The Capital Weather Gang notes that Wednesday is the last day of the meteorological winter, but travelers probably will have that spring-like feeling on Monday and Tuesday. The latter part of the week, though, will bring rain and clouds.
Drivers in Virginia will be adjusting to some important changes along the 495 Express Lanes work zone in the Tysons Corner area. Drivers in D.C. should note the disruption in the Dupont Circle traffic signals scheduled for Tuesday, as well as midday closings on Beach Drive. Metro riders face some off-peak delays this week, and a big disruption on the Red Line this weekend.
Metro’s weekday maintenance
Metro plans to work on all lines but the Yellow Line during off-peak periods this week.
Red Line: From 10 p.m. to the train system’s midnight closing Monday through Thursday, trains will share a track between Takoma and Forest Glen. The trains will leave their terminals about every 22 minutes. Metro advises riders to allow 10 to 15 minutes for extra travel time.
Orange Line: From 10 p.m to midnight Monday through Thursday, trains will share a track between East Falls Church and West Falls Church and between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory. Add about 20 minutes to normal travel times.
Blue Line: From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, trains will share a track between Foggy Bottom and Arlington Cemetery. From 10 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, trains will share a track between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory. Add about 20 minutes to normal travel times.
Green Line: From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays, trains will share a track between Southern Avenue and Naylor Road. Add about 10 minutes to normal travel times.
Dupont Circle signals
About 10 a.m. Tuesday, the District Department of Transportation plans to cut power to the traffic-control signals at Dupont Circle for several hours so they can be upgraded. They will be back on in time for the afternoon rush, DDOT said.
During the outage, watch for the traffic-control officers directing drivers through 19th Street, P Street, New Hampshire Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue and Connecticut Avenue NW. It would be best to avoid this busy area during the disruption.
DDOT conducted a similar operation for a signal upgrade last week at Logan Circle.
Drivers in the Tysons Corner area will have to pay attention to a change in the traffic pattern where Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) meets the Beltway. The Virginia Department of Transportation is closing the right-side exit from eastbound Route 7 to the Beltway’s inner loop. Drivers who want to go north on the Beltway will need to stay left. They will encounter a new traffic signal that will allow them to make a left turn onto the inner loop ramp.
Drivers heading west on Route 7 won’t have to learn a new exit strategy, but they will need to pay attention to that traffic signal controlling the left turn. This is a permanent change for the 495 Express Lanes project. But it’s not quite the final configuration. Later this year, a second left-turn lane will be added.
The Virginia Department of Transportation developed this fix for the traffic congestion on the Beltway’s outer loop at the ramp to westbound Interstate 66: (1) Restore the Exit 49 ramp on the outer loop of the Capital Beltway at I-66 to two lanes, and (2) add a fifth lane along I-66 west at the interchange.
The new configuration in this work zone for the 495 Express Lanes is scheduled to remain until the interchange is done in the fall. The Express Lanes are scheduled to open by the end of the year.
The extra congestion of the past several weeks began when the work zone was adjusted. That narrowed the outer loop ramp to I-66 west to ease traffic congestion on the other side of the Beltway and along I-66 in the area of the interchange.
But then the outer loop traffic sometimes backed up to the American Legion Bridge. The congestion and VDOT’s efforts to fix the problem were the subject of my Feb. 19 Commuter page feature, so write to me at email@example.com and tell me whether the fix is working for you.
Route 450 lane narrowing
The Maryland State Highway Administration is replacing a damaged stormwater pipe under Route 450 (Defense Highway) just east of Route 424 (Davidsonville Road), between Nob Hill Drive and Hermitage Hills Drive in Anne Arundel County.
Watch for flaggers directing traffic through the narrowed work zone and expect delays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. This should end by Friday, weather permitting.
Dulles Metrorail/Tysons Boulevard
The eastbound lanes of Tysons Boulevard will be closed between Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) and Galleria Drive each night through Friday. Crews on the Dulles Silver Line project are working on the station, bridge and piers in that area in the middle of Tysons Corner.
This also requires the closing of the turn lanes onto eastbound Tysons Boulevard from northbound Chain Bridge Road and from Galleria Drive.
The closings will occur from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.
Constitution Avenue NW
From 5:30 a.m to 7 p.m. weekdays, the eastbound curb lane of Constitution Avenue NW may be closed between 17th and 15th streets for installation of fence posts and chain, part of the National Park Service roadway renovation. Parking will be restricted on the eastbound side. No night work is scheduled this week.
The National Park Service says maintenance workers will be removing trees in Rock Creek Park next to Beach Drive. From 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, Beach Drive will be closed between the park police substation at Joyce Road and Broad Branch Road to create a safe work zone.
Metro delays this weekend
The main event in Metro’s track work for this coming weekend is a split on the Red Line.
Buses are scheduled to replace trains between Shady Grove and White Flint. The Rockville, Twinbrook and Shady Grove stations will be closed. Workers will be replacing track circuits and doing other track rehabilitation projects in that zone.