This week’s forecast for local travelers is quite repetitive: persistently humid and uncomfortably hot Tuesday through Thursday, the Capital Weather Gang says. There’s a chance of thunderstorms each day through Sunday.
Drivers will find many new traffic patterns for summer work zones. Among the most notable are a new work zone for Rock Creek Parkway drivers, the continuing efforts to sort out eastbound traffic on the Dulles Toll Road approaching the Capital Beltway and the traffic shifts for the Beltway bridge reconstruction over the Northwest Branch in Silver Spring.
Rock Creek Parkway
Starting today, drivers will find the southbound curb lane of Rock Creek Parkway closed approaching Waterside Drive. The Federal Highway Administration is going to lengthen the acceleration lane from Waterside Drive onto the parkway in a project scheduled to end in November.
A new traffic pattern will be in place during the morning rush that will allow use of only the northbound travel lanes to Waterside Drive.
Between 7 and 9:15 a.m. Monday through Friday, the National Park Service says, traffic will be able to enter the Shoreham Drive/Calvert Street ramp adjacent to the Shoreham Hotel from southbound Connecticut Avenue at Calvert Street, and proceed to the southbound parkway.
At other times, the Shoreham Drive/Calvert Street ramp will be closed to southbound traffic.
Beginning at 9:30 a.m., the traffic direction will be reversed, so drivers can go north only on the Shoreham Drive/Calvert Street ramp.
Beltway/Dulles Toll Road
The Virginia Department of Transportation is going to try again to ease the congestion and confusion among drivers where the eastbound toll road enters the high-occupancy toll lanes work zone at the Beltway.
These are the changes to watch for over the next few weeks:
The right lane of the eastbound main toll plaza will be reserved for E-ZPass users, so motorists bound for the Beltway won’t have to move from the far left to the far right to reach the Beltway ramps. The left lane approaching the Beltway will be extended 1,000 feet to assist motorists merging from the left side of the Toll Road.
The signs that orient drivers for the Beltway interchange will be modified, and drivers will see them before they reach the toll plaza.
Northwest Branch bridge
The Maryland State Highway Administration has just begun a lengthy project to rebuild the bridge that takes Beltway traffic over the Northwest Branch between University Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring.
The lanes in that area have been shifted and narrowed to create the first work zone for the reconstruction.
The National Park Service’s road reconstruction project is closing lanes on Constitution Avenue NW. From 5:30 a.m. to 3:30 pm. Monday through Friday; expect to find up to two lanes closed in each direction between Henry Bacon Drive and 17th Street NW.
Montgomery County is expanding the service that allows drivers to use their cellphones when paying for parking at county lots and garages. The pay-by-phone system is available for 10,730 meters across the county.
By the end of July, the program will expand to cover an additional 1,089 meters in North Bethesda. Bethesda’s 5,250 parking meters were covered by the system in March, Silver Spring’s 4,520 parking meters in May and Wheaton’s 830 meters this month.
First-time users need to register by going to www.mc.gopark now.com or calling 301-830-7074. Drivers set up an account and use a credit card for the parking fees. There’s a 35-cent fee for each transaction in addition to the regular parking charge.
The Fairfax Connector bus system has modified seven routes in an effort to improve on-time performance.
Routes 321 and 322: Trips will be added to make the Saturday and Sunday schedules the same. On Route 322, the Sunday 6:11 a.m. trip will now start at 5:34 a.m. and two Sunday evening trips will be added at 9:24 p.m. and 10:24 p.m. On Route 321, one Sunday evening trip will be added at 10:03 p.m.
Route 555: Trips will be added to provide additional service from Sunset Hills Park and Ride lot to West Falls Church Metro station. Three trips will be added from Sunset Hills Park and Ride lot at 5:30 a.m., 8:40 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. An 8:02 a.m. trip will instead start at 8:07 a.m.
Routes 621, 623, 631 and 632: The routes will use the Monument Drive and Stringfellow Road HOV ramps in the evening. Route 621’s 6:50 p.m. trip will be changed to a Route 623 trip operating as far as the Government Center Park and Ride, saving passengers time by using the Monument Drive HOV ramp. Routes 631 and 632 trips after 6:45 p.m. will use the Stringfellow HOV ramp to access the Stringfellow Road Park and Ride lot.
I-70 resurfacing project
The Maryland State Highway Administration is resurfacing four miles of Interstate 70 east of Hagerstown in a project scheduled for completion this fall. Traffic delays could affect vacation drivers from the D.C. area.
Watch for single-lane closings on eastbound I-70 Monday through Thursday nights between 7 p.m. and 4 a.m. and from midnight to 11 a.m. Sundays. On the westbound side, the lane closings can occur Monday through Thursday between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. and from midnight to 11 a.m. Sundays.
New Beltway bridge for trail
The High Occupancy Toll lanes project has opened the new Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail bridge over the Capital Beltway. The replacement bridge is nearly 30 feet longer and four feet wider than the old one.
The HOT lanes project workers are rebuilding all the bridges and interchanges along the western side of the Beltway in Virginia between Springfield and the Dulles Toll Road to accommodate four new Beltway lanes. In doing so, the project will provide bike paths and sidewalks on the new crossings, including Braddock Road, Little River Turnpike, Gallows Road, Oak Street, Idylwood Road, Lee Highway, Leesburg Pie, Westpark Drive, Jones Branch Drive and Lewinsville Road.