The weekend and beyond: Wet weather, Metro disruptions, lane closings

February 22, 2013

Metro will close four stations on the Orange Line this weekend. On the Red Line, trains will share tracks in two sections. (Michael Williamson — The Washington Post)

Most of Friday and Saturday will be utterly unappealing to local travelers, the Capital Weather Gang says, but Sunday should be brighter and milder. There’s not much road work scheduled, but Metro has maintenance disruptions on two lines.

The undaunted may be heading for the Atlas Intersections Festival of the arts on H Street NE, or the Whiffenpoofs in Silver Spring and Bethesda, or Jonathan Richman’s show at the 9:30 Club. So here are the details on those rail and road projects that might affect upcoming trips.

Metro weekend delays

These disruptions begin at 10 p.m. Friday and continue through the rail system’s midnight closing Sunday.

Orange Line: Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Vienna and Ballston. The Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and East Falls Church stations will be closed. This will clear space for crews to work on the signal system where the new Silver Line will connect with the Orange Line.

On the open section of the rail line between Ballston and New Carrollton, trains are scheduled to operate normally. The shuttle buses on the closed portion of the rail line will follow two routes. An Express will stop at Vienna and Ballston only. A local will stop at all the stations between Vienna and Ballston. Don’t board the local shuttle if you need to go the entire route. That would add almost an hour to your travel time. The express adds about 25 minutes.

Red Line: Trains will share a track between Friendship Heights and Van Ness and between Takoma and Rhode Island Avenue. Through the weekend, trains are scheduled to leave the ends of the line at Shady Grove and Glenmont about every 24 minutes. But between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, more trains will be added between Van Ness and MoMa-Gallaudet. So in that zone, trains should reach platforms about every 12 minutes. If you do travel through a work zone, add about 20 minutes to normal travel time.

DC Water project

DC Water crews will be working through July at 17 sites in the Rhode Island Avenue corridor between Sixth Street NW and the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station. They are working on the Northeast Boundary Tunnel part of the Clean Rivers Project. To prepare for the tunnel’s construction, the crews will so some test drilling.

Work hours on Rhode Island Avenue at First Street NW and Lincoln Road NE will be 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. At other locations, the hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

The avenue and adjacent streets will generally be open, but there may be some temporary traffic stops and delays in the work zones. Parking will be restricted in the work areas.

The Clean Rivers Project includes a system of tunnels and diversion sewers to protect the region’s rivers and streams.

Gallows Road/Beltway

The ramps connecting the 495 Express Lanes with Gallows Road are scheduled to close from 8 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday for some minor road work.

Maryland lane closings

The Maryland State Highway Administration is doing some routine bridge inspections, which will close lanes.

One or two lanes may be closed from 5 to 9 a.m. Saturday on the Capital Beltway’s inner loop at the Forestville Road Bridge. Watch for double lane closings on northbound Interstate 270 at West Montgomery Avenue (Route 28) from 5 a.m. to noon Sunday.

L’Enfant Plaza elevators

The transit authority is starting a modernization program on three of the four elevators at the busy L’Enfant Plaza station. The ones shut down connect the street to the station mezzanine, the mezzanine to the Green/Yellow Line platform for trains toward Branch Avenue and Huntington and the mezzanine to the Greenbelt side of the platform.

That leaves the elevator between the Blue/Orange Line platform and the northbound Green/Yellow Line platform.

Metro figures that by working on the three at the same time, it can shorten the project. The elevators should be back in service around the end of May. Meanwhile, some riders who need the elevators may find it easier to use the Metro Center and Gallery Place transfer stations.

D.C. streetcars meeting

Travelers heading to the Atlas District for the Intersections Festival this weekend may be riding on a Metrobus X route, but next year, it could be a streetcar trip.

The District Department of Transportation has scheduled a meeting for Tuesday to update people on the H Street/Benning Road streetcar project. Street construction is scheduled to continue through the fall, when streetcar testing will begin, DDOT said.

Officials will be on hand to address block-by-block concerns about the project. The session is scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Miner Elementary School, 601 15th St. NE.

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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