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The week ahead in traffic, transit

Construction updates | Travel tips | Monday chat

Daytime travel temperatures will rise into the low-90s all week, says the Capital Weather Gang. As I said in my Sunday Dr. Gridlock column, temperatures can rise to at least 100 degrees in a Metro car if the air-conditioning is busted. That's just one of many travel issues D.C. area commuters will confront this week.

Ohio Drive
During the morning rush (6 to 10 a.m.), Ohio Drive will be two lanes of inbound traffic only. Off-peak hours will have one lane in each direction. During the afternoon rush (3:30 to 6:30 p.m.) Ohio Drive will be two lanes outbound only. The ramp from Ohio Drive to Lincoln Memorial Circle will be closed at all times.

Also during the morning rush hour, westbound Independence Avenue will be closed beyond 17th Street. Traffic has been advised to detour onto 15th or 17th Street or use alternate routes. No night work is scheduled this week.

16th Street NW
Repairs to the 35-foot wall alongside Meridian Hill Park will partially close a heavily used portion of 16th Street NW starting this week, the National Park Service says.

The travel lanes will shift, parking on the southbound side across from the 600-foot-long work zone will be eliminated and the sidewalk on the east side of 16th Street, near the park, will be closed from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Repairs on the 96-year-old wall are scheduled to take about three months.

While four traffic lanes will remain open at all times, these temporary measures are likely to slow car and bus commuting on this important north-south route.

The work to stabilize the park wall doesn't involve the sidewalk or the street, but the park service says a safety zone near the wall is necessary. So pedestrians will be directed to cross over to the west side at W and Euclid streets during those work hours, and drivers also will be moved to the west, away from the wall.

New VRE crews
Riders will notice new train crews starting Monday. Keolis Rail Services America is taking over operation of VRE trains after 18 years of Amtrak. If all goes as planned with the hand-off, little else should be different for riders. The trains and schedules will remain the same.

HOT lane updates
Beltway/Braddock Road: Watch for a new traffic pattern this week on the Capital Beltway's inner loop near North Springfield. The lane shift will remain in effect until late December as construction continues on the high-occupancy toll lane project, the Virginia Department of Transportation says.

Workers will rebuild the pavement between Heming Avenue and Braddock Road. Traffic will shift left into four lanes. The exit lane to the right onto Braddock Road will be shorter.

Beltway/Route 7: The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to shift westbound Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) traffic onto a new bridge over the Beltway this week. The eastbound lanes will shift to the old Route 7 westbound bridge, probably on Monday. All three lanes in each direction will still be available, but watch for delays approaching the intersection as workers prepare for the lane shift.

After the shift, overnight workers will begin to demolish the old eastbound bridge before construction starts on a new one.

Jones Branch Drive: Relocation of a sewer line on Jones Branch Drive is scheduled to begin this week. Jones Branch Drive will be reduced to one lane in each direction just after the Westpark Drive/Jones Branch Drive intersection to the southern entrance of the Gannett building in Tysons Corner.

Traffic stops
Watch for daytime traffic stops for up to 15 minutes on Route 7 just west of the Route 9 interchange Monday through Friday. Virginia Dominion Power crews will be pulling wires across roads. These are the time frames: Monday between noon and 3:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.; Friday between 9 a.m. and noon.

Dominion Virginia Power is building a 12-mile, high-voltage power line from a new substation northwest of Hamilton, near the intersection of Berlin Turnpike and Route 7, to a substation off Cochran Mill Road, east of Leesburg. There will be traffic delays through the summer. Here's the schedule from VDOT:

Late July-August: Stops will occur on the Route 7 Bypass, Dry Mill Road to Route 15.

August-September: This is likely to be the busiest period. Workers will be stringing lines along Route 7 and the Route 7 Bypass between Route 15 and River Creek Parkway.

Dulles Metrorail updates
Dulles Access Road: Westbound traffic on the access road is going to be shifted to the right this week to accommodate construction on the Wiehle Avenue station in the median. The eastbound lanes already have been shifted away from the work zone. The westbound shift is scheduled to begin overnight on Wednesday, but it will be done in phases over two weeks starting at the Wiehle Avenue overpass.

I-66 lane closings: The left lane of eastbound I-66 near Route 267 will be closed between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and between 9:30 a.m. and noon Friday.

[Update: Telegraph Road project postponed till Wednesday night, because of the Monday afternoon storms.]
Telegraph Road interchange
Watch for ramp and lane closings in both directions on the Beltway and on Telegraph Road in the interchange area. Starting at 9 p.m. Monday, workers will narrow the roadways to three lanes on both loops of the Beltway to accommodate concrete placement on the new ramp from the outer loop to northbound Telegraph Road. That should be done by 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Last week, workers began installing protective shielding below the bridge over the CSX/Metro train tracks and Mill Road. This shielding will remain during bridge reconstruction. For safety, the portion of the work over the Metro tracks can be done only between midnight and 4 a.m.

Alabama Avenue/Suitland Parkway
The District Department of Transportation is repairing the bridge over the parkway, a project scheduled to be done Sept. 1. This week, one lane on the parkway under the bridge will be closed from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

By Robert Thomson  | July 12, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Project to affect 16th St. NW
Next: Rt. 123 blocked near county line


Hello Dr. Gridlock:

Not sure if this is the right place to post, but as I was reading the transcript from the Q&A yesterday, I noticed that you asked readers to comment on the distinction between the road conditions related to construction of the HOT lanes project (beltway) and the Silver Line project (Rt.123).

I can't comment on the road conditions on Rt. 123, but I can tell you that there is a lot to be desired on the beltway.

Two personal examples from this weekend. I was driving on the inner loop of the beltway between I-95 and I-66 around 9:30am on Saturday during the morning rain. I was in the left lane since I was preparing to exit onto I-66 westbound. Traffic was moving along despite the rain until brakelights starting flashing and traffic started slowing. People were hydroplaning due to the insufficient drainage caused by the jersey barriers. It was scary and I was glad to make it past that section of roadway safely.

On Sunday, my husband was running errands and hit one of the gargantuan potholes on that same portion of the inner loop of the beltway and, lo and behold, got a flat tire.

It's terrible out there. I'm sensitive to progress and the need for expansion, but please give us a safe temporary roadway.

Posted by: smc68 | July 13, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

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