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Headaches on the horizon

From U.S. 1 in Maryland to New York Avenue in the District and the Dulles Rail extension in Northern Virginia, there are plenty of construction projects to keep track of in the Washington area. Here are some of the projects that may affect you:

Construction on Sycamore Street and Lee Highway has been delaying public transit and drivers. If you're traveling in the area, whether it's on ART or in your own car, allow extra time.

Chain Bridge
The District Department of Transportation will close one lane on the Chain Bridge on Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Crews will remove sections of the work platform used during the bridge project. All lanes will be open for rush hour, DDOT said.

Dulles Rail project
Be alert for multiple closures on the Dulles Toll Road, Leesburg Pike and Route 123 as crews perform paving, utility work and move concrete barriers.

HOT lanes
There are multiple closures and detours. Here is a PDF detailing this week's work.

Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to pitch his second home game Friday night. Thursday, there were still tickets available to the game, so we can't predict if it will be a sellout, but you can bet that there will be heavy crowds on the Green Line and there will be traffic problems on South Capitol Street and around Nationals Park.

The game has a start time of 7:05 p.m., and gates are scheduled to open at 4:30 p.m. Here's some advice from Dr. Gridlock:

-- The 14th Street Bridge across the Potomac doesn't have an easy side during rush hour. The traffic is always heavy at peak periods in both directions. Leave plenty of extra time.
-- The Nats no longer have game-day parking at RFK Stadium or a Nats Express to shuttle fans to and from Nationals Park.
-- If you're plotting a trip with an online map or GPS, the park's address is 1500 South Capitol St. SE, Washington, DC 20003-1507
-- See the parking options on the Nationals Web site.
-- Don't be thinking about finding an easy spot in the neighborhoods around Nationals Park. The District already thought of that. Street parking for non-residents is either banned or very expensive all the way up to Capitol Hill.
-- There will be plenty of D.C. traffic-control officers and police along South Capitol and M streets.

-- Metro is a best bet, but the Green Line, which stops at Navy Yard Station, will be very crowded and the platform will be jammed before and after the game.
-- When you exit the train, you'll be directed toward the Half Street entrance, the large one built to handle baseball crowds. That's the safest exit, too, because fans are just a block from the park and don't have to cross any major streets.
-- After a crowded game, I sometimes find it easier to enter the station from the New Jersey Avenue side, rather than Half Street. See how long the line is to get into the Half Street side.
-- Most complaints I hear come from fans who find huge crowds at the main transfer stations, L'Enfant Plaza and Gallery Place. They endure long waits for the connecting trains.
-- As with any big event, make sure you've got enough value on your SmarTrip card or Farecard so you don't have to stand in yet another long line at the fare vending machines on the way home.
-- Metro charges for parking at its lots and garages till the train system's closing.
-- Buses provide a bit of a release valve, though they can get stuck in the traffic. These Metrobus routes serve Nationals Park: 70, P1, P2, V7, V8, and V9. Also, the District operates a Circulator bus route linking Navy Yard Station, Eastern Market Station and Union Station.

There are more than 250 bike racks around Nationals Park, and there's a free bike valet service in Red Garage C at the corner of N and 1st streets SE.

Red Line
Metro riders traveling between the New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue stations should add at least 20 minutes to their trip due to maintenance work on elevated tracks after 10 p.m. Friday through closing Sunday.

U.S. 1 in Maryland
The Maryland State Highway Administration is resurfacing U.S. 1 between East-West Highway and Albion Road in University Park. The $811,000 project is expected to last the rest of 2010. Expect single-lane closures along U.S. 1 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., and overnight Sunday through Thursday between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Crews are removing the top layer of asphalt and resurfacing the roadway; cleaning and repairing storm drains; replacing curbs and gutters; replacing sidewalks and upgrading ramps; and installing new pavement markings.

By Michael Bolden  | June 17, 2010; 6:30 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Congestion, Construction, Green Line, Metro  
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