The week ahead: Back to normal congestion on roads and rails

January 7, 2013
Metro train
Metro plans work this weekend on the Blue Line between Pentagon and Rosslyn stations. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)

Some commuters experienced a bit of January shock this morning, as many people got back on the roads and rails after the December holiday lull. Road work also is back to the normal level for the winter construction season. Metro resumed track work this past weekend and has more planned for Friday night through Sunday.

The Capital Weather Gang forecasts a warming trend, with a chance of showers on Thursday and Friday. Here are some travel tips to guide you through the week.

Metro express buses

Metrobus has a new limited-stop service operating at rush hours along New Hampshire Avenue in Maryland. Charging the regular bus fare, the K9 stops in Northwest Park, Langley Park, Takoma Park and Chillum, terminating at the Fort Totten Metro station. The limited stop service is designed to relieve crowding along the New Hampshire Avenue corridor. See this pdf of the timetable on Metro’s Web site.

Arlington Boulevard

The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to close lanes on both sides of Arlington Boulevard (Route 50) between 10th Street and North Rhodes Street as a part of the Arlington Boulevard/Courthouse Road/10th Street Interchange project.

Monday through Friday, the westbound closings will occur from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The eastbound closings are scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The project is scheduled to be done this fall.

Beltway express lanes

Though the 495 Express Lanes on the Capital Beltway in Virginia have been open since November, some nighttime road work continues. Each night through Saturday night, drivers on the outer loop between Georgetown Pike and the Oak Street overpass may find up to three lanes closed. After midnight there, all the lanes may be closed for up to half an hour.

I-66 West closings

The Dulles Metrorail project, building the Silver Line, plans to close all lanes of westbound Interstate 66 between the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) and Leesburg Pike (Route 7) from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Saturday nights to work on the rail bridges over the highway.

The detour will take drivers to westbound Route 267, then to southbound Route 123, then to the Capital Beltway’s outer loop and then onto westbound I-66.

11th Street Bridge project

Workers are dismantling girders on the old inbound span of the 11th Street Bridge, and to help with that, the National Park Service plans to close Anacostia Drive SE between the Anacostia Recreation Center Driveway and Good Hope Road SE overnights this week between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The work also may require lane closings in the same area between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Traffic from Howard Road SE will have to exit Anacostia Park at Good Hope Road, and the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail will be closed in the work zone when Anacostia Drive is closed.

Meanwhile, the District Department of Transportation plans to close O Street SE between the 11th Street local span and 12th Street overnights to remove girders. The closings will start at 7 o’clock each night Monday through Thursday, and again Sunday through Jan. 15. The street will reopen by 5 o’clock each morning.

During the closings,southbound 11th Street traffic heading for Water Street will be detoured to N Street, then onto 12th Street to reach Water Street.Northbound 11th Street traffic will be directed to N Street then back to 12th Street.

Pennsylvania Avenue work

The D.C. Department of Transportation is repairing the Pennsylvania Avenue bridge over Rock Creek Parkway. Work hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. The project, which should be completed by Feb. 15, closes one lane of westbound traffic over the bridge during the off-peak midday hours.

Roosevelt Bridge

The District also is making repairs on the outbound Roosevelt Bridge at the ramp to Route 50. The repair work, which began last Thursday, is scheduled to be completed Wednesday.

During the work hours, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., drivers may encounter lane closings, but there will be no complete stoppage of traffic.

Metro weekend work

The major event that Metrorail has scheduled for the coming weekend is a track circuit replacement that will disrupt service on the Blue Line between the Rosslyn and Pentagon stations. The Arlington Cemetery station will be closed. Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Rosslyn and Pentagon.

 

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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Robert Thomson · January 4, 2013