The weekend and beyond: Road and rail work, special events


Various sporting events will bring crowds to downtown D.C. streets this weekend. Watch for pedestrians. (Robert Thomson/The Washington Post)

This is a busy weekend for road and rail work, and for traffic-generating events. The Capital Weather Gang says the daytime temperatures will hover around 70 degrees, with Saturday the better of the two days for outdoor activity.

The Nationals are at home on Friday night and on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The Capitals wrap up their regular season at Verizon Center on Saturday night.

Metro weekend maintenance

The schedule affects service from 10 p.m. Friday through the rail system’s midnight closing Sunday.

Red Line. Free shuttle buses will replace trains between NoMa-Gallaudet and Takoma stations. The Rhode Island Avenue and Brookland stations will be closed. The Fort Totten station will be open only on the Green and Yellow Line level.

Between Glenmont and Takoma, and between Shady Grove and NoMa-Gallaudet, the trains will operate about every 10 minutes during the daytime and at regular weekend intervals other times.

In between those two segments, the shuttle buses will operate on two routes. One is an express between Takoma and NoMa-Gallaudet. That will add about 20 minutes to normal travel times. The other is a local route that will stop at all the affected stations. Taking the entire route would add about half an hour to the normal travel time.

The last train from Glenmont to Takoma will leave at 1:59 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights so it can make the connection with the shuttle bus. On Sunday, the last train from Glenmont will leave at 10:59 p.m.

Blue/Orange lines. Trains will share a track between McPherson Square and Smithsonian stations. Workers will be installing new ceiling tiles and doing maintenance work on the tracks.

Trains will operate about every 20 minutes for most of the weekend. (See the Sunday morning scheduled for the half marathon below.) Add about 10 minutes to normal travel time getting through the work zone.

To make late night connections with the Red Line, the last Orange Line train from New Carrollton will leave at 2:17 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights, and at 11:17 p.m. Sunday. The last Blue Line train from Largo Town Center will leave at 2:14 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights, and at 11:14 p.m. Sunday.

Green Line. Trains will share tracks through two work zones: Between Greenbelt and College Park, and between Naylor Road and Branch Avenue. Trains will operate every 20 minutes. Add about 10 minutes to normal travel times.

Yellow Line. There’s no work scheduled for the line, but the schedule will be adjusted to coordinate with the work on the Green and Blue lines, which share portions of track with the Yellow Line. Trains will operate about every 20 minutes. Add about 10 minutes to normal travel times. The Yellow Line trains will operate on their regular weekend route, between Huntington and Fort Totten.

Walk on Saturday
The annual D.C. Walk to End Lupus Now is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday on Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 12th and 13th streets. Pennsylvania Avenue will be shut between 11th and Third streets from 8 to 11 a.m.

Federal Triangle, Metro Center and Archives are the Metrorail stations nearest the start.

Run on Sunday

The Nike Women Half Marathon is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. Sunday on Pennsylvania Avenue NW at 10th Street. The course includes the Mall area, Hains Point and the Arlington Memorial Bridge, before finishing at about 11 a.m. where it began. See a map of the route.

Police will close streets along the route while the runners pass by, then reopen them. Arlington Memorial Bridge and Memorial Circle will be closed to vehicles from 5 to 10 a.m. To reach Arlington Cemetery during those hours, vehicles must use Route 110.

There’s no designated parking for race participants. Metrorail will open at 5 a.m., two hours early. (The event organizers pay for the extra service.) The nearest rail stations to the start are Federal Triangle, Metro Center and Archives.

From 5 to 8 a.m., trains on the Blue and Orange lines will operate about every 12 minutes. At other hours this weekend, Blue and Orange Line trains will share a track between McPherson Square and Smithsonian stations, causing delays, as described above.

Route 50 in Chantilly

The Virginia Department of Transportation’s roadway widening project on Route 50 in Chantilly will require lane closings around the intersection of Route 50 and Lee Road this weekend. There will be traffic delays, so it’s best to avoid this area.

From 8 p.m. Friday until noon Saturday, one or two lanes will be closed in each direction on Route 50, and traffic will periodically be stopped for up to 15 minutes. The ramp from southbound Route 28 to westbound Route 50 will be closed. Signs will direct drivers to Willard Road to reach westbound Route 50. No left turns will be permitted onto Route 50 from Lee Road.

Workers will be removing the old traffic signal heads, poles and span wire and will install temporary signals.

Route 7 closings

Two of the three eastbound lanes on Route 7 between Belmont Ridge Road and River Creek Parkway in Loudoun County will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night through Tuesday. Loudoun County is removing the old Goose Creek Bridge adjoining Route 7. Workers have set up a 350-ton crane to lift the bridge steel and haul it away on trucks.

Drivers leaving the Leesburg area and heading east on Route 7 should use River Creek Parkway and Riverside Parkway to avoid delays, the Virginia Department of Transportation says.

D.C. bridge/tunnel inspections

The District Department of Transportation will conduct bridge and tunnel safety inspections Friday. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, watch for single-lane closings between southbound I-395 at the the Mall tunnel to the eastbound Southeast-Southwest Freeway.

Suitland Parkway

Watch for milling and paving work on Suitland Parkway in the District from 4 a.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday. There will be some lane closings, but at least one lane will be open to traffic at all times. These are the work zones: westbound Suitland Parkway from the D.C. / Maryland border to Stanton Road SE; and the intersection of Suitland Parkway and Firth Sterling Avenue SE.

New York Avenue bridge

The District Department of Transportation plans to close the New York Avenue bridge between Florida Avenue NE and Penn Street NE from 10 p.m. Friday to 11 a.m. Sunday.

Westbound traffic on the avenue will be redirected at Penn Street NE, then to Sixth Street NE and Florida Avenue NE before getting back on New York Avenue. Eastbound traffic will be detoured to Florida Avenue, then to Sixth Street and Penn Street before getting back on  New York Avenue NE.

Alternative routes: Take Rhode Island Avenue or H Street through that part of Northeast Washington.

East-West Highway

Starting Sunday night, the Maryland State Highway Administration plans to begin resurfacing a mile of East-West Highway between New Hampshire Avenue and Riggs Road.

The project, which began last summer, is replacing deteriorated pavement on the heavily traveled route between Takoma Park and Hyattsville. Work on this phase should be done in late June. In the meantime, drivers are likely to encounter lane closings overnights Sundays through Thursdays.

Eastern Shore route

Both westbound lanes of the Route 50 bridge over Route 301 have reopened. This occurred a few weeks ahead of schedule in a reconstruction project along the popular route to Eastern Shore beaches.

The $2.8 million replacement of the bridge deck started in late September, so the most disruptive work occurred during the year’s lightest travel times. However, some continuing work will require off-peak lane closings through fall, the Maryland State Highway Administration said.

Metro next weekend

An even bigger program of major track work is scheduled for next weekend. On the Red Line, buses will replace trains between Fort Totten and Glenmont. The Takoma, Silver Spring, Forest Glen, Wheaton stations will be closed.

On the Green Line, buses will replace trains between Congress Heights and Branch Avenue. The Southern Avenue, Naylor Road, Suitland, Branch Avenue stations will be closed.

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 · April 25, 2013