The week ahead: Chinatown crowds, I-95 paving, Silver Line work


As Silver Line construction heads for a close, crews are adding sidewalks along Route 7 in Tysons. (Chuck Samuelson/Dulles Metrorail Project)

After Monday’s cool start, temperatures will warm into the 80s later this week, with chances of storms on Thursday and Friday, the Capital Weather Gang says.

HIGHLIGHTSWorst morning trafficMetro weeknight workJudiciary Square entranceCapitals at VerizonLaurel rest areasSilver Line workArlington Boulevard interchange | I-295 SouthRoute 4 bridges | New Hampshire Avenue

The Capitals play game seven with the Rangers at 8 p.m. Monday at the Verizon Center. The Mystics play Brazil’s national team at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Verizon. The Nationals are away all week. Friday is Bike to Work Day.

Worst morning traffic

I’ve been trying to track the D.C. region’s worst highway bottlenecks for the morning commute by checking traffic maps and traffic cameras between 7:45 and 8:15 a.m. Mondays and Fridays tend to have the lightest traffic, but the trouble usually occurs in the same areas.

Monday morning’s bad spots were pretty typical: the Capital Beltway outer loop from College Park to Georgia Avenue, the junction of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, MD 50 and New York Avenue, Interstate 295 North and D.C. 295 South to the 11th Street Bridge over the Anacostia River, Interstate 66 East in Fair Oaks, the George Washington Parkway from VA 120 to Rosslyn, I-395 near the 14th Street Bridge over the Potomac.

There are always plenty of other trouble spots that can be intense, such as the Dulles Toll Road near the Beltway, but the distance is shorter than for the bottlenecks above.

Metro weeknight work
Metrorail riders will encounter night time disruptions on all five lines for maintenance projects. (Watch out for these after Monday night’s Capitals game.)

After 8 p.m., Red Line trains will share a track between Dupont Circle and Van Ness, resulting in delays of about 10 minutes, Metro says.

After 10 p.m., Red Line trains will share a track between Rhode Island Avenue and Takoma, resulting in delays of about 10 minutes. Blue and Orange line trains will share a track between McPherson Square and Smithsonian. Riders will be delayed about 10 minutes. Green and Yellow Line trains will share a track between Mount Vernon Square and L’Enfant Plaza, delaying them about five minutes.

Judiciary Square entrance

Police officers will hold a candlelight vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial starting at 8 p.m. Monday.

The Judiciary Square Metro station’s F Street entrance across the street from the National Building Museum will close at 7 p.m. and remain closed for the rest of Monday. This is also where the station’s elevator entrance is, so there won’t be any elevator service for Judiciary Square after 7 p.m.

The station’s entrance at Fourth and D streets NW will be open.

Capitals at Verizon

Watch for crowding in the Gallery Place-Chinatown area Monday night, because of the Caps game and the National Police Week event at Judiciary Square.

The deal between Metro and Verizon Center that would extend Metrorail service after midnight if needed for an overtime game remains in effect.

Driving: Verizon Center is at 601 F Street NW. See driving directions on the center’s Web site.

Parking: Verizon Center’s parking garage is not open for games. The center lists several other parking places nearby: Gallery Place parking garage on 6th Street NW; the public garage next door to Rosa Mexicano restaurant on F Street NW; and the public garage located near 7th and I Streets NW. But there are many more lots and garages in the Chinatown area. The ParkingPanda Web site lists some availabilities.

If you’re looking for street parking in the neighborhood, be careful: Read the instructions on the meter, whether it’s a traditional, stand-alone meter or one of the newer, green multi-space meters. Make sure you know the hours of meter enforcement.

Metrorail: The Green, Yellow and Red lines converge at Gallery Place, below Verizon Center. The station gets crowded, especially after the game, when everyone leaves at once. See the Metrorail map.

(And remember that note above about the Judiciary Square station entrance.)

Laurel rest areas

The Maryland State Highway Administration will be repaving the Interstate 95 rest areas in Laurel, closing them one at a time during the daytime, starting Monday with the one on the southbound side.

After one to two weeks, workers will move across to the one on the northbound side. The project is scheduled to be done by June 30.

The rest area closings will occur from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Overnight truck parking will be permitted, and the restrooms will reopen for the evening and overnight hours. But all vehicles must be out of there by 8 a.m.

It’s unusual to see a paving operation on a major route during the day. The SHA says the schedule is designed to limit inconvenience to travelers, because the areas are heavily used overnights and on weekends.

Silver Line work

One of the D.C. region’s most active projects is the construction of the Metro Silver Line through Tysons and out to Wiehle Avenue in the Reston area. These are a few highlights to watch out for this week.

The left lane of eastbound and the right lane of westbound Interstate 66 will be closed overnights near Great Falls Street while crews remove temporary traffic barriers and install permanent guardrails.

Crews will close the left through lanes of the eastbound Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) between Magarity Road and Idylwood Road during the daytime to remove temporary traffic barriers and clean up the shoulders.

Work on the Wiehle-Reston East station pedestrian bridges will require the closing of the two left lanes on both sides of the Dulles Toll Road. During the night, workers will shift the closings to the two right lanes in both directions.

Installing permanent sidewalks, traffic signals and light pole foundations will require day and night lane closings along both sides of Leesburg Pike (Route 7) in Tysons. The closings also will affect roads that intersect with Route 7.

Work on the pedestrian bridge at the Tysons Corner station will close lanes on Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) Tysons Boulevard, International Drive and Galleria Drive at various times.

Work on the McLean Station and pedestrian bridge will require day and night lane closings on Route 123 near Colshire Drive, Old Meadow Road, Capital One Drive, Scotts Crossing and Anderson Road.

Arlington Boulevard interchange
The Virginia Department of Transportation will continue closing lanes on both sides of Arlington Boulevard between 10th Street and North Rhodes Street as part of the long-term reconstruction of the interchange.

Monday through Friday, the closings on the westbound side are scheduled for 6:30 a.m. to  3 p.m. On the eastbound side, they will occur from 9 a.m. to  5 p.m.

I-295 South
Monday through May 31, the right lane on southbound Anacostia Freeway (I-295) near the Malcolm X Avenue SE may be closed from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays.

Route 4 bridges

The Maryland State Highway Administration is starting a three-mile reconstruction along Route 4 (Pennsylvania Avenue) that includes replacement of the two old bridges over Route 223 (Woodyard Road) near Joint Base Andrews.

When the job is done, the westbound bridge will have two lanes, an acceleration lane for northbound Route 223 traffic and a four-foot-wide inside shoulder. The new bridge will have two lanes, a 10-foot outside shoulder and a 24-foot inside shoulder.

Watch for single-lane closings between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights.

This summer, crews will close the ramp from northbound Route 223 to eastbound Route 4 and create a detour. The entire project is scheduled to be done in fall 2015.

New Hampshire Avenue

In Takoma Park, the State Highway Administration is going to replace the bridge deck where New Hampshire Avenue crosses Sligo Creek. This one should be done in late 2014.

Crews are installing a temporary pedestrian bridge to maintain access to Sligo Creek Park during the project. The travel lanes on New Hampshire Avenue will be shifted. All the lanes will be open during rush hours, but drivers may find lanes closed during off-peak hours.

 

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 10, 2013