The weekend and beyond: Fine weather, soccer at RFK, lots of Metro work


D.C. United’s Lewis Neal celebrated at the end of the Oct. 20 game against Columbus Crew at RFK Stadium on Oct. 20. D.C. United plays its 2013 home opener Saturday night. (Richard A. Lipski – For The Washington Post)

After enduring a blustery Friday, travelers have a fine weekend to look forward to, the Capital Weather Gang says. But dress warmly for the early St. Patrick’s Day parade at 11 a.m. Saturday in Manassas, and for D.C. United’s home opener in RFK Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday. Indoors, the Wizards play the Charlotte Bobcats in Verizon Center at 8 p.m. Saturday, then the Capitals play the New York Rangers at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

The H Street NE corridor should be busy through Sunday as the Intersections Festival continues at the Atlas Performing Arts Center.

There’s not much road work across the D.C. region this weekend, but Metro has a heavy schedule of track maintenance, one that soccer fans should check closely because of its impact on the Blue and Orange lines. Fans who are used to reaching the stadium’s Lot 8 via the Southeast Freeway and the access road should check details of the new detour.

And of course, don’t forget that we spring forward to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday morning. That will be important to late-night Metro riders looking for that last train.

Metro weekend delays

Metrorail is working on all five lines this weekend. The service disruptions begin at 10 p.m. Friday and continue through the rail system’s midnight closing on Sunday.

Orange Line: Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly. The Minnesota Avenue and Deanwood stations will be closed. On the western side of the line, trains will share a track between East Falls Church and West Falls Church.

Trains are scheduled to operate every 20 minutes. In the closed zone, the shuttle buses will operate on a local route, stopping at all stations between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly, and on an express route, stopping only at Stadium-Armory and Cheverly. Using the entire local route would add about half an hour to normal travel time. The express will add about 20 minutes.

On Friday night, the last train from New Carrollton to Cheverly will leave at 1:46 a.m. On Saturday night, the last train will leave at 12:46 a.m. and on Sunday night at 10:46 p.m.

Blue Line: Shuttle buses will replace trains between Stadium-Armory and Benning Road. Trains will operate about every 20 minutes. Crossing the closed zone via the buses will add about 15 minutes to normal travel time, the transit authority said.

The last train from Largo Town Center to Benning Road on Friday night will leave at 2:10 a.m. On Saturday night it will leave at 1:10 a.m. and on Sunday at 11:10 p.m.

Red Line: Trains will share a track between Judiciary Square and Rhode Island Avenue. Through the weekend, they will leave the ends of the line at Shady Grove and Glenmont about every 20 minutes. Between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, more trains will be in service between Shady Grove and Judiciary Square. In that zone, trains should arrive at platforms about every 10 minutes. Riders on the eastern side of the line, where the work zone will be set up, should add about 10 minutes to normal travel time.

Green/Yellow lines: Trains will share a track between L’Enfant Plaza and Mount Vernon Square. Yellow Line trains will operate about every 20 minutes between Huntington and Mount Vernon Square. (Normally, they would continue north to Fort Totten on weekends.) Green Line trains will operate about every 20 minutes. Add about 10 minutes to normal travel time going through the work zone.

Manassas parade

The St. Patrick’s Day parade, starting at 11 a.m. Saturday near the downtown train station, goes for about a mile through the middle of Manassas. Parking is available at the City Municipal Parking lots on Prince William Street, across from the train station near Osborn High School, by city hall and on Church Street. People with disabilities can find designated parking at the train station and city hall.

Four Miler in Arlington County

The Four Courts Four Miler run is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Saturday at Ireland’s Four Courts Pub, near the Court House Metro station. See a course map.

Wilson Boulevard from Courthouse Road to North Rhodes Street will be closed from 6:30 to 11 a.m. Wilson Boulevard from Courthouse Road to Route 110 will be closed from 8:45 to 11 a.m. Northbound Route 110 from Interstate 395 to I-66 will be closed from 8:45 to 11 a.m.

Street parking in the area will be restricted. Watch for temporary no-parking signs.

D.C. United at RFK

Because part of the Southeast Freeway south of RFK Stadium is closed off for reconstruction, I-395 drivers who normally take the freeway to the stadium access road will have to detour this year.

To RFK from Interstate 395: Continue across the 11th Street Bridge over the Anacostia River. (That’s also I-695.) Take the ramp for northbound D.C. 295. Move toward the right so you’ll be able to take the exit for westbound Pennsylvania Avenue and cross the river again via the Sousa Bridge. Make a sharp right around Barney Circle SE to reach the Stadium Access Road into Lot 8 on the southeast side of RFK.

While coming around Barney Circle, you could also make a left onto 17th Street SE, then go right on Potomac Avenue SE and turn left onto 19th Street SE. At Independence Avenue SE, turn right and continue to Lot 8, which will be on your right.

Leaving RFK: Officials with the project think your best bet on exiting Lot 8 is to continue across the East Capitol Street (Whitney Young) Bridge over the Anacostia River and take the exit on the right for southbound D.C. 295.

Continue to the new ramp on the right of D.C. 295 that leads onto the 11th Street Bridge (I-695 again). Since you’re heading for I-395, stay in the left of the two lanes on that ramp so that once on the bridge, you will need to move only one lane to the left to be lined up for I-395.

See a map.

 Maryland bridge inspections

The Maryland State Highway Administration plans to do a couple of routine bridge inspections on Saturday morning.

Watch for double lane closings on southbound I-270 at the Muddy Branch Road bridge from 5 a.m. to noon. Watch for double lane closings on the outer loop of the Capital Beltway at the Riggs Road (Route 212) bridge from 5 to 9 a.m.

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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Mark Berman | March 8, 2013