The Capital Weather Gang’s weekend forecast includes the possibility of a light wintry mix Friday night and Saturday, with colder temperatures than we’ve experienced earlier this week. There aren’t any major public events likely to disrupt travel in the D.C. region, but Metro is doing a lot of track work and some transportation departments have road work scheduled on heavily used routes.
Metro weekend maintenance
Metro’s repair program will disrupt service on four lines this weekend. The disruptions include use of buses to replace trains on a western segment of the Orange Line, some track-sharing around work zones and a route change.
Orange Line: From 10 p.m. Friday through the train system’s midnight closing Sunday, free shuttle buses will replace trains between East Falls Church and West Falls Church. Crews will be working on signals for the Dulles Silver Line, which will connect with the Orange Line in this zone.
Orange Line trains will operate every 20 minutes between Vienna and West Falls Church and on normal weekend schedules between East Falls Church and New Carrollton.
Riders going through the work zone should allow 20 to 30 minutes for extra travel time, Metro says.
Red Line: From 10 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing Sunday, trains will share tracks between Van Ness and Friendship Heights and between New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue. In the latter area, the District Department of Transportation will be working on the New York Avenue bridge over the tracks.
Trains will leave the ends of the line at Shady Grove and Glenmont every 15 minutes throughout the weekend. But between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, additional trains will operate between Van Ness and New York Avenue every 15 minutes. So in the line’s core, trains should arrive at platforms about every seven to eight minutes, the transit authority says.
Riders going through the work zones should add 10 to 15 minutes to their normal travel times, Metro says.
Green Line: Trains will share tracks between Naylor Road and Branch Avenue and between L’Enfant Plaza and Mount Vernon Square. The trains will operate about every 18 minutes between the ends of the line at Greenbelt and Branch Avenue. Most trains will be eight cars long to accommodate the extra passengers who gather on the platforms during the gaps in service.
Yellow Line: On Friday night after 10, trains will operate every 26 minutes between Fort Totten and Huntington. Riders should expect the trip to be 15 to 20 minutes longer than usual.
On Saturday and Sunday, the route of the Yellow Line will change temporarily to accommodate the work — an upgrade to the cellphone system — in the tunnel between L’Enfant Plaza and Mount Vernon Square. The Yellow Line trains will operate via the Blue Line between Huntington and Stadium-Armory. Allow about 15 minutes for extra travel time between L’Enfant Plaza and Pentagon stations. At L’Enfant Plaza, all Yellow Line trains will operate on the lower level.
At off-peak periods and on weekends, the Yellow Line normally would arrive at L’Enfant Plaza from Virginia via the Yellow Line bridge over the Potomac and continue north to Fort Totten. This Saturday and Sunday, riders who want to continue the trip north should switch to the Green Line.
Interstate 270 median
The Maryland State Highway Administration is beginning work on a new concrete median barrier on Interstate 270 between the Capital Beltway and Old Georgetown Road (Route 187).
Watch for double lane closings Sunday through Thursday from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., and single lane closings Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
When the weather warms in the spring, SHA will begin milling and paving operations in this area.
Maryland bridge inspections
The Maryland highway administration has scheduled one of its routine inspections of a highway bridge for Sunday in Howard County. Watch for single and double lane closings on southbound Route 29 at Route 175 from 4:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday.
Red top meters
Drivers heading into the District this weekend may get their look at a new style of parking meter.
Throughout February, D.C. traffic control officers will be stationed at the new red top meters for disabled people to explain who is eligible to park at them and for how long. Meanwhile, parking enforcement officers will be issuing warning notices to those who park at the red top meters without displaying a valid placard or license plate.
Starting March 1, drivers who park illegally at the meters will be subject to ticketing and towing.
Route 2 repairs
The Maryland State Highway Administration is repairing the ramp from southbound Route 2 (Ritchie Highway) to westbound Route 100 in Anne Arundel County.
The ramp is closed this weekend to complete the second phase of the project. This coming week, crews will move equipment and concrete barriers to the right side of the ramp for the final phase of the project.
During the repairs, drivers will use southbound Route 2 to Route 177 (Mountain Road), then bear right to continue on westbound Route 100.
About 180 feet of underground drainage pipe collapsed during heavy flooding last fall from Tropical Storm Lee. Crews then replaced the pipe culvert with a new structure under the ramp and reopened the ramp to traffic in mid-December, pending further repairs.
George Washington Parkway
Watch for delays at midday Monday on the southbound side of the GW Parkway near Reagan National Airport.
The left lane is scheduled to close between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. At times, both lanes will be closed for 15 minute intervals. Workers will be removing loose concrete from the underside of the overpass coming from the airport onto the southbound side of the parkway.
Detour signs will be posted. To get around the area, the National Park Service suggests drivers consider using Interstate 395, Route 110 or Route 1. To reach the airport, Alexandria and points south of there, drivers could use Route 233.
VRE/Fairfax Connector transfers
Virginia Railway Express officials say they had incorrect information on their Web site regarding the Fairfax Connector bus transfer policy. They say this is the correct information for rail riders seeking to transfer:
A rider with a valid VRE monthly ticket or TLC ticket can transfer for free at a VRE station to a Fairfax Connector bus, as long as it’s not an express bus. But riders must pay for their return bus trips.
495 Express Lanes project
Twelve interchanges along the west side of the Capital Beltway in Virginia are under reconstruction as part of the 495 Express Lanes (high-occupancy toll lanes) project, but several upcoming events stand out because of their impact on drivers.
Drivers can expect single lane closings at off-peak hours on the Beltway between the Springfield Interchange and the area round the Dulles Toll Road.
Between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, the left lane on the new flyover ramp from eastbound Interstate 66 to the Beltway’s inner loop will be closed for drainage work.
At the same time, the HOV ramp from eastbound I-66’s HOV lane to the Beltway will be closed for road work. Traffic will be directed to use the I-66 general purpose exits — the ones on the right side of I-66 — to reach either the inner or outer loops. These ramp blockages are likely to cause extra traffic congestion in an already congested area.
Drivers traveling overnights on the Express Lanes work zones should watch for total closings of up to half an hour on both loops of the Beltway at Gallows Road and Lewinsville Road. Similar closings are planned on the inner loop at Route 7, on the outer loop at the Old Dominion Drive overpass, on westbound I-66 between the Dulles Toll Road and the Beltway, and on the eastbound Route 7 ramp to westbound I-66. The work hours are 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly.