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The week ahead for traffic, transit

Looks like a great week for travel across the D.C. region, with Wednesday the one day with a good chance of rain, the Capital Weather Gang says. Tysons Corner is the focus of a lot of road work. Metrorail has one more weekend disruption coming on the Orange Line. And generally, there are a lot of local routes with paving and sidewalk projects underway.


We have a new way to keep track of road and rail work: See our D.C. area construction projects page. And on our tips page, we have some advice for saving time on local travel, or just finding a more pleasant route.

Bridge demolition
The old Beltway bridge over Route 123 in Tysons Corner is scheduled to be demolished this weekend. That will require the complete closing of Route 123 at the Beltway from 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 11, through 5 a.m. Monday, June 14.

Traffic in and out of Tysons Corner will be detoured. Drivers leaving the shopping areas will be directed to Route 7. McLean traffic heading into Tysons will be directed to Georgetown Pike (Route 193). Expect delays navigating the Route 123 and I-495 interchange.

After the demolition of the old bridge, workers will start building a new one, as well as a HOT Lanes connection into Tysons Corner at the Westpark Drive bridge. Meanwhile, other crews will be working on the Dulles Metrorail guideway piers over the Beltway.

Route 7 lane shift
All three eastbound lanes of Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) between Spring Hill Road and Route 123 are shifting about 40 feet to the right to prepare for construction of the Tysons Central 7 Metrorail station in the Route 7 median. The traffic shift will remain for the next three years.

This summer, a similar lane shift will occur on Route 7 in the area of Spring Hill and Tyco roads to make room for construction of the Tysons West Station. All five of the stations in the first phase of the rail project will be under construction by late fall.

Magarity Road
Detours are likely to continue nightly for drivers who use Magarity Road in the McLean/Falls Church/Tysons area. Magarity Road will be closed between Olney Road and Great Falls Street between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Workers on the Dulles Metrorail project will be installing decking and superstructure on a new bridge that will carry tracks in the median of the Dulles Connector Road across Magarity Road.

Magarity Road runs north/south parallel to Route 123 from Great Falls Street to Route 7. All side streets south of the Connector Road along Magarity will be open. Magarity Road from Olney Road south toward Route 7 will not be affected.

Braddock Road/Beltway
The eastbound lanes of Braddock Road have shifted to the new bridge over the Beltway. This is one of the many bridges being completely rebuilt this year as part of the High Occupancy Toll lanes project.

New York/Florida avenues
The District Department of Transportation is planning a major change in the traffic pattern at New York and Florida avenues NE on Friday, starting at 9 p.m. It will create a circular traffic pattern around the Wendy's restaurant at the busy intersection, which also includes First Street and Eckington Place.

The reconfiguration of the intersection, a $3 million project intended to improve circulation and safety, is scheduled to be done in August. The transportation department says it will announce the final traffic pattern at that time.

14th Street Bridge
So far, only the far right lane on the northbound span has been blocked as part of the bridge rehabilitation project, underway for the past year. But starting soon, the project will push out into the other lanes in phases scheduled to last about a month each.

There will always be four lanes open at rush hours, but drivers probably will find these new phases more challenging. As they approach the bridge from Virginia, they will need to make their lane choices early, so they won't have any trouble later, when traffic splits for either 14th Street or the Southeast-Southwest Freeway.

Ohio Drive
The reconstruction of Ohio Drive is now in its second phase, which will continue through July. (The entire rebuilding project is scheduled to be done in late fall.) The project affects the roadways between Independence Avenue SW at the intersection of Ohio Drive SW, near the Lincoln Memorial, northward to the southern end of Rock Creek Parkway, the area immediately south of the Kennedy Center.

During morning rush hours, 6:30 to 9:30 a.m., Ohio Drive will be open to two lanes of inbound traffic only. At off peak hours, one lane will be open in each direction. During the afternoon rush, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., it will be open to two lanes outbound only. The ramp from Ohio Drive to Lincoln Memorial Circle will be closed at all times. There may be extra lane closings at nights.

Orange Line
There will be no Orange Line service between the East Falls Church and West Falls Church stations Saturday and Sunday. The service disruption is related to construction of the Dulles Metrorail line, which is expected to connect to the rest of the system by 2013.

Metro will operate free shuttle buses between the stations both weekends, but riders should add at least 30 minutes to their travel times. During these times, it would be best not to park at Vienna, Dunn Loring or West Falls Church, the stations west of the disruption. One option is to drive east to the Franconia-Springfield Station on the Blue Line or Huntington Station on the Yellow Line for the rail trip downtown.

University Boulevard paving
Watch for single lane closings from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m and from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday between Veirs Mill Road and Arcola Avenue.

By Robert Thomson  | June 7, 2010; 7:50 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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