Dr. G's tips on Metrorail, Chain Bridge, Beltway traffic and more

Saturday, October 2, 2010; 9:59 PM

Other Metrorail work

The disruption on the Blue and Orange lines will be the main event for Metrorail over the Columbus Day weekend, but it won't be the only delay for transit riders.

Red Line: Next weekend, Metro will continue the much-needed repairs to the platform at Rockville. Trains in both directions will be sharing a track around the work zone. So riders between Shady Grove and Twinbrook should add at least a half hour to their travel time from 8 p.m. Friday through the rail system's midnight closing on Oct. 11.

Yellow Line: Transit workers also will be doing some landscaping repairs at Huntington Station. Riders between the Huntington and Braddock Road stations should add at least half an hour to their travel time from 10 p.m. Friday through closing time Oct. 11.

Chain Bridge closings

The contractor working on the rehabilitation of Chain Bridge decided that this weekend's work under the bridge would not require the closing of the bridge to traffic. But there are closings scheduled for two upcoming weekends. The first is planned for 8 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Oct. 11. (This also is something to keep in mind when planning a trip into the District over Columbus Day weekend.) The second is scheduled for the following weekend, Oct. 15-17, during the same hours.

Intercounty connector paving

The Maryland State Highway Administration says workers will pave lanes of the unfinished Intercounty Connector between Shady Grove Road and I-370 each night from Sunday through Thursday, weather permitting. Work hours will be 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. This western portion of the highway is scheduled to open late this year or early next.

Beltway HOT lanes

The Capital Beltway inner loop exit ramp to westbound Braddock Road is closed this weekend until 5 a.m. Monday for storm drain installation, part of the high-occupancy toll lanes construction project.

Detour: Continue on the inner loop (I-495 north) to Exit 52A for westbound Little River Turnpike, cross over the Beltway and follow signs back to southbound I-495 to Exit 54A, westbound Braddock Road.

Drivers on the inner loop may encounter congestion at peak periods when approaching the Braddock Road interchange.

Beltway traffic shift

Elsewhere in the HOT lanes project, workers are scheduled Wednesday to shift the four lanes of the Beltway's outer loop to the right, onto a new bridge over Route 50. Watch for some overnight lane closings before the shift while crews put down pavement markings and set up the new tie-in for traffic.

Pennsylvania Ave. Plan

Kristen Street, a commuter who takes a Metrobus along Pennsylvania Avenue SE between Maryland and downtown Washington, says that the District's Great Streets project, which is rebuilding the avenue east of the Anacostia River, adds anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to her travel time. She wonders why the road work is done from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and not at night.

John Lisle, a spokesman for the District Department of Transportation, said the main reason is the noise. There are plenty of homes along the avenue and the adjacent streets. Also, he said, this is a big project. Some lanes must be shut completely for weeks at a time. They couldn't be closed only at off-peak hours and then reopened for the rush.

But Lisle also said that the project's pace has been accelerated to limit the impact on both residents and travelers. The work hours have been extended to 10 o'clock each night, and the contractor is also working on weekends.

Tysons Road work

The Dulles Metrorail project recently changed the way drivers get from southbound Route 123 to westbound Route 7 by routing traffic onto Frontage Road. The project is going to do some overnight work on the new exit to Frontage Road from Sunday through Thursday. Frontage Road will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.

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