The weekend and beyond: Metro work on four lines, charity run Sunday, bridge closing


Many people will be out walking during this fine weekend. Watch for them using this new crossing signal on Connecticut Avenue near the Avalon Theatre. (Robert Thomson/The Washington Post)

This should be a great weekend for outdoor activities, the Capital Weather Gang says.

Some will spend their Saturday afternoon indoors as the Capitals have their second playoff game with the Rangers at 12:30 p.m. in Verizon Center. They’ll want to check on the Metrorail maintenance schedule below.

Saturday is the last day the Library of Congress will display the John Hay copy of the Gettysburg Address. It’s in the “Civil War in America” exhibit at the Thomas Jefferson Building, across from the Capitol. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Outdoors, watch for crowding around garden centers, and for the many pedestrians and cyclists who will be out enjoying the streets and trails. Drivers, note there’s a new style of pedestrian crossing on Connecticut Avenue just south of Chevy Chase Circle (more on that below).

The Race for Hope will close some downtown D.C. streets early Sunday. Meanwhile, the Roosevelt Bridge will be closed for a movie shoot. There’s also a batch of work scheduled for roads and bridges that will close lanes. Here are some highlights.

Metro weekend delays

This weekend’s maintenance schedule will affect service on the Red, Green, Orange and Blue lines.

Red Line. From 10 p.m. Friday through the rail system’s midnight closing Sunday, free shuttle buses will replace trains between Glenmont and Fort Totten stations. The Glenmont, Wheaton, Forest Glen, Silver Spring and Takoma stations will be closed.

Trains will operate between Shady Grove and Fort Totten every 10 minutes during the day and at regular weekend intervals other times, Metro says. The shuttle buses will follow local and express routes.

The express will stop only at Glenmont and Fort Totten. Using it will add about half an hour to normal travel time.

The local will include stops at all the stations between Glenmont and Fort Totten. Taking that all the way would add about 50 minutes to normal travel time.

Green Line. From 10 p.m. Friday through the 3 a.m. closing Sunday (the Saturday night service), buses will replace trains between Congress Heights and Branch Avenue stations to allow for necessary track upgrades and renewal.

The Branch Avenue, Suitland, Naylor Road and Southern Avenue stations will be closed. Trains will operate at regular weekend intervals between Greenbelt and Congress Heights. The shuttles will provide express and local service.

The express between Branch Avenue and Congress Heights will add about 25 minutes to normal travel time. The local, making all stops, will add about 50 minutes.

On Sunday, trains will share a track between Branch Avenue and Congress Heights. Trains will leave the ends of the line at Greenbelt and Branch Avenue about every half hour.

Orange Line. From 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday’s closing, trains will share a track between Clarendon and Foggy Bottom, and between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly. They are scheduled to leave the ends of the line at Vienna and New Carrollton every 26 minutes.

Blue Line. From 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday’s closing, trains will share a track between Arlington Cemetery and Foggy Bottom. They will leave the ends of the line at Franconia-Springfield and Largo Town Center every 26 minutes.

Race for Hope on Sunday

The Race for Hope 5K run/walk, which benefits brain tumor research, is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Sunday in Freedom Plaza. See a map on the event’s Web site. Metrorail opens at 7 a.m. Sunday. The nearest stations are Metro Center and Federal Triangle.

The event organizers suggest these spots for parking: The Reagan Building parking garage on 14th Street between Constitution and Pennsylvania avenues, open at 5 a.m., $13 fee; the National Place Garage on 13th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and F Street, open all hours, daily rate of $14; Colonial Parking Garage on Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th streets, open at 7 a.m, parking up to four hours for $21, daily rate of $31. (Drivers from Virginia, note the schedule below for closing the Roosevelt Bridge (I-66) on Sunday.)

These streets around Freedom Plaza are scheduled to close at 4:30 a.m. Sunday and reopen at 1 p.m.: Pennsylvania Avenue NW from 14th to 12th streets, 13th Street NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to E Street. Street closings along the course will begin at 8 a.m., and they should reopen no later than 11 a.m.

New way to cross

The District Department of Transportation has put in an unusual style of pedestrian crossing on Connecticut Avenue at Northampton Street NW, just a bit south of Chevy Chase Circle.

For the pedestrians, it’s rather simple: Just push a button and wait for the walk sign. For drivers, it’s a bit more complicated: The warning signals are dark until the pedestrian hits the button. Then orange lights are followed by solid red lights.

At this point, the approaching cars should be stopped to allow pedestrians to cross. The red lights then start flashing, indicating cars can proceed with caution after stopping at the crossing.

This type of crossing is known as a HAWK, an abbreviation somehow derived from “High-intensity Activated cross-WalK.” The city’s first one was installed on Georgia Avenue at Hemlock Street NW in 2009.

Roosevelt Bridge closing

The Roosevelt Bridge over the Potomac River is scheduled to close on Sunday from 8:20 to 9:10 a.m. and from 1 to 1:30 p.m. while a movie crew uses it. (My colleague Mark Berman tells me the movie is a “Captain America” sequel.) Alternative routes include the 14th Street Bridge and the Memorial Bridge.

11th Street Bridge Project

The District Department of Transportation is demolishing the old outbound freeway bridge over 11th Street on the Capitol Hill side of the Anacostia River as part of the rebuilding of the 11th Street Bridge. To clear a work zone this weekend, DDOT has closed 11th Street SE between M and K streets from 7 a.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Monday.

I-95/395 HOV lanes

Starting at 11 p.m. Friday, workers will close the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on I-395/95 from the D.C. line to the end at Route 234 in Dumfries. They are scheduled to reopen at 10 a.m. Saturday southbound from the Springfield interchange to Dumfries.

The section between the D.C. line and Springfield will remain closed until 10 a.m. Sunday, when the entire HOV system opens northbound. Also, one left lane on I-395 South between Seminary Road and the Capital Beltway will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday till 9 a.m. Saturday, and again from 9 p.m. Saturday till 10 a.m. Sunday.

The closings, for work on the 95 Express Lanes, are likely to cause extra delays along I-95 in Northern Virginia. Depending on their origin point, some long-distance drivers heading south this weekend might want to consider taking Route 301 to the east of the D.C. area, or a combination of Routes 28 and 17 to the west, before returning to I-95.

Suitland Parkway

The District Department of Transportation plans milling and paving along Suitland Parkway from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. At least one lane will be open to traffic. The work will be along the westbound parking between Alabama Avenue and Stanton Road SE and at the intersection of the parkway and Firth Sterling Avenue SE.

New York Avenue bridge

Drivers may find only one lane open in each direction at the New York Avenue bridge between Florida Avenue and Penn Street from 5 to 10 a.m. Saturday. The District Department of Transportation continues to work on the lengthy reconstruction of the bridge over the railroad tracks north of Union Station.

Mount Vernon Trail

Watch for detour signs on the Mount Vernon Trail between Waynewood Boulevard and Collingwood Road in Fort Hunt. The National Park Service is rebuilding trail bridges in this area.

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 | May 3, 2013