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16th Street Bridge project to affect Metrobus travel

It’s a small bridge, but rebuilding it will have a big impact on commuters starting March 27. Metro has announced that many Metrobuses that travel past 16th Street and Military Road NW in the District will detour around the construction and the traffic jams that are likely to continue for four months. Other buses will continue through the 16th Street Bridge work zone, but their riders will encounter delays.

The routes subject to delays and temporary diversions include those on the popular S Line between Silver Spring and downtown Washington. But it isn’t just the north-south routes on 16th Street NW that will be affected. Metro also is warning of delays and service adjustments for buses that travel east-west on Military Road and Missouri Avenue NW.

Riders on these routes are the ones likely to be affected by the bridge rebuilding: D31, D33, D34, E2, E3, E4, S1, S2, S4 and S9.

The project has been underway since last fall. March 27 is a key date because that’s when the District Department of Transportation expects to shut lanes on the bridge and keep them closed through the most disruptive phase of the rebuilding, lasting into the summer.

DDOT plans to begin this phase after 9:30 a.m. March 27.

See this link on Metro’s Web site for schedule details. But here’s a sampler of the various impacts.

No detour is scheduled for the D34, E2, E3 and E4 Metrobuses. But the transit authority warns they are likely to experience delays in the work zone.

The S2 and S4 trips between Silver Spring and Federal Triangle will continue to use the 16th Street Bridge. These buses, which carry thousands of people each weekday, will be the only ones on the north-south route that go through the construction zone. But they will skip bus stops by the bridge.

The S2 and S4 routes known as the “short trips” will detour on the southbound runs and skip some stops.

S9 buses, Metro’s limited stop service between Silver Spring and downtown, will detour along several stretches and skip some stops.

Travel tips
The impact of this project on rush hour travel will extend far beyond the work zone. Even if your trip on these bus routes doesn’t take you through 16th Street and Military Road, you still may encounter delays stemming from the traffic jams there.

If you need to use an alternative to your regular route, don’t wait till March 27 to test it. Now is the time to plan.

Metrobus officials make these suggestions:
Consider transferring between S2 and S4 buses on 16th Street and E2, E3 and E4 buses on 14th Street by walking two blocks on Nicholson Street.

Consider taking Routes 52, 53 or 54 on 14th Street NW to L’Enfant Plaza as a north-south alternative.

If you travel on any of the affected routes, sign up for MetroAlerts or follow @metrobusinfo on Twitter for service updates.