The weather will be improving, says the Capital Weather Gang, but the travel forecast for the weekend and beyond remains cloudy, because of the congressional budget negotiations. Staff writer Michael Ruane reported this morning that the Cherry Blossom Parade, one of the capital’s biggest annual tourist attractions, will go on as scheduled Saturday, but the route may be shortened. The Walk for Hope says it’s going Sunday, “rain, shine or government shutdown.” [Watch for more updates on transportation services.]
Cherry Blossom Festival
This is the last weekend. The parade is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. The nearest Metro stations are Smithsonian, Federal Triangle, Archives.These street closings are scheduled to begin at 4 a.m.:
* Seventh Street between Independence Avenue SW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW
* Constitution Avenue between Sixth and Ninth streets NW
The Constitution Avenue NW parade route traditionally begins at Seventh Street and continues to 17th Street.If a the federal government shuts down, the route would be shortened to end at 14th Street. The parade route is scheduled to close to traffic at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. All streets are scheduled to reopen by 2 pm.
Another festival event, the Japanese street festival called Sakura Matsuri, is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, but the street closings are set to begin at 8 p.m. tonight.along Pennsylvania Avenue between Ninth and 14th streets NW. Those closings are scheduled to end by 11 p.m. Saturday.
Walk for Hope
The Walk for Hope, seeking cures for cancers that affect women, is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. on the sidewalks in the Mall area. But the 300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue NW, where the walk begins, is set to be closed from 10 p.m. Saturday till 5 p.m. Sunday. The nearest Metro stations are Archives, Judiciary Square and Federal Center SW.
Metro is not planning any weekend service changes in connection with a possible government shutdown. No weekend track work is scheduled because of the Cherry Blossom Festival and other events in downtown Washington. Trains and stations are likely to be crowded around the National Mall. See a list of Metrobus detours related to scheduled events.
Maryland bridge inspections
The Maryland State Highway Administration is continuing its routine inspections of highway bridges in the D.C. area. These are scheduled:
Sunday: Watch for double lane closings on northbound I-270 at MD 927 (Montrose Road) in Montgomery County from 4:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Monday: Watch for a single right lane closing on westbound I-70 over the CSX tracks in Frederick County from 10 a.m. to noon, and then a single right lane closing on eastbound I-70 from noon to 2 p.m.
Tysons Corner traffic
Drivers in Tysons Corner should watch for a new traffic pattern at Jones Branch Drive in Tysons Corner near the McLean Hilton and Gannett building, where the roadway is being narrowed from two lanes in each direction to a single lane in each direction.
Crews working on the High Occupancy Toll lanes project will be raising the road about eight feet to accommodate a connection to the HOT lanes at Jones Branch Drive. Work in that area is scheduled to continue until late this year, but all businesses along Jones Branch Drive will remain accessible, the Virginia Department of Transportation says.
See a full report on the HOT lanes work schedule on the Commuter page in the Sunday Post Metro section.
Dulles Metrorail work
The highest impact work is the nighttime closing of three lanes of the Beltway’s inner loop at Route 123 from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. The closings, which have been going on for several weeks, can occur any night but Saturday. This is where the project is bringing the new rail line over the Beltway and must close all but one of the lanes for safety while the work is underway.
Also, watch for daytime delays related to this project in the Tysons Corner area along the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267), Leesburg Pike (Route 7) and Dolley Madison Boulevard (Route 123).
Metro’s week ahead
The transit authority says it plans to run a normal schedule next week, even if the federal government does shut down. About 40 percent of the riders at rush hour are federal employees. Metro estimates that ridership could decline by up to 20 percent, depending on how many employees are told to report to work. If the ridership decline turns out to be significant, the transit authority says, riders would see fewer eight-car trains, even though the trains are operating on the same schedules.
Beltway/Telegraph Road interchange
The reconstruction of the interchange, part of the Wilson Bridge project, is scheduled to shut the Beltway’s outer loop exit to North Kings Highway (Route 241 South) from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.
Kenilworth Avenue lane closings
Watch for single lane closings between Tuxedo Road and Frolich Lane in Prince George’s County from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights.
Intercounty Connector tolls
Drivers who use the new MD 200 between Shady Grove and Olney but don’t have E-ZPass transponders are now being charged a $3 service fee as well as the toll rate. The grace period on the service charge ended Wednesday. The service charges will be visible on the bills drivers will be receiving.