The week ahead: Darker p.m. commutes, more road delays

November 5, 2012

Much of the work for the Metro Silver Line is focused on the areas around the five new stations, like this one on Route 123 in Tysons. (Robert Thomson – The Washington Post)

[This post has been updated.]

Travelers will find this a cool week, with yet another big storm likely to roll through in the middle of it, the Capital Weather Gang says. The main thing commuters will notice first is that the sun’s angle will be different during their afternoon travel following the return to Eastern Standard Time.

On Tuesday, watch for some additional crowding on the streets and sidewalks around the schools and community centers that serve as polling places.

Darker earlier

Daylight saving time ended early Sunday, so on Monday, commuters should be extra alert as they deal with the changes in visibility.

Trips that had been taken in sunlight will now be done in shadow. The slanting rays of the sun as it rises and sets will slow traffic at different hours and in different places. Not all drivers will be prepared to use their sunglasses and their vehicle lights at the right times. And many pedestrians will not realize that drivers are having a tougher time seeing them.

Slow down and watch out for each other.

BW Parkway

Workers were successful this past weekend in using specially designed moving equipment to place a new 500-ton bridge deck over the northbound Baltimore-Washington Parkway at West Nursery Road near BWI Marshall Airport. The effort had been delayed for several weekends, first by a problem with the equipment and then by Hurricane Sandy.

“Thanks to drivers who diverted during the closures, which allowed crews to move the old bridge deck out and roll the new one in place in two nights,” Melinda B. Peters, the Maryland State Highway administrator, said in a statement.

Weather permitting, the state highway administration plans to repeat the process on the southbound side. That will mean completely closing the parkway in this area overnights Friday and Saturday.

Northwest Branch bridge

Workers have begun the resurfacing that will substantially complete the Northwest Branch bridge rehabilitation, the biggest project now underway on the Maryland side of the Capital Beltway.

Since Thursday, crews have been closing lanes overnight on the Silver Spring bridge to remove the top layer of concrete. Project managers hope to be done with the entire resurfacing by Thanksgiving.

This two-year rehabilitation has been one of those necessary projects that disrupt travelers and then leave the area looking about the way it did when the work began. (Sometimes, it’s hard to see safety.)

All drivers know is that they had to spend many months picking their way around barriers in the middle of the Beltway. During rush hours, all four lanes on each Beltway loop remained open, but the lane configuration shifted every few months. Since early October, there has been no barrier dividing lanes, but the area still is a work zone.

“We are confident that we can complete the grinding, paving and restriping within a month, weather permitting,” said Chuck Gischlar, a spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration. “There will be a few smaller items to do after the Thanksgiving holiday, but it should have little impact to motorists.”

Rockville Pike paving

Drivers should watch for a daytime road resurfacing project along southbound Rockville Pike between Cedar Croft Lane and Strathmore Avenue in Bethesda, near the Capital Beltway. Lanes on Rockville Pike are scheduled to be closed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

Good Hope Road

The District Department of Transportation plans to close the intersection of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE overnights Monday through Thursday for milling and paving. The work, part of the 11th Street Bridge construction project, is scheduled to begin at 8 each night and wrap up by 5 the following morning, DDOT said. Detours will guide traffic in and out of Anacostia.

Florida Avenue NW

The District Department of Transportation DDOT will be installing new storm drains to improve the flow of water into the sewer system in the 500 and 600 blocks of Florida Avenue NW, south of Howard University. The project is scheduled to be done in late December.

Work hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. There will be lane closings in those blocks during those hours, at least one travel lane will be open in each direction on Florida Avenue.

Dulles Metrorail project

Much of the work on the Metro Silver Line now focuses on the five new stations in Tysons and Reston and the areas immediately around them, where crews are building pedestrian bridges that will connect with the stations.

These are some highlights for drivers:

The westbound Dulles Airport Access Highway will be fully closed between mile markers 8.6 and 3.3 from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday and Tuesday nights for sound barrier installation at W&OD and Hunter Mill Road bridges.

Left turns from westbound Route 7 onto Spring Hill Road will be barred from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights and from 10:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. Friday night. The left and center through lanes of westbound Route 7 between Westpark Drive and Spring Hill Road will be closed during these same times.

The two right turn lanes from southbound Route 123 onto International Drive will be closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday nights.

Two through lanes of eastbound Tysons Boulevard will be closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday, as will the three left-turn lanes from southbound Galleria Drive onto eastbound Tysons Boulevard. Two right turn lanes from southbound Route 123 onto Tysons Boulevard will be closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night through Wednesday.

I-95 Express Lanes

The I-95 Express Lanes project has begun pile driving near Dumfries along the Interstate 95 corridor just north of Joplin Road. The Virginia Department of Transportation said this phase is likely to continue Mondays through Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. into the middle of the month.

There will be lots of noise. The work involves driving steel piles into the soil to support foundations for the Joplin Road flyover bridge, one of the connections to the new high-occupancy toll lanes, which are scheduled to be done in 2014.

Virginia bridge repairs

The Virginia Department of Transportation is rebuilding the Old Keene Mill Road bridge over Pohick Creek in Springfield. Work should be done by May. In the meantime, watch for lane closings from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. weekdays, from 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. overnight Saturdays and from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. overnight Sundays.

Metro weeknight delays

Maintenance projects on the Red and Orange lines will affect service from 10 p.m. till Metrorail’s midnight closing Monday through Thursday. Metro anticipates delays of about 10 minutes through the work zones.

Red Line: Trains will share tracks between Takoma and Forest Glen, and between Grosvenor and Twinbrook.

Orange Line: Trains will share a track between Clarendon and East Falls Church.

Weekend Metro delays

This coming weekend, a three-day Veterans Day weekend for many, Metro is planning work on the Orange, Red and Green lines from 10 p.m. Friday through the rail system’s midnight closing next Monday.

Red Line: Trains will share a track between Grosvenor and Friendship Heights. Throughout the weekend, trains will operate about every 20 minutes between the ends of the line at Shady Grove and Glenmont.  Between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, additional trains will operate in the middle of the line between Friendship Heights and Glenmont. In that zone, trains should reach platforms about every 10 minutes. If you’re traveling through the work zone, add about 10 minutes to normal travel time.

Orange Line: Free shuttle buses will replace trains between East Falls Church and Clarendon. In addition, trains will share a track between Vienna and East Falls Church. If traveling through the shuttle bus zone, add about a half hour to normal travel time. If going through the single-track zone, add about 15 minutes to normal travel time.

Green Line: Trains will share a track between Greenbelt and College Park. Every other train will begin or end its route at College Park, rather than Greenbelt. Between College Park and Branch Avenue, trains will operate on a normal weekend schedule. Between Greenbelt and College Park, add about 10 minutes to normal travel time.

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.
SECTION: {section=local, subsection=null}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=2, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=2, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Comments
SECTION: {section=local, subsection=null}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=2, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=2, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Show Comments
Next Story
Mark Berman · November 5, 2012