dr. g's tips

Dr. Gridlock's Metro, driving tips for the week ahead

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rebuilding the Red Line

The repair program on the Red Line moves into the middle of the District this weekend, creating complications for travelers, including those who might be on their way to the final matches of the Legg Mason tennis tournament in Rock Creek Park. The transit authority advises riders to add at least 40 minutes to their travel time.

The work includes upgrading a rail switch near Farragut North and installing new track. That requires trains to share a track between Dupont Circle and Judiciary Square until the system's midnight closing Sunday. All Red Line trains are scheduled to be eight cars long this weekend.

Night owls: The last train from Glenmont will leave 11 minutes earlier than usual, at 11:26 p.m. Sunday.

Labor Day weekend

A track work project will have a huge impact on Red Line service over the Labor Day weekend. To clear room for the work, five stations north of Fort Totten will be closed in what amounts to the biggest maintenance shutdown in Metro's history.

The project will involve 500 workers. They will replace two track switches at Silver Spring, install 750 track fasteners, 1,720 cross-ties, 525 feet of track, 500 rail insulators, heater tape, tunnel safety lights and communications cables that will upgrade underground cellphone service.

Anacostia streetcar

Installation of tracks for the District's first modern streetcar line has led to temporary turn restrictions and detours at South Capitol Street and Firth Sterling Avenue SE in Anacostia.

Left turns from southbound South Capitol Street to Firth Sterling and right turns from Firth Sterling to northbound South Capitol are prohibited until Aug. 28.

Also, the intersection will be closed to northbound traffic from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 14 and again Aug. 16-18. Northbound traffic on South Capitol Street will have to turn right on Firth Sterling and then left on Suitland Parkway to return to South Capitol.

GW Parkway project

Traffic delays on the George Washington Parkway are probably beginning Monday, when reconstruction is scheduled to start on the access point at the Daingerfield Island Marina and the entrance road leading to the Indigo Landing restaurant. The area is about a half-mile south of Reagan National Airport.

Parkway drivers heading south to Daingerfield Island will not be able to turn left at the interchange. They should continue south and turn right at the exit to Slater's Lane and then left to the northbound parkway to Daingerfield Island.

At least one parkway lane in each direction will be open at all times during midday construction. Work should be done by the end of September.

Beltway/Route 29

The HOT lanes project is shifting the two northbound lanes of Route 29 (Lee Highway) to a new four-lane bridge over the Beltway. The new traffic pattern includes a shared left-turn and through lane for drivers heading north on Route 29 to Shreve Road.

Southbound Route 29 traffic will remain on the old bridge until about Aug. 22 before shifting to two temporary southbound lanes on the new northbound bridge. At that point, night workers will begin to demolish the old southbound bridge. Drivers should expect weeknight and weekend lane closings and detours along Route 29 and the Beltway starting around 9:30 p.m. most nights.

The demolition will continue through the fall, followed by construction of a new southbound bridge, which is scheduled to open by fall 2011.

Fairfax Connector changes

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation is considering changes to Fairfax Connector routes 151 and 152 to improve their on-time performance. The department also is proposing a new rush-hour Route 159 between Huntington Station and the Engleside neighborhood.

There's a public meeting on the plans from noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 14 at the South County Center, 8350 Richmond Hwy., Alexandria.

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

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