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The weekend and beyond

Construction updates | D.C. area travel tips

Shaken off the earthquake and ready to enjoy the weekend? You'll be traveling in hot and humid conditions, the Capital Weather Gang says. There's no one, big event that will dominate the traffic and transit scene, though you'll find plenty of activities, like Friday's Mars Day at the Air and Space Museum, or Saturday's Star Wars: In Concert at Verizon Center. See our Going Out Guide. Here's a getting-around guide to help plan your trips this weekend and beyond.

Metro weekend delays
There's lots of track work this weekend, and as you'll see below, many bus detours. Metro's normally helpful Trip Planner guide doesn't account for delays caused by track work. Metrobus's Next Bus arrival calculator has reliability problems on the detoured routes.

Red Line: Riders between Shady Grove and Twinbrook should add at least half an hour to their travel time from 10 p.m. Friday through the system's midnight closing Sunday. Crews will be repairing the platform at Rockville, and trains will share a single track around the work zone.

Riders between New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue should add at least 20 minutes to their travel times from 10 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing Sunday. Workers will be repairing part of the elevated tracks outside the Rhode Island Avenue Station.

On Saturday and Sunday, all Red Line trains will depart about every 15 minutes from Shady Grove and Glenmont. Passengers waiting on the platforms between Grosvenor and New York Avenue should see a train arrive every eight or nine minutes. See more details on the Red Line rehabilitation program.

Blue/Yellow Line: Riders between Braddock Road and Van Dorn on the Blue Line and between Braddock Road and Huntington on the Yellow Line should add at least half an hour to their travel time between 10 p.m. Friday and the midnight closing on Sunday. Workers will be replacing cross-ties and welding rails in the area.

On Saturday and Sunday, all Blue Line trains will operate every half hour between Largo and Huntington. Also, Metro will operate a special Blue Line shuttle train leaving at 17 minutes and 47 minutes after the hour between Franconia-Springfield and King Street. At King Street, riders can board another Blue or Yellow Line train heading into Washington.

On Saturday and Sunday, all Yellow Line trains will leave Huntington at 2 minutes and 32 minutes after the hour and will operate to Greenbelt.

Metrobus detours
Metrobus expects to detour 15 routes on Saturday to get around various events.

DC: Routes 32, 34, 36, 54, 64, 70, 96, D6, P6, S2, S4 and V8 will detour from 6 to 10 a.m. at F Street NW between 12th and 13th streets. The event is the National Press Club 5K. [See street closings below.]

Route P6 will detour from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 5th Street NW between H and I (Eye) streets. The event is the Gospel Rescue Ministries' Summerfest.

Route 64 will detour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 11th Street NW between T and U streets. There's a dedication ceremony in the neighborhood.

Maryland: Route C14 will detour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Curtis Drive from Branch Avenue and through the Carriage Hill Apartment complex in Hillcrest Heights. The apartment complex is celebrating its community day, rescheduled from July 10.

Virginia: Routes 10B and 23A will detour from 1 to 10 p.m. at Kenmore Street between 22nd Street and Shirlington Road in Arlington, where the Nauck Summer in the Parks will be underway.

5K street closings
F Street NW between 13th and 14th streets will be closed from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. for the National Press Club Beat the Deadline 5K. There also will be rolling closures along the race course between 8 and 9 a.m. These are the streets affected: Start at 1300 F Street NW, right on 13th Street NW, left on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, left on Constitution Avenue NW, left on Louisiana Avenue NW, right on D Street NE, U-turn at D Street and First Street NE, left on Louisiana Avenue NE, right on Constitution Avenue NE, right on 13th Street NW, left on F Street NW to the finish line.

Braddock Road/Beltway
A lane shift for the Beltway HOT lanes project that had been planned for last weekend has been reset for Friday night, July 16, starting at 9:30.

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

So at 9:30 p.m. Friday, workers will begin to re-stripe pavement and place barriers. Three lanes will be closed on the inner loop, leaving one lane open. The new traffic pattern will be in place by 9 a.m. Saturday. If there are weather problems again, the work will be postponed till Saturday night.

Meanwhile, the Virginia Department of Transportation plans to close the I-495 north exit ramp to westbound Braddock Road from 9:30 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for utility relocation. The same closing also is scheduled for next weekend, July 23-26.

New phase on 14th Street Bridge
The District Department of Transportation reports that its contractor on the 14th Street Bridge rehab project is planning to move into the next phase this weekend. That means drivers heading north on I-395 should watch for a new closing on the bridge in 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.

The latest shift of the lane barriers is scheduled to occur over this weekend, possibly starting as early as 6 a.m. Saturday and lasting as late as 5 a.m. Monday, though it could be done by midday Sunday.

Kenilworth Avenue (DC 295)/Eastern Avenue
Watch for overnight lane closings starting Friday night (July 16) on Kenilworth Avenue where the District Department of Transportation is rebuilding the Eastern Avenue Bridge. Two lanes will be closed, so finding an alternative route would be best. Through traffic will be directed to use the service roads. Stay right to get past the construction.

The overnight closings will continue through Friday, July 23, while workers install the new, pre-cast bridge structure above Kenilworth Avenue. These are the work hours:
-- Friday, July 16: 8:30 p.m. to 9 a.m.
-- Monday through Friday, July 23: 8:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Dulles Metrorail
This is an especially active time for the rail project. Here are some highlights.

Chain Bridge Road (Route 123): Crews are scheduled to create a slight lane shift on southbound Route 123 at the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) overpass on Friday night, July 16. 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 (Route 7): Workers will resume overnight paving along both directions of Leesburg Pike between the Dulles Toll Road (Route 267) and Chain Bridge Road (Route 123), 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.

BW Parkway/Ridge Road
The Maryland State Highway Administration plans to activate temporary traffic signals at the Ridge Road bridge over the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, probably on Monday. The signals at each end of the bridge will alternate traffic across one lane during the bridge reconstruction. Workers will replace half of each bridge deck, then switch traffic onto the new lane while the second half of the deck is replaced.

The deck replacements are part of a $1.2 million project to rehabilitate the two bridges over the parkway. SHA points out that there could be more than 350 highway work zones throughout Maryland during the next several months. This is a busy time on roads across the D.C. region. Many of the work zones are small, and sometimes mobile. Drivers come up on them quickly. Watch out for the workers.

Baltimore Avenue
Watch for single lane closings along Baltimore Avenue (Route 1) between East West Highway (Route 410) and Albion Road 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 16, 2010; 9:52 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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