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The weekend and beyond

Travel in the D.C. area is going to stay hot this weekend, according to the Capital Weather Gang. The forecast for the start of the work week is about the same. I've got some advice about some potential road and rail delays this weekend, when you may be attending the National Barbecue Battle or the D.C. Caribbean Carnival, plus a preview of some of the July 4 weekend action.

Metrorail weekend delays
The transit authority is working on the Blue Line this weekend. Add at least half an hour to normal travel times between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road from 10 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing on Sunday.

Metrobus weekend delays
Metro says it needs to detour buses on 23 D.C. routes from Friday through Sunday to get around the National Barbecue Battle and the D.C. Caribbean Parade/Carnival.

Routes 13, 32, 34, 36, 54, 63, 64, 70, A11, A42, A46, A48, P6, S2, S4 and V8 will detour from 7 p.m. Friday to 11 p.m. Sunday at Pennsylvania Avenue NW between Ninth and 14th streets for the National Barbecue Battle.

Routes 62, 64, 66, 70, E2, E3, H2, H4 and H8 will detour from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Georgia Avenue NW between Missouri and Florida avenues for the Caribbean Parade/Carnival.

Metro fare hikes
Riders will start paying more on Sunday. It's possible there may be some balky vending machines, fareboxes and fare gates throughout the transit system. To figure out how much you'll be paying, try our Metro Fare Calculator.

Quantico exit closed
The Quantico south exit, Exit 148 on southbound I-95, will be closed Saturday and Sunday nights from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. for road construction. Both the off ramp from I-95 south and the ramp from Russell Road to I-95 south will be closed. Southbound motorists heading to Route 1 can exit I-95 at Exit 150, which is Route 619, or Joplin Road, or they can go past Exit 148 to Exit 143, which is Route 610, or Garrisonville Road, and head east to Route 1.

Telegraph Road/Beltway
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.

Braddock Road/Beltway
The westbound ramp from Braddock Road to the Beltway's inner loop (I-495 north) will be closed from 9:30 p.m. Friday till 5 a.m. Monday to allow construction crews to relocate utilities. Detour: Continue west on Braddock Road, over the Beltway, and take the exit ramp onto the outer loop (I-495 south) and follow the ramp around onto Braddock Road east back over the Beltway and exit onto the inner loop.

Braddock Road motorists may encounter delays approaching the Beltway interchange. This is part of the HOT lanes project.

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.

I-66 closings next week
The left lanes in both directions of I-66 will be closed between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday, June 28, through Thursday, July 1, and from 9:30 a.m. to noon Friday, July 2. 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 coming 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.

Transportation page
There's more about impending delays and advice about how to deal with them on our transportation projects page. We launched this recently, and I'm still working to make the projects report comprehensive, so let me know if I'm missing one you'd like to hear about, or if you have a travel tip to pass along to your fellow commuters.

By Robert Thomson  | June 25, 2010; 7:30 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories, Weekend Work  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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