Dr. G's tips

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gainesville interchange

The Virginia Department of Transportation broke ground Thursday on a new interchange to ease a chronic bottleneck at Route 29 near Interstate 66.

Meanwhile, another phase of highway construction in Gainesville is wrapping up. By July 10, VDOT plans to open the final stretch of pavement completing the widening of I-66 to Gainesville. This segment involves two eastbound lanes at Route 29.

The interchange project, scheduled to be done by the end of 2014, will re-create the area south of I-66 on Route 29 and, planners hope, bring relief to thousands of shoppers, commuters and long-distance travelers.

The key to the reconstruction will be two new overpasses. One will carry Route 29 over the tracks; the other will carry Linton Hall and Gallerher roads over the tracks and Route 29. Meanwhile, Route 29 will be widened to six lanes in this area.

Metrobus detours

The National Capital Barbecue Battle in downtown Washington is causing a conflict this weekend with many Metrobus routes. Routes 13, 32, 34, 36, 54, 63, 64, 70, A11, A42, A46, A48, P6, S2, S4 and V8 will be detoured from 7 p.m. Friday to 11 p.m. Sunday at Pennsylvania Avenue NW between Ninth and 14th streets.

Driving Delaware

Vacationers from the D.C. area who motor up I-95 for their holidays will be getting some relief this week in Delaware. No, it's not the highway-speed E-ZPass lanes at the much-hated toll plaza; they're still under construction. But the service area in the median of I-95 will be open. Closed since September, it got a complete makeover and is to reopen Monday. No more waiting for New Jersey to use a restroom.

Telegraph Road/Beltway

The ramp from northbound Telegraph Road to the outer loop of the Capital Beltway (I-495/95N) is scheduled to be closed for construction from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday. This is part of the Wilson Bridge project, which is rebuilding the Telegraph Road interchange.

Idylwood Road bridge

Managers of the HOT lanes project plan to reopen the Oak Street bridge over the Beltway after the July 4 weekend. It has been shut for a year for reconstruction. All the bridges in the construction zone must be rebuilt to accommodate the four new Beltway lanes. In many cases, the bridges never close completely during the work.

But in mid-July, the nearby Idylwood Road Bridge will be shut completely for a six-month reconstruction. Most traffic will detour north to Route 7 to cross the Beltway.

I-66 closings

The left lanes in both directions of I-66 will be closed between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon Friday. This work is part of the pier construction for the Dulles Metrorail project.

The eastbound left lane will close overnights Monday through Thursday from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.

July 4 and Metro

Metro will have extra service on July 4 -- as well as the higher fares -- for people heading to the Mall and to the Nationals game, which starts at 1:35 p.m. on Independence Day.

Metrorail will run from 7 a.m. to midnight and operate near rush-hour level service from 6 p.m. to midnight. Trains will run on their usual routes on all five rail lines. But note that the Smithsonian Station will be closed until the fireworks end. (The fireworks are scheduled to start about 9:10 p.m.)

Spread out to the other stations near the Mall: Foggy Bottom, Metro Center, Archives, Gallery Place, Judiciary Square, Union Station, L'Enfant Plaza, Capitol South and Federal Center SW. Parking will be free at Metrorail parking lots.

No track maintenance projects have been scheduled for the July 4th weekend.

For more traffic information, go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/traffic.

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