Dr. Gridlock’s traffic, transit tips: Metro weekend work resumes, as do lane closings

Robert Thomson
Columnist January 5, 2013
Back on tracks

After the holiday lull, Metro resumed its track work program this weekend on the Orange and Red lines, but the most disruptive work for January is likely to come on the last weekend of the month.

On Jan. 26-27, free shuttle buses will replace Red Line trains between Dupont Circle and Rhode Island Avenue, closing Farragut North, the Red Line platforms at Metro Center and Gallery Place, Judiciary Square, Union Station and NoMa­-Gallaudet U. This will split the Red Line through the middle of downtown Washington. The shuttle buses will have to deal with the traffic and traffic signals through this normally crowded zone.

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. View Archive

Next weekend, buses will replace Blue Line trains between Rosslyn and Pentagon, and the Arlington Cemetery station will be closed.

Football at FedEx

The Redskins’ playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks at FedEx Field at 4:30 p.m. Sunday will generate an unusual amount of January weekend traffic in Landover.

Before and after stadium events, traffic surges on Landover Road, Central Avenue, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, the Southeast-Southwest Freeway, Interstate 295/D.C. 295 and the eastern side of the Capital Beltway.

Traffic in the Landover area will probably be at its worst in the two hours before kickoff. The Landover Road and Arena Drive exits tend to be the most crowded. Central Avenue, the southernmost of the three exits, is the one the Maryland Highway Administration recommends drivers use to minimize delays. Beltway-through drivers should stay as far left as possible.

The Blue Line’s Morgan Boulevard station is the closest Metrorail station to FedEx Field.

I-95 lane closings

Beginning Jan. 13, the Maryland State Highway Administration plans overnight lane closings Interstate 95 between Route 198 and the Intercounty Connector. The closings will allow workers to set steel for the new Contee Road Bridge over I-95.

The project will begin on the southbound side and then, after about a month, move to the northbound side. The southbound lane closings will occur between 7 p.m. and 4 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays. From midnight to 4 a.m., all lanes may be blocked for 15 minutes to a half-hour once or twice each night.

That’s likely to be so disruptive that most drivers would be better off using an alternative north-south route. Options are Routes 1 or 29, or the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

Anacostia Drive SE

Workers are dismantling girders on the old inbound span of the 11th Street Bridge. To help with that, the National Park Service plans to close Anacostia Drive SE between the Anacostia Recreation Center driveway and Good Hope Road SE overnights this coming week between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The work also may require lane closings in the area between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Traffic from Howard Road SE will have to exit Anacostia Park at Good Hope Road, and the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail will be closed in the work zone when Anacostia Drive is closed.

Pennsylvania Avenue work

The District Department of Transportation is repairing the Pennsylvania Avenue bridge over Rock Creek Parkway. Work hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. The project, which should be completed by Feb. 15, closes one lane of westbound traffic over the bridge during the off-peak midday hours.

Roosevelt Bridge

The District also is conducting some repairs on the outbound Roosevelt Bridge at the ramp to Route 50. The repairs, which began Thursday, are scheduled to be completed Wednesday.

During the work hours, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., drivers may encounter lane closings, but there will be no complete stoppage of traffic.

For more transportation news, go to washingtonpost.com/transportation.

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