The weekend and beyond: Metro work on two lines, Interstate lane closings in Virginia


Come and get it on Pennsylvania Avenue this weekend at the National Capital Barbecue Battle. (National Capital Barbecue Battle)

[This post has been updated.]

After a delightful Friday, the first weekend of summer will get hotter and more humid, the Capital Weather Gang says. Still, the forecast looks good for local travel and outdoor activities, and you should be able to see the “super moon” overhead.

Your outdoor activities might include at trip to the National Capital Barbecue Battle on Pennsylvania Avenue between Ninth and 14th streets NW. There’s barbecue and there’s music between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Nationals are playing the Colorado Rockies this weekend at Nationals Park. Be sure to check the Metro schedule below, particularly if your trip includes the Red Line. D.C. United plays the San Jose Earthquakes at 7 p.m. Saturday in RFK Stadium. Soccer fans will want to note the Orange Line schedule.

There are concerts Saturday and Sunday nights at Verizon Center, and I notice that the center’s Web site has a big “Metro Advisory” for concert-goers. (That’s good. Many weekend travelers ride Metro only occasionally and wouldn’t see the weekend warnings put out directly by Metro, but they might see something on an event’s Web site.)

See more weekend events in the Going Out Guide.

The major event on the road work schedule this weekend is likely to be the HOV lane closings along I-395/95 for construction of the 95 Express Lanes. That construction program probably will be the major road work event for the entire summer, as far as vacationers are concerned. See more below.

HIGHLIGHTS: Metro schedule | I-95/395 lane closings | Prince George’s interchange | Arlington street closings | Nice Bridge | Bay Bridge | I-95 northbound | Upcoming week

Metro weekend schedule

These are the Metrorail schedule modifications for 10 p.m. Friday through the rail system’s midnight closing Sunday. (On the Commuter page in Sunday’s Post, I’ll have the full schedule of major track work for the rest of 2013.)

Red Line. Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Rhode Island Ave and Forest Glen. The Brookland, Takoma and Silver Spring stations will be closed, as will the Red Line platform at Fort Totten.

Between Shady Grove and Rhode Island Avenue, and also between Forest Glen and Glenmont, trains will operate every 10 minutes from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and every 15 to 20 minutes (the normal weekend schedule) at other times.

The shuttle buses will operate continuously between Forest Glen and Rhode Island Avenue on two routes: A limited-stop service will take riders between Forest Glen and Rhode Island Avenue, with a stop at Silver Spring. Add up to 40 minutes of travel time, if you take that route, Metro said.

Local buses will operate between Forest Glen and Rhode Island Avenue, making stops at Silver Spring, Takoma, Fort Totten and Brookland. Add about 10 minutes of travel time for each stop.

If you normally drive and park at stations on the east side of the Red Line, Metro suggests you consider parking at stations on the west side, such as Grosvenor, Rockville or Shady Grove. If you’re going to a Nats game, consider driving over to Greenbelt station, just off the Capital Beltway, where you can take the Green Line to Navy Yard station, near Nationals Park.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, the last train from Glenmont to Forest Glen will leave 53 minutes earlier than normal so riders can make the shuttle bus connection. On Friday and Saturday nights, the last train will leave Glenmont at 1:44 a.m. On Sunday night, it will leave at 10:44 p.m.

Orange Line. Trains will operate at normal weekend schedules — every 12 minutes during the daytime and every 15 to 20 minutes at other times — between Vienna and Cheverly. Trains will share a track through a work zone between Cheverly and New Carrollton. Every other train will run between Vienna and Cheverly only, so people riding between Landover and New Carrollton may have travel times up to 15 minutes longer than normal on weekends.

I-95/395 lane closings
[Updated at 4:30 p.m. Friday to reflect some changes in the VDOT weekend schedule.]

At 11 p.m. Friday, the Virginia Department of Transportation plans to close the HOV lanes on I-395/95 from the D.C. line to the end in Dumfries (Route 234) until 10 a.m. Saturday, then again from 11 p.m. Saturday until 9 a.m. Sunday.

By 9 a.m. Saturday, VDOT says, the HOV lanes will open to traffic heading south from D.C. to just before Edsall Road. All HOV traffic will be directed to exit the lanes and merge onto the regular lanes of I-95 South. The HOV lanes will be closed between Edsall Road and Franconia-Springfield Parkway. South of the parkway, HOV lanes will be open to traffic heading south to Dumfries. Traffic can enter into the HOV lanes again just after the parkway by a left-lane slip ramp.

By 2 p.m. Saturday, the HOV Lanes will be closed. Then by 4 p.m. Saturday, the lanes will open to traffic heading north from Dumfries to D.C.

By 11 p.m. Saturday, the HOV lanes will close. They will reopen northbound by 10 a.m. Sunday.

Prince George’s interchange
The Maryland State Highway Administration plans to close the ramp from southbound Route 301 to eastbound Route 50 for resurfacing from 9 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday and advises drivers to plan on extra time traveling through Bowie on both those highways.

Barbecue Battle street closings

The street closings for the National Capital Barbecue Battle are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Friday and continue through midnight Sunday. These are the blocks affected:

  • Pennsylvania Avenue NW between Ninth and 14th streets
  • 10th Street NW between Constitution Avenue and E Street NW
  • 11th Street NW between Constitution Avenue and E Street NW
  • 12th Street NW between Constitution Avenue and E Street NW

Arlington street closings

Some streets will be closed Saturday and Sunday for the 2013 Arlington Festival of the Arts.

From 4 a.m. Saturday to 10 p.m. Sunday: North Highland Street between Washington Boulevard and 1210 N. Highland St., North Hartford Street between North Highland Street and 1228 N. Hartford St.

Nice Bridge
The Maryland Transportation Authority says the Nice Bridge, which takes Route 301 over the Potomac River, will continue to be reduced to one lane, with flaggers to direct traffic alternating northbound and southbound at these hours: Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; on Saturday nights from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.; and from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights.

Bay Bridge best times
Several Eastern Shore events — the Dew Tour in Ocean City and Thunder on the Narrows on Kent Narrows are likely to increase weekend traffic on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

The best times to travel: Friday after 10 p.m., Saturday before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m., Sunday before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

I-95 northbound travel
A Gaithersburg resident preparing for a Sunday drive to Cape Cod asked what I thought the travel prospects would be along I-95.

I think she’s likely to run into beach traffic in Delaware and New Jersey on the I-95 route, so leaving as early as possible would be very important. This is a long trip — takes me about nine hours to Cape Cod in the summer — and travelers are bound to run into traffic somewhere. I find I-95 in western Connecticut is particularly bad.

There shouldn’t be any road work underway, but there may be some slowing through construction zones in mid-Delaware and in central New Jersey on the Turnpike.

The tolls are at the Fort McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore, and just north of the Susquehanna River, then at the Delaware Line, and the Delaware Bridge (if you’re heading directly for the NJ Turnpike), then the Turnpike toll, the crossing into New York, and the I-95 New England Thruway toll in the Bronx. That’s $3 at the tunnel, $6 north of the river (northbound only), $4 at the Delaware line, $4 at the bridge (southbound only), $13.85 if you go all the way on the NJ Turnpike, $13 at the George Washington Bridge (northbound only) and the $1.75 New England Thruway toll (northbound only).

[I updated the previous paragraph to indicate what tolls are paid in each direction.]

Upcoming week …
11th Street Bridge project. The District Department of Transportation plans to close M Street SE between 11th and 12th streets SE overnights Monday through Friday, then again June 30-31 and July 1-2 starting at 7 o’clock each evening till 5:30 the following morning. The closures will allow crews to complete bridge girder installations over M Street for a new freeway bridge.

The westbound I-695 freeway bridge exit ramp to M Street SE, the new southbound D.C. 295 exit ramp to 11th Street SE and the northbound lanes of the 11th Street bridge local span between Good Hope Road SE and O Street SE also will be closed during these times.

Metro weekend work. No major project is scheduled for the weekend of June 29-30.

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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Michael Laris | June 21, 2013