The weekend and beyond: McCartney at Nats Park, Bastille Day celebration, rail and road delays


Paul McCartney plays Nationals Park on Friday night. (Tracy A. Woodward / The Washington Post)

An umbrella or rain jacket may prove handy at one of the outdoor events on Friday night, the Capital Weather Gang says. This won’t be the most pleasant of weekends for getting around the D.C. region, but Friday should be the worst of it.

Metro starts its weekend projects at 10 p.m. Friday. Keep that in mind — along with your rain jacket — if you’re going to see Paul McCartney in Nationals Park or D.C. United in RFK Stadium. Both are set to play at 8 p.m. Friday.

The biggest road project in the region this weekend is in the median of Interstate 95 in Northern Virginia, where crews are building the 95 Express Lanes. But note that all road work announcements come to us with a “weather permitting” proviso.

HIGHLIGHTS: Metro schedule | I-95 delays | K Street closure | Bowie ramp closing | Route 29 work | Bastille Day party | Online chat

Metro weekend schedule

The major project for this weekend is 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.

Trains will share tracks on the Blue and Orange lines. All track work disruptions begin at 10 p.m. Friday and continue through the rail system’s midnight closing on Sunday. Keep this in mind if you’re going out Friday night and taking Metrorail. Your trip home could be different from your trip to the event.

There is no scheduled work on the Green or Yellow lines. Trains on these lines will operate on a regular weekend schedule.

Red Line. Between Shady Grove and NoMa, and also between Glenmont and Silver Spring, trains will operate every 10 minutes from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and every 15 to 20 minutes at other times.

The shuttle buses will operate on two routes: An express will travel nonstop between Silver Spring and NoMa. If taking this route, add a half hour to normal travel time. A local bus will include stops at Takoma, Fort Totten, Brookland and Rhode Island Avenue. Add 10 minutes of extra travel time per station.

If your normal weekend plan involves the east side of the Red Line, you could consider driving over to the west side and parking at the Grosvenor, Rockville or Shady Grove stations. Parking probably will be plentiful there, and the train service will operate normally into downtown D.C. Or you could drive over to the Greenbelt station, just off the Capital Beltway, and take the Green Line downtown.

Last trains: On Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, the last train from Glenmont to Silver Spring will leave 47 minutes earlier than normal so it can make the shuttle bus connections. So the last train will leave Glenmont at 1:50 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and at 10:50 p.m. on Sunday.

Orange/Blue lines. The trains are scheduled to operate every 16 minutes throughout the weekend. Trains will share tracks between the McPherson Square and Smithsonian stations.

If you’re a longtime follower of these weekend single-tracking announcements, you’ll notice a different style here.The announcements used to talk about delays of so-and-so many minutes getting through the single-tracking work zone. That was problematic for riders trying to plan trips and connections.

Metro has now spaced out the trains so that, as long as the schedule holds, there should be no delays getting through the single-tracking areas. By noon each Friday, this schedule should be incorporated into Metro’s online Trip Planner.

UPDATE: Metro will stay open an extra hour on Sunday night to accommodate the Delta Sigma Theta events happening at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Riders looking to board trains during the extra time have to use the Gallery Place or Mt. Vernon Square/Convention Center stops. Riders can exit at all Metro stations, but all other station entrances will be closed.

95 Express Lanes project

There may not be a longer work zone in the nation than the 29 miles between Edsall Road just inside the Capital Beltway and Garrisonville Road to the south. In this construction area for the 95 Express Lanes, two main events are scheduled to affect weekend travel: Overnight shutdowns on I-95 South, and full shutdowns of the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes in the median of the interstate.

Starting at 9:30 Friday and Saturday nights, the Virginia Department of Transportation plans to close lanes on I-95 South from Dumfries Road (Exit 152) to Joplin Road (Exit 150). The initial single lane closing will progress to a full shutdown of the southbound lanes. The full closing is scheduled to last from 1 to 4 a.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 a.m. Sunday.

During the closings, crews will place 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.

Detour. Southbound traffic will be directed off I-95 at Exit 152A onto Dumfries Road (Route 234), then onto Route 1 South to Joplin Road (Route 619) and back to I-95 South. One lane on Route 1 South also will be closed before Dumfries Road to accommodate detour traffic.

VDOT estimates the traffic delays at up to 20 minutes from 9:30 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday, and 9:30 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m., Sunday. That includes the time for workers to set up and take down the lane closings.

Meanwhile . . .From 11 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Saturday, and again from 11 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday the HOV lanes on I-395/95 are scheduled to close from the D.C. line to their end at Dumfries Road (Route 234).

K Street closure

The District Department of Transportation plans to close the two eastbound lanes of K Street NW near 22nd Street NW from 10:30 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, while workers repair the bridge over K Street. Westbound K Street NW will remain open.

Eastbound traffic will be directed to enter K Street’s service road and continue east around Washington Circle to merge onto Pennsylvania Avenue NW, then turn left onto 20th Street NW to reconnect with K Street.

Bowie ramp closing

The Maryland State Highway Administration plans to close the ramp from westbound Route 50 to southbound Route 301. The closing, to improve the ramp surface, is set to begin at 9 p.m. Friday and continue till 5 a.m. Monday.

Route 29 work

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission has wrapped up the repair work on northbound Colesville Road (Route 29) in Silver Spring, which had slowed traffic considerably in the Four Corners area. Workers still must return to repave the area, and that should be done in the next couple of weeks, according to WSSC.

Bastille Day Block Party

Saturday’s local celebration of the storming of the Bastille in Paris will close Vernon Street NW between 18th and 19th streets from 9 a.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday. The block party is from 3 to 11 p.m. The main event, according to our Going Out Guide, is the French maid race, in which 40 men and women in black-and-white outfits race up and down Vernon Street to fill a champagne glass with soup spoons of water.

 

Upcoming . . .

The newly empowered Northern Virginia Transportation Authority plans to make decisions this month about a first round of spending on transportation projects that could amount to $200 million.

The money is likely to go to a variety of road, transit, biking and walking projects across the region, but some transportation advocates favor spending on just a few projects that would have the highest possible impact on congestion.

What priorities would you set for the spending? I’ve invited two members of the authority’s board, Martin Nohe of Prince William and Chris Zimmerman of Arlington, to answer your questions during my regular online discussion at noon Monday on www.washingtonpost.com.

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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