The week ahead: Metro schedules, Silver Line work, lane closings


Traffic on Route 267 flows past the west side of the Wiehle Avenue station, last stop on the first phase of the Silver Line. (Stephen Barna/Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project)

The summer decline in local traffic is shrinking the length of traditional bottlenecks in the D.C. region, though they haven’t disappeared. One spot where morning congestion appears to be increasing is on the Capital Beltway’s inner loop just west of Interstate 95 in Springfield.

The Nationals are on the road all week, but Paul McCartney will be at Nationals Park for an 8 p.m. concert Friday. D.C. United plays at 8 p.m. Friday in RFK Stadium. The Going Out Guide lists Free and Easy events for the week. On Monday night, the National Park Service will illuminate the scaffolding and fabric around the Washington Monument.

The forecast from the Capital Weather Gang includes a chance of rain every weekday, along with high humidity. The temperature should fall a bit late this week.

HIGHLIGHTS: Metro schedule | D.C. 295 lane closings | Rock Creek Parkway | Canal Road | Silver Line | New commuter lot | DC Water project | Route 29 work | Looking ahead

Metro late-night schedule
Metro’s week night maintenance program now begins at 10 p.m rather than 8 p.m. Through Thursday, trains will share tracks around work zones on all rail lines, resulting in 10 minute delays. These are the work zones:

  • Red Line. Between Van Ness and Friendship Heights, and between Takoma and Forest Glen.
  • Blue Line. Between Smithsonian and Federal Center SW, and between Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield.
  • Orange Line. Between Smithsonian and Federal Center SW.
  • Green, Yellow lines. Between Georgia Avenue and Fort Totten.

D.C. 295 lane closings
The District Department of Transportation plans to close lanes on both sides of D.C. 295 near the Eastern Avenue bridge at off-peak hours this week. Workers will be doing maintenance on the bridge over the freeway.

Watch for rotating lane closings in that area by the D.C. line between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Rock Creek Parkway
The rehabilitation project on the parkway continues between P Street and Beach Drive. Crews will be working on the street lighting from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. weekdays. Watch for single-lane closings. Pedestrians will be detoured from the trail to the southbound lanes near Massachusetts Avenue.

Canal Road/Arizona Avenue
The nightly closings on Canal Road and Chain Bridge Road for the Arizona Avenue bridge rehabilitation have ended, the National Park Service said. There may be temporary lane closings after the evening rush to clean up the work zone, but one lane would remain open during any such closure.

Silver Line construction
It’s a very busy summer for the Dulles Metrorail project as Silver Line construction wraps up. These are some of the work zones likely to have the most impact on travelers this week.

  • I-66 East. Night lane closings eastbound between Great Falls Street and Route 267 to remove temporary traffic barriers, install guardrails and pave.
  • Dulles Connector Road (Route 267). Milling and pavement restoration, guardrail and barrier construction will require alternating lane closings on the eastbound side at night from about 1,200 feet west of I-66 to the I-66 merge. Survey work will close the left lane on the west side at night between Pimmit Run and Magarity Road.
  • Dulles Toll Road (Route 267). Work in manholes and on the Wiehle-Reston East station pedestrian bridges will require off-peak lane closings on both side of the toll road.
  • Dolley Madison Boulevard (Route 123). Milling and paving work will close the two left turn lanes from northbound Route 123 to Capital One Drive. To reach Capital One Drive, continue on Route 123 and make a U-turn at Colshire Drive intersection.
  • Grading operations, equipment installation and road work, will close the right lane of Route 123 south between Scotts Crossing and the Beltway ramp during the day. At night, watch for closings of the right and center lanes between Scotts Crossing and Capital One Drive.
  • Chain Bridge Road (Route 123). Milling and paving work will require off-peak lane closings on Route 123 near International Drive.
  • Leesburg Pike (Route 7). Work on the Greensboro and Spring Hill stations and on the sidewalks will result on day and night off-peak lane closings in several spots on both sides of Route 7 and some of the connecting roads in Tysons.

New commuter lot

The Virginia Department of Transportation opened a 433-space park-and-ride lot at Cushing Road and Interstate 66 near the Prince William Parkway.

Commuters can get into the lot from Balls Ford Road via Cushing Road. It has a direct on-ramp connection to eastbound I-66.

This HOV ramp is open only from 5:30 to 9:30 a.m.

OmniRide will provide bus service to the lot via its Linton Hall Metro Direct route. Service between the lot and the District is scheduled to begin this fall.

DC Water project
DC Water is working on a flood mitigation project at the McMillan Sand Filtration Plant at North Capitol Street and Michigan Avenue NW, which will affect traffic through March 2014. Work will be underway from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. weekdays on North Capitol Street and First Street NW from Channing Street NW to Michigan Avenue NW. The workers will build an underground system to divert up to 6 million gallons of storm water into temporary holding tanks at the plant during heavy rains.

Drivers will encounter lane closings on North Capitol Street between Girard Street and Michigan Avenue and on First Street NW between Michigan Avenue and Channing Street. The removal of the median on North Capitol Street between Michigan Avenue and Channing Street has resulted in a lane shift.

The traffic pattern is different on each side of North Capitol Street. Heading north, the left lane is closed and drivers must move right. Heading south drivers encounter a traffic split where they can go either left or right of the new barrier.

Fairfax fares
The Fairfax Connector bus system has reduced fares on six routes to match the fare structure of other regional bus services and increase its ridership. Routes affected are 394, 395, 493, 494, 495 and 981.

Routes 394 and 395 now match the regional Metrobus express fare ($4 case, $3.65 with SmarTrip).

Routes 493, 494, 495 and 981 match the base fare for the Fairfax Connector, which is already the same as the base fare for Metrobus ($1.80 cash, $1.60 with SmarTrip).

Route 29 work
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission workers had hoped to wrap up the repair work on northbound Colesville Road (Route 29) in Silver Spring before the July 4 holiday, but the heavy rain early in the week stymied them.

So watch for continued work in the right lane this coming week. The repair project, underway for a few weeks, has slowed northbound traffic during the afternoon rush.

Looking ahead . . .
95 Express Lanes
The project, which is converting the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes to high-occupancy toll lanes, will close all lanes of I-95 South near Dumfries (Exit 152A) during overnight hours Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Crews will lift steel beams for a new bridge that will carry traffic from the future express lanes in the median to the right side of I-95 South near Joplin Road.

Metro weekend work
The major project for this weekend will be on the Red Line. Buses will replace trains between the NoMa and Silver Spring stations. The Rhode Island Avenue, Brookland and Takoma stations will be closed. The Red Line platform at Fort Totten also will be closed. The track work disruptions begin at 10 p.m. Friday and continue through the rail system’s midnight closing on Sunday.

Keep this schedule in mind if the Red Line will be part of your trip to the Paul McCartney concert at Nationals Park or the D.C. United game at RFK Stadium on Friday night.

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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Washington Post | July 8, 2013