p.m. update] The approach of Hurricane Sandy has delayed a fresh attempt by the Maryland State Highway Administration to remove the bridge over the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at West Nursery Road, near BWI Marshall Airport. 

Last weekend, workers ran into a problem as they started to remove the bridge, and they had to put it back in place. So the project was rescheduled for this weekend and next. But Sandy put a damper on that plan, the highway administration announced Friday afternoon. When a new plan is announced, we’ll have that for you, because it will require overnight closings on the parkway.

Dulles Access Highway/Toll Road

Expect delays from 8 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday on the eastbound Dulles Airport Access Highway and the Dulles Toll Road between Wiehle Avenue and Reston Parkway. The Dulles Metrorail project, builder of the Silver Line, plans to continue installation of the pedestrian bridges for the Wiehle Avenue station. This also requires the temporary closing of the Wiehle Avenue exit ramp.

I-70 traffic shift

Traffic on eastbound I-70 in Frederick is scheduled to shift onto a new bridge this weekend. Also, the eastbound ramps at South Street will reopen.

Overnight Friday, I-70 East will go down to a single lane from 8 p.m. to mid-morning Saturday to implement the traffic shift. If rain interferes, the workers will try again on Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Hyattsville bus pad

The Maryland State Highway Administration is working this weekend on a new concrete bus pad along East-West Highway between New Hampshire Avenue and Riggs Road in Hyattsville. Lane closings stemming from this should be over by 10 a.m. Sunday.

Road departments across the D.C. region install these bus pads to strengthen the pavement where the buses stop. In areas without them, travelers may seen little valleys in the asphalt. After a pour, it takes some time for the concrete to fully cure, so weekend drivers along the highway may not always see the workers at the site while the lanes remain blocked.

This work is part of a road improvement project along East-West Highway in Hyattsville and Takoma Park.

Robert Thomson is The Washington Post’s “Dr. Gridlock.” He answers travelers’ questions, listens to their complaints and shares their pain on the roads, trains and buses in the Washington region.
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Mark Berman · October 26, 2012