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The week ahead for traffic, transit

Phase 3 map.jpg
Third lane from right on 14th Street Bridge's northbound span will be closed. (DDOT map)

Construction updates | D.C. area travel tips

Travelers in the D.C. area will endure daytime temperatures in the 90s throughout the week with chances of afternoon storms, the Capital Weather Gang says. Commuter traffic is a bit thinner along many routes as we get deeper into summer, and the Metro parking garages are a bit less crowded. (The trains still seem packed, don't they? So do the escalators.) Here are some of the potential delays on the roads.

14th Street Bridge
Commuters on the northbound 14th Street bridge will encounter a new traffic pattern this week as the bridge rehabilitation project moves into its next phase. Drivers heading north on I-395 will see the lane blockage move into the third lane from the right.

For about the past month, a section of the second lane from the right has been closed. There still will be four lanes open during peak periods, but the project now involves periodic closings of different lane sections.

Beltway bridges
People who live near the Oak Street and the Idylwood Road bridges along the Capital Beltway in Virginia have been asking about the schedule for reopening one and closing the other. It's important to them that the two bridges not be closed at the same time for construction on the HOT lanes project.

The schedule has been pushed back a bit, VDOT says, but the plan still calls for reopening Oak Street before closing Idylwood. Tentative dates: Reopen the Oak Street bridge on July 29 and close the Idylwood Road bridge on July 30.

Ohio Drive
Morning rush hours (6-10 a.m.): Ohio Drive will be two lanes inbound only. Westbound Independence Avenue will be closed beyond 17th Street NW. Detour onto 15th or 17th streets. The ramp from Ohio Drive to Lincoln Memorial Circle will be closed at all times.
Off-peak: One lane in each direction on Ohio Drive.
Afternoon rush hours (3:30-6:30 p.m.): Two lanes outbound only on Ohio Drive.
Night work: No night work is planned for this week.

Dulles Metrorail
Leesburg Pike/Dulles Toll Road: The exit ramp from eastbound Leesburg Pike to the eastbound Dulles Toll Road will close between 9:30 p.m. Tuesday and 5 a.m. Wednesday. Workers will be repaving the shoulder. Detour: Continue on Leesburg Pike, turn left on Spring Hill Road, follow Spring Hill around the curve to the eastbound Toll Road.

Chain Bridge Road (Route 123): Drivers will encounter a slight lane shift on southbound Route 123 at the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) overpass. The lanes will shift to the right by one lane for about three months. This will establish a work zone in the median for railway pier construction. Once this lane shift is complete and the pier construction begins, watch for daytime left-lane closings on southbound Route 123 around this work area.

The nearby ramp from southbound Route 123 to the eastbound Dulles Connector Road (toward eastbound I-66) will remain closed through October. That's beyond the original schedule, which had the ramp reopening this summer. The rail project managers and the Virginia Department of Transportation agreed to keep it closed longer. Otherwise, the rail project said, the ramp would have to be closed periodically for additional work on the railway piers.

Leesburg Pike: Workers will resume overnight paving along both directions of Leesburg Pike between the Dulles Toll Road and Chain Bridge Road, as well as on adjacent roads and service roads. This means the two-year-long utility relocation program along the pike is nearly done. Next up: Widening the road for the two Metro stations and the railway piers.

Dulles Access Road: If you're driving to Dulles International Airport, you will encounter lane shifts near Wiehle Avenue. They are expanding the work zone for the Metrorail station construction there. The D.C.-bound lane shifts already are in place.

Braddock Road/Beltway
The inner-loop lanes of the Beltway have shifted 3/4-mile before Braddock Road. This portion of the Beltway is reduced from five to four lanes. Drivers will find exit lane to Braddock Road is shorter. The traffic shift will be in place until late December. Meanwhile, workers will rebuild the roadway to accommodate the HOT lanes.

From 9:30 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. next Monday, the Virginia Department of Transportation plans to close the inner loop exit ramp to westbound Braddock Road for utility relocation.

Kenilworth Avenue
Watch for overnight lane closings through Friday on Kenilworth Avenue (DC 295) where the District Department of Transportation is rebuilding the Eastern Avenue Bridge. Two lanes will be closed from 8:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., so finding an alternative route would be best. Through traffic will be directed to use the service roads. Workers will be installing the new, pre-cast bridge structure above Kenilworth Avenue.

Rockville Pike interchange
Two weeks of overnight work on the ramp from southbound Rockville Pike to Hoya Street is scheduled to include lane closings in the ramp area starting July 25. The closings will occur from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays and continue for two weeks.

The Maryland State Highway Administration is building an interchange that will put Randolph Road and Montrose Parkway beneath Rockville Pike, loosening some of the traffic knots. The project is scheduled to be done at the end of the year.

Baltimore Avenue
Expect to see single lane closings along Baltimore Avenue (Route 1) between East-West Highway (Route 410) and Albion Road, near Prince George's Plaza, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights.

By Robert Thomson  | July 19, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Please provide information on the Rt 7/Tysons/Falls Church exits from the Beltway. The E-bound exit from the outer loop was closed Thursday night; does it remain closed, and for how long? There were constant alerts for over a month when the 123 exit was closed; but nearly nothing for this new closure. The numerous changes in this area are severely impacting traffic and will only get worse post-Labor Day. Better information (and reminders, in case we miss one of your great columns) on what to expect would be greatly appreciated!
Also, can the construction crews put up better signs indicating lane closures on the Beltway between Rt 66 and the Springfield interchange? Lanes disappear, and sometimes there are signs but sometimes not; the drive is hair-raising! The closures appear to be long-term; can’t the signs be posted? Thank you.

Posted by: nnelson1 | July 19, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Even when the Oak St bridge reopens, once the Idylwood Bridge is closed, I predict traffic will back up and onto Rt 7, especially after Labor Day, although I hope I'm wrong. I'll try it a few times, but am already planning an alternate route. Unfortunately, that will take me through the dreaded Tyson's Corner, another ever-changing mess.

Posted by: nnelson1 | July 19, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

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