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The week ahead in traffic, transit

Summer starts today. Travelers in the D.C. area will definitely notice the heat. The Capital Weather Gang says we may be in for temperatures above 90 each day this week. Travelers may start to notice a decline in traffic as vacation season really gets underway. Here's a look at some of the issues commuters will confront this week.

Metro service changes
The transit authority this week is preparing for the fare increases scheduled to take effect next Sunday. More about that in a follow up posting today.

Riders sometimes ask me if Metro has launched the new rush hour schedule for the Red Line. The plan to slightly increase the gaps between trains in an attempt to make their arrival times more consistent hasn't started yet.

Repair work on the Rockville platform had been scheduled to begin this month, as part of Metro's long-term rehab on the Red Line. But engineers decided that they needed more time to prepare for the work. It's now scheduled to start on Tuesday, July 6.

Express bus to Tysons Corner
The new commuter bus from Loudoun County into Tysons starts today. The buses will make seven morning and seven evening trips each weekday. One-way fares are $3, with a SmarTrip card, or $3.50 with cash.

The morning pickup points are at the Leesburg and Broadlands South park and ride lots.The buses take the Dulles Greenway and the Dulles Access Road to Tysons, where they stop at 18 points, near the main employment centers. See the schedule and map.

There's already an express bus service operating between Woodbridge and Tysons. See that schedule and map here. Once bus riders get into Tysons, they can get around on the Tysons Connector, which operates between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. weekdays.

See more Tysons travel options on this Commuter page.

Tysons tie-ups
Seems like there's a change every week or two in Tysons, where the HOT lanes and Dulles Metrorail projects intersect.

The old outer loop bridge that took the Capital Beltway over Route 123 has been demolished and the traffic shifted to the new span. Work now gets underway on the new inner loop bridge. That's for the HOT lanes. Meanwhile, Route 7 traffic has been shifted for construction of two Metrorail stations in the median. That's going to be a center of activity for this year and beyond. Both projects are scheduled to be done in 2013.

MARC slowdown
This may be part of the afternoon ride all week: CSX has issued heat orders for Monday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Trains on the Camden and Brunswick lines will operate 20 mph under the normal maximum authorized speed. Delays can range from 10 to 15 minutes, MARC says.

I-66 widening to Gainesville
The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to celebrate the completion of the next phase of the highway widening project on Thursday and launch the reconstruction of the I-66/Route 29 interchange.

I-66 spot improvements
Meanwhile, back inside the Beltway, work has begun on the first of the limited widenings on the westbound side.

14th Street Bridge lanes
During the year-long first phase of the bridge rehab project, I heard very few complaints from commuters. I wonder if this will change now that the lane closing has moved out from the extreme right, requiring more maneuvering on the part of drives as they work their way toward 14th Street or to the Southeast-Southwest Freeway.

The center-right side on the south half of the bridge is blocked. There are still four lanes open at rush periods. one lane goes right of the barrier and three go left.

Route 1, University Park
The Maryland State Highway Administration has begun a resurfacing project along Route 1 (Baltimore Avenue) between Route 410 (East West Highway) and Albion Road in University Park. The work is scheduled to be done in early 2011.

Workers will remove the top layer of asphalt and resurface the road.They'll also rebuild the sidewalk. Drivers should watch for single-lane closings weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., and also overnight Sundays through Thursdays between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Route 6 bridge repair
Maryland has begun repairs on the Route 6 (Port Tobacco Road) bridge over Nanjemoy Creek in Charles County. The work is scheduled to be done by mid-August.

One lane will be temporarily closed. To make that work, temporary traffic signals are being installed at each end of the bridge, and traffic will alternate crossing over. The Maryland State Highway Administration suggests Route 224 (Riverside Road) as a possible alternative during construction.

I-95 widening, Virginia

-- I-95 north between Gordon Boulevard (Route 123) and one mile south of the Fairfax County Pkwy (Route 7100): Right lane closed from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday for ramp and sign work.
-- I-95 south between Fairfax County Parkway and Gordon Boulevard: Right lane closed Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for overhead sign and ground work.

Fairfax County Parkway extension
-- Backlick Road north and south between Boudinot Drive and Fullerton Road: Right lane closed Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for utility work.
-- Fullerton Road north for 1,000 feet before Boudinot Drive: Right lane closed Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for retaining wall installation.

By Robert Thomson  | June 21, 2010; 7:25 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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"The plan to slightly increase the gaps between trains in an attempt to make their arrival times more consistent hasn't started yet."

This does not make much sense. Trains are already dangerously overcrowded in the mornings as is; all this means is we will be consistently more miserable in our daily commute.

Posted by: bv2112 | June 21, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow, that Express bus from Loudoun to Tysons sounds FANTASTIC!

Posted by: SusanMarie2 | June 21, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

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