The Beltway in Virginia. (Robert Thomson – The Washington Post)

With July 4 falling on a Thursday, many have taken off Friday to enjoy a long holiday weekend. Commuters should expect to encounter less traffic than usual heading home. But travelers who left town should be ready for heavy delays heading back on Sunday.

The Capital Weather Gang forecast calls for heat, heat and more heat (along with some showers) this weekend.

Here are some things to expect this weekend and beyond:

HIGHLIGHTS: Metro weekend work | Sunday travel forecast | Nationals, Mystics are in town | Events around the area | New commuter lot in Manassas | Maryland road work | Other notes

Metro weekend work

Metro work will affect the Orange and Blue lines from Friday at 10 p.m. until the system closes on Sunday night.

Orange Line: The Deanwood and Minnesota Avenue stops will be closed due to platform reconstruction. Shuttle buses will replace trains between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly.

Blue Line: While no stations will close, shuttle buses will replace trains between Stadium-Armory and Benning Road for platform reconstruction, rail work and other maintenance.

Sunday travel forecast

Sunday should be be an incredibly busy day for travelers. AAA Mid-Atlantic is reporting that more than 834,000 people will be traveling more than 50 miles by car over the holiday period, with nearly 40 percent of those returning on Sunday. As a result, expect major congestion on the region’s key roads.

AAA also reports that nearly a third of travelers are going to come back on Monday or later, so there could be heavier-than-normal traffic on the same roads on Monday.

Nationals, Mystics at home this weekend

The Nationals are at home against the Padres this weekend (Friday at 7:05 p.m., Saturday at 4:05 p.m. and Sunday at 1:35 p.m.). After that, they have seven games on the road and five days off for the all-star break, so they won’t be back at Nationals Park until July 19.

The Mystics host the Seattle Storm at the Verizon Center on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Events around the area

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival runs through Sunday, which means concerts and other performances will draw visitors all weekend. Some may opt for the Jamaica Day Reggae Festival in Crownsville and the Seersucker Social around D.C.

For more, see this list or check out the Going Out Guide.

New commuter lot in Manassas

On Monday, a commuter lot with 433 spaces will open at Cushing Road and Interstate 66 near the Prince William Parkway. Drivers can get to the lot from Balls Ford Road via Cushing Road, and it also has an on-ramp to eastbound I-66 open between 5:30 and 9:30 a.m. (That ramp is only open to buses and vehicles with at least two people.)

Maryland road work 

Maryland’s State Highway Administration has suspended any non-emergency roadwork for the holiday weekend, with the work resuming Monday at 9 a.m. However, crews may do some work on Friday on roads that see fewer drivers, according to the agency.

Other notes

  • In case you missed it: This week saw some changes to bus services across the region. Metrobus changed several routes, the Fairfax Connector altered its fares and Alexandria’s DASH buses tweaked fares and some routes. Find more information here.
  • Air rights in Arlington: Virginia wants to develop over Interstate 66 in Rosslyn and over the tracks leading to the East Falls Church Metro stop. Tom Jackman has the story.
  • Metro work for next weekend: Metro will effectively close four Red Line stops next weekend (shutting down the Rhode Island Avenue, Brookland and Takoma stations as well as Fort Totten’s Red Line service). Buses will replace trains between NoMa and Silver Spring.