The week ahead in traffic, transit
The severe heat should break after today, says the Capital Weather Gang, but first there's a chance of thunderstorms this afternoon. Here's a look at a few of the road and rail issues you may confront during the work week and the holiday weekend.
Georgia Avenue NW
The District starts a paving project Monday on a portion of Georgia Avenue, between Missouri Avenue and Quackenbos Street NW, which will create some traffic delays and limit parking in the area. The work will be done from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday.
The ramp from northbound Telegraph Road the outer loop of the Capital Beltway (I-495/95N) is scheduled to close for construction from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday. This is part of the Wilson Bridge project, which is rebuilding the Telegraph Road interchange.
Idylwood Road bridge closing
Managers of the HOT lanes project plan to reopen the Oak Street bridge over the Beltway in early July. It has been shut for a year for reconstruction. All the bridges in the construction zone must be rebuilt to accommodate the four new Beltway lanes. In many cases, the bridges never close completely during the work.
But in mid-July, the Idylwood Road Bridge, just south of Oak Street, will be shut completely for reconstruction. The shutdown will shorten the reconstruction time from two years to about six months. Most traffic will detour north to Route 7 to cross the Beltway.
The left lanes in both directions of I-66 will be closed between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon Friday. This work is part of the pier construction for the Dulles Metrorail project.
The eastbound left lane will close overnights Monday through Thursday from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.
July 4 and Metro
Metro will have extra service on July 4, as well as the higher fares, for people heading to the Mall and to the Nationals game, which starts at 1:35 p.m. on Independence Day.
Metrorail will run from 7 a.m. to midnight, and operate near rush-hour level service from 6 p.m. to midnight. Trains will run on their usual routes on all five rail lines. But note that the Smithsonian Station will be closed until the fireworks end. (The fireworks are scheduled to start about 9:10 p.m.)
Spread out to the other stations near the Mall: Foggy Bottom, Metro Center, Archives, Gallery Place, Judiciary Square, Union Station, L'Enfant Plaza, Capitol South and Federal Center SW. Parking will be free at Metrorail parking lots. (We'll have more tips and reminders for you as the week progresses.)
Last July 4, Metrorail took passengers on more than 600,000 trips. "People should expect to be waiting in long lines to get back into Metro stations after the fireworks, perhaps for an hour or more, said Dave Kubicek, Metro's acting deputy general manager. "To avoid waiting in long lines, people should use a variety of stations for entry on the way home."
No track maintenance projects have been scheduled for the July 4th weekend. On Monday, July 5, which is the national holiday, Metrorail will operate on a Sunday schedule, opening at 7 a.m. and closing at midnight. Metrobus will also operate on a Sunday schedule.
U Street-Garfield bus service
Metro is in the midst of a project to improve service on the District's U Street-Garfield Line. That's Routes 90, 92 and 93. The line averages nearly 15,000 riders on weekdays, Metro says. The buses are too crowded and too slow.
The transit authority has scheduled three public meetings this week to discuss where it stands on the effort to solve those problems. The meetings will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., beginning with an open house, followed by a presentation and group sessions to review rider concerns and potential solutions.
Tuesday's meeting will be at Savoy Elementary School, 2400 Shannon Pl. SE. Wednesday's session will be at Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th St. NE. On Thursday, the session convenes at the Marie Reed Learning Center, 2200 Champlain St. NE.
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