The week ahead: Street closings for State of the Union, late-night Metro delays

February 11, 2013

Travel is easy for the folks in the hall, as seen in 2012, but commuters will encounter many D.C. street closings before Tuesday’s State of the Union speech. (Joshua Roberts — Bloomberg)

Valentine’s Day week starts off on the mild side, but then a set of cold fronts will chill travelers by Friday, the Capital Weather Gang says. There’s some chance of rain or snow on Wednesday. The major traffic event of the week could be the annual street closings for the State of the Union speech Tuesday, but there is road and transit work scheduled across the D.C. region.

Here are some highlights. Join me at noon for our weekly discussion of local traffic and transit issues.

Metro late-night delays

Metrorail’s track work program will cause delays on all but the Orange Line each night through Thursday.

Green, Yellow lines: After 10 p.m., expect delays of about five minutes between Mount Vernon Square and L’Enfant Plaza.

Red Line: After 8 p.m., expect delays of about 10 minutes between Van Ness and Friendship Heights . After 10 p.m., expect 10 minute delays between Rhode Island Avenue and Takoma.

Blue Line: After 8 p.m., expect 15 minute delays between Stadium-Armory and Morgan Boulevard.

State of the Union street closings

President Obama is scheduled to speak to Congress at 9 p.m. Tuesday. Capitol tours will stop at noon Tuesday. Tour buses will be allowed to drop off and pick up passengers in Peace Circle and Garfield Circle on the west side of the Capitol until 4:30 p.m.

The Capitol Police announced these street closings, to start at 7 p.m. Tuesday and continue until after the speech.

North of the Capitol: D Street NE between Second Street NE and Louisiana Avenue NW, C Street NE between Second Street NE and Louisiana Avenue NW,  Constitution Avenue between Second Street NE and Louisiana Avenue NW, Delaware Avenue between Columbus Circle and Constitution Avenue NE, New Jersey Avenue NW between Louisiana Avenue and Constitution Avenue NW, Pennsylvania Avenue between First and Third streets NW, East Capitol Street between Second and First streets NE/SE,
First Street between Columbus Circle NE and C Street SE, First Street between Louisiana Avenue NW and Washington Avenue SW, Second Street NE between Constitution Avenue and East Capitol Street NE.

South of the Capitol: Maryland Avenue SW between First Street and Third Street SW, Independence Avenue between Second Street SE and Washington Avenue SW, C Street between First Street SE and Washington Avenue SW, Delaware Avenue between Washington Avenue SW and C Street SW, New Jersey Avenue between Independence Avenue and D Street SE, South Capitol Street between Independence Avenue and D Street SE/SW.

Station work delayed

Installation of the final span of the pedestrian bridge to the Silver Line’s Wiehle-Reston East station, which had been scheduled for Friday, was postponed until Wednesday. The bridge will link the station to the parking garage under construction as part of the Reston Station development on the north side of the Dulles Toll Road/Access Highway.

I-95 North lane closings near ICC

Watch for overnight lane closings on northbound Interstate 95 between the Intercounty Connector and Sandy Spring Road.

Each night through Thursday, single lane closings are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Two lanes will be closed by 11 p.m. Three lanes will be shut at midnight. Between midnight and 4 a.m. drivers may encounter complete shutdowns lasting up to half an hour. The ramps from Sandy Spring Road to I-95 also may be closed during the shutdowns.

All lanes should be open by 5 each morning.

Arlington interchange update

One of the biggest road projects in the D.C. region is the reconstruction of the Arlington Boulevard interchange with Courthouse Road and 10th Street in the Rosslyn area. This week, the Virginia Department of Transportation will be closing lanes on both sides of Route 50 between 10th Street and North Rhodes Street.

The westbound lane closings are scheduled for 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. each weekday. The  eastbound closings are set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Fairfax County Silver Line bus meetings

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation has one more meeting left in this round of public sessions to discuss its plans to rearrange much of the Fairfax Connector bus service when the Silver Line opens late this year. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Lake Anne Elementary School, 11510 North Shore Dr., Reston.

See my report about the Fairfax bus plan on Sunday’s Commuter page.

Metro meetings

The transit authority has scheduled three meetings this week to present and discuss the transit staff’s long-range proposals as well as the budget for the fiscal year starting in July. (No fare hikes or service cuts are proposed in the fiscal year budget. The long-range proposals have gotten a lot of attention, though.)

Here’s the schedule for the meetings, all of which start at 5:30 p.m.:

  • Monday: Treetops, 8181 Professional Pl., Hyattsville.
  • Tuesday: Metro headquarters, 600 5th St. NW in the District.
  • Thursday: Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School, 7130 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church.

Annapolis Road project

The Maryland State Highway Administration is starting a safety-improvement project along Annapolis Road (Route 450) between the Capital Beltway off ramp and 85th Avenue in New Carrollton. It’s scheduled to be done in late fall.

A concrete barrier will be installed at the Annapolis Road/85th Avenue intersection and the left turn lane on westbound Annapolis Road to southbound 85th Avenue will be closed during the construction. Watch for detour signs.

Workers also will intermittently close lanes on Annapolis Road from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights.

Track work reminder

Metrorail has big plans for track work over the upcoming Presidents’ Day weekend. On the Blue and Orange lines, free shuttle buses will replace trains between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly and Largo Town Center. The Minnesota Avenue, Deanwood, Benning Road, Capitol Heights, Addison Road, Morgan Boulevard and Largo Town Center stations all will be closed for this switch replacement project.

On the Green Line, buses will replace trains between the College Park and Greenbelt stations. The Greenbelt station will be closed to rail passengers. This is the area where Metro is building a test track for the next generation of rail cars.

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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