Traffic patterns for auto access to the front of the Kennedy Center will be altered beginning Monday while the main entrance road, East Plaza Drive, is rebuilt to compensate for water damage similar to that which has required reconstruction of the roof.

During the 44 weeks of work, the most commonly used route to the Center - the southbound drive on New Hampshire Avenue - will be barred. The two roadways will be resurfaced separately; northbound traffic will be allowed on one while the other is being worked on.

Access to the drive will be through a temporary entrance off the E Street Expressway. The expressway can be entered behind the Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge on Virginia Avenue.

The Center's underground garage is already accessible from the expressway.

The rebuilding will be financed out of $4.7 million authorized last year by Congress. New flooring in the kitchen and repairs to the Concert Hall have already been completed (the walls have been painted a softer white that is easier on the eyes).

The Roof Terrace's river side is now closed for resurfacing, and completion of repairs to the Terrace is projected for July 31 of next year. The scaffolding in the Grand Foyer to protect the public from possible falling of plaster is to be removed March 31.