Dr. Gridlock’s traffic, transit tips

July 23, 2011
New I-66 signs

The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to install message boards along Interstate 66 in Northern Virginia that will indicate travel times to certain locations.

Three are scheduled to be installed in mid-August, and VDOT will gauge how they work and how drivers react.

These will be similar to the signs on Maryland highways. They display such information as, “DC LINE, 8 MI AHEAD, 9 MINUTES.” These are very helpful. If you’re going to read a highway sign, it might as well be useful. The short, easy-to-understand messages give drivers a good idea of the traffic ahead with just a glance.

Clara Barton Parkway

DC Water continues to work on an odor abatement facility along the Clara Barton Parkway about three miles west of Chain Bridge. Watch for construction vehicles entering and exiting the parkway at the construction site, adjacent to the Little Falls pumping station. This work is scheduled to end next spring.

Route 29/Fairland Road

Drivers heading south on Route 29 in Montgomery County will need to look sharp to catch the new exit for left turns onto Fairland Road. The Maryland State Highway Administration built the new ramp as part of the Intercounty Connector project.

The ramp already was in use by southbound drivers wanting to make a right turn on Fairland Road and head west. Now the ramp also has been opened for use by southbound drivers who want to turn left and head east. So those drivers heading to Fairland Road must remember to look for this right-hand ramp about a third of a mile before the intersection.

Route 29/Gallows Road

The Virginia Department of Transportation is ready to start rebuilding the congested intersection at Route 29 and Gallows Road in Merrifield. Night-time drivers will at times be funneled down to a single lane through the work zone. The project is scheduled to be done by the end of 2012.

A community meeting to discuss the project with VDOT officials is scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Rd., Falls Church.

Beltway/silver spring

Capital Beltway commuters in Maryland should prepare to encounter a new work zone between Route 29 and Seminary Road in Silver Spring, where the state is about to start a resurfacing project.

Lane closings are scheduled to begin Saturday. But before that, drivers should watch for preparatory work, including the placement of project equipment and installation of temporary signs. The resurfacing is scheduled to be done by Thanksgiving.

New Hampshire Avenue

Two southbound lanes on New Hampshire Avenue south of Bonifant Road/Good Hope Road have shifted about 12 feet to the right, placing the traffic on the permanent alignment crossing the Intercounty Connector, which is under construction in that area. On Saturday, workers are scheduled to shift the northbound lanes about 24 feet to the left.

Anacostia Freeway

The District Department of Transportation is repairing the bridge over the Anacostia Park Entrance on the Anacostia Freeway (DC-295). Work is scheduled to continue through Sept. 20. The work hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Single lanes will be closed.

Metro weekend work

Metro is using free shuttle buses to replace trains this weekend between East Falls Church and West Falls Church. The next scheduled disruption in weekend train service is set for Aug. 6-7, when shuttle buses replace Red Line trains between Bethesda and Rockville.

On Aug. 7 only, buses will replace Blue and Yellow Line trains between Franconia-Springfield, Van Dorn Street and Eisenhower Avenue.

For more transportation news, visit washingtonpost.com/transportation.

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