The weekend and beyond: Some highway lane closings, plenty of Metro work

February 1, 2013

District Department of Transportation map shows recent Southeast Freeway closing and detours.

The snow moving out of the D.C. area makes way for cold and wind, the Capital Weather Gang says. Saturday, Groundhog Day, is likely to begin sunny, but clouds will move in. There’s a chance of snow showers Sunday morning.

The forecast may be challenging for the thin-blooded at the ’80s Skate Night on Friday in the Rockville Town Square. Stay indoors at the National Museum of African Art and hear Maya Angelou in a discussion starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday. For more places to go this weekend, check the Going Out Guide.

The road work schedule for the weekend is very limited, but Metro track workers will be very busy. Here are some of the traffic and transit issues you may face.

Metro weekend delays

The biggest disruptions are scheduled for the blue and Orange lines, but maintenance projects also will affect service on the Red, Green and Yellow lines this weekend. Unless otherwise indicated, the disruptions begin at 10 p.m. Friday and continue through the rail system’s midnight closing Sunday.

Red Line: Trains will share a track between Farragut North and Judiciary Square to get around a work zone where crews will be replacing ceiling tiles, making other repairs and installing emergency call boxes.

Trains between the ends of the line at Shady Grove and Glenmont will operate about every 20 minutes throughout the weekend. But from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, more trains will be in service between Shady Grove and Farragut North and between Glenmont and Judiciary Square. In those zones, trains should reach platforms about every 10 minutes.

Getting through the work zone is likely to add 10 to 15 minutes to normal travel time, the transit authority said.

Orange Line: Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Federal Center SW and Cheverly. The Capitol South, Eastern Market, Potomac Avenue, Stadium-Armory, Minnesota Avenue and Deanwood stations all will be closed.

In addition, trains will share a track between East Falls Church and West Falls Church. The work zone is for testing associated with the Silver Line, which will connect with the Orange Line in that area.

Trains will operate between Vienna and Federal Center SW and between New Carrollton and Cheverly about every 15 minutes. The shuttle buses will follow two routes: Local buses will operate between Federal Center SW and Cheverly, stopping at all stations. An express service will operate between Federal Center SW and Cheverly, making no stops along the way.

Don’t get on the local bus if you want to go the full route. That would add about an hour to your travel time, compared to about 20 minutes on the express bus.

The last train from New Carrollton to Cheverly will leave at 1:46 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights, and at 10:46 p.m. Sunday night.

Blue Line: Shuttle buses will replace trains between Federal Center SW and Benning Road. This overlaps with the work zone for the Orange Line. Capitol South, Eastern Market, Potomac Avenue and Stadium-Armory stations will be closed.

Shuttle buses will operate between Federal Center SW and Benning Road. They will stop at all stations in between. Going the full bus route will add about 45 minutes to normal travel times.

The last train of the night from Largo Town Center to Benning Road will leave at 1:59 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights, and at 10:59 p.m. Sunday night.

Green and Yellow lines: From 10 p.m. Sunday to the midnight closing Sunday night, trains will share a track between L’Enfant Plaza and Mount Vernon Square. That will add about 10 minutes to normal travel times, Metro said.

SE Freeway closings

The District Department of Transportation has taken the next step in rebuilding part of the Southeast Freeway by closing the eastbound lanes between Eighth Street SE and Pennsylvania Avenue. Late last year, the westbound lanes were closed.

This portion of the freeway on the south side of Capitol Hill is being raised up and rebuilt into a boulevard, with better connections to the adjacent neighborhood. Barney Circle, on the east end of the project, eventually will be rebuilt into a real traffic circle.

Meanwhile, the freeway section will be closed for about a year and a half. Eastbound freeway traffic heading toward I-295/DC 295 or Pennsylvania Avenue SE should continue across the 11th Street Bridge over the Anacostia River.

Maryland road work

Montgomery County:

The right lane is scheduled to close on the inner loop of the Capital Beltway between University Boulevard and Colesville Road in Silver Spring from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday for tree trimming.

In that same area Sunday, a crew will be inspecting the University Boulevard bridge over the Beltway. Watch for right lane and left lane closings on the outer loop from 5 to 8 a.m. Sunday and then right lane and left lane closings on the inner loop from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

Prince George’s County:

Watch for lane closings Sunday through Thursday nights on northbound Interstate 95 between Sandy Spring Road and the Intercounty Connector, the area where a new interchange is under construction.

A single lane is scheduled to close at 7 o’clock each night. Then two lanes are to be closed by 11 p.m. (I’ve seen that start earlier.) By midnight, three lanes will be closed. Between midnight and 4 a.m., all northbound lanes may be closed for a half-hour. The ramps from Sandy Spring Road to I-95 also may close during the full shutdowns. All lanes are scheduled to be open by 5 o’clock each morning.

On the inner loop of the Beltway between Kenilworth Avenue and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, bridge work is scheduled to close up to two lanes from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. overnight Friday.

Another routine bridge inspection on the Beltway Bridge over Suitland Parkway is scheduled to close the right lane of the inner loop from 5 to 9 a.m. Saturday and then shut the right lane of the outer loop from 9 a.m. to noon.

Fairfax bus service meetings

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation has begun public meetings to discuss proposed bus links with the Silver Line. These are the remaining meetings, all of which are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.:

On Monday, a discussion of Vienna service at Westbriar Elementary School, 1741 Pine Valley Dr., Vienna; Tuesday, a discussion of Merrifield-Tysons service at Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Rd., Falls Church; Wednesday, a discussion of Herndon service at the Town Council Center, 765 Lynn St., Herndon; Thursday, a discussion of Reston service in the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne, JoAnn Rose Library, 1609A Washington Plaza, Reston; Feb. 11, another Reston service discussion at Lake Anne Elementary School, 11510 North Shore Dr., Reston.

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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