Guide to weekend traffic jams

The weekend weather will be more of an incentive than a problem for getaway travel from the D.C. area, the Capital Weather Gang says. Here are some road obstacles to watch for on local streets and the highway escape routes.

95 Express Lanes map
VDOT map shows 95 Express Lanes work zone in red.

The long-distance travelers may see some extra traffic on the highways starting Friday afternoon and through the weekend, because most schools are closed and some people are taking advantage of the fact that the coming week includes a holiday.

I-95/395 in Northern Virginia
Construction of the 95 Express Lanes creates a 29-mile long work zone along Interstates 95 and 395, but the work schedule for this weekend is somewhat reduced, compared with others. On Friday night and Saturday night, starting at 11 p.m., drivers will encounter overnight lane closings on the I-95/395 HOV and regular lanes. The closings on the regular lanes will end by 7 o’clock Saturday and Sunday mornings. The HOV Lanes will be opened by 10 a.m. on both weekend days. The Virginia Department of Transportation said it is limiting this weekend’s lane closings to nighttime hours to better accommodate the summer travel.

Bay Bridge/Routes 50 and 301
The Maryland Transportation Authority warns of the potential for extra traffic heading to Ocean City for the skateboard and BMX championships that are part of the Dew Tour this weekend.

Best travel times for this weekend: After 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday before 7 a.m. or after 5 p.m., Sunday before 10 a.m. or after 10 p.m.

Route 50 near Annapolis
But if you’re planning a late trip to Annapolis or the Eastern Shore on Saturday night, watch for this: Eastbound Route 50 near Aris T. Allen Boulevard will have two lanes closed starting at 8 p.m. Saturday. Then all eastbound lanes will close at 10 p.m. This is to repair the drainage pipe that caused the sinkhole early this month. All lanes are scheduled to reopen by 8 a.m. Sunday.

I’ve found several events that local drivers should consider in making their plans.

Golf tournament in Potomac
Thousands of golf fans will head for the Congressional Country Club in Potomac to watch the Quicken Loans National Tournament this weekend. The only public walk-up entrance is at Persimmon Tree Lane and Country Club Drive. No public drop-offs or pickups will be allowed at the country club’s main entrance on River Road. Spectators who want to be dropped off must use the taxi, limo or private vehicle drop-off on Persimmon Tree Lane. No parking or standing is allowed there. See this posting with parking and transit tips for the tournament.

Silver Line drill in Tysons Corner
Metro Transit Police and other emergency responders will conduct a safety drill starting at about 8 a.m. Sunday at the Silver Line’s Spring Hill station on Route 7 in Tysons Corner. It’s probably going to take several hours to complete.

One lane on Route 7 may be closed for the emergency equipment, but otherwise, the nearby roads should not be affected.

Freedom Four Miler
The Freedom Four Miler race is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. Sunday, beginning and ending at Ireland’s Four Courts on Wilson Boulevard in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington County. The course is along Wilson Boulevard in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington County and Route 110. See a pdf course map on the Four Miler Web site. The nearest Metro station to the start and finish is Court House on the Orange Line.

These roads are scheduled to close during the race:

  • Wilson Boulevard between North Veitch Street and Route 110 (Jefferson Davis Highway)
  • Clarendon Boulevard between between North Veitch Street and Route 110
  • Northbound Route 110 between Rosslyn and Interstate 395

See also
Red Line to close in heart of downtown this weekend.

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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