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The weekend and beyond

Construction updates | D.C. area travel tips

[This post has been updated]

If you're sticking around D.C. to hear Anne Waldman read "Howl" at Busboys and Poets, or just trying to escape the stickiness by heading for an Eastern Shore beach, you'll want to know about these potential delays in your path.

Metro weekend delays
Blue Line: Riders between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road should add at least 30 minutes to their normal travel time from 10 p.m. Friday through the rail system's midnight closing on Sunday. Trains will be sharing a single track through the work zone as Metro replaces concrete slabs under the rails.

Green Line: From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, add 20 minutes to a normal trip between Fort Totten and Prince George's Plaza. Trains will be sharing a track as workers weld new rail in the area.

Beltway emergency repairs
Summer getaway drivers take note: Avoid the Capital Beltway's inner loop (I-95/495 south) on Friday night and early Saturday. Emergency repairs to bridge deck will narrow the roadway to a single lane just west of Telegraph Road from 9 p.m. Friday, July 23, till no later than 10 a.m. Saturday, July 24. The right two lanes will be closed. The Telegraph Road ramps to and from the inner loop also will be closed.

Regular drivers on that part of the Beltway also noticed the potholes that opened up between the right and center lanes. The damaged area is far less extensive than the portions of the Beltway overpass that had to be repaired in May, according to the Wilson Bridge project, which is doing the construction along the Telegraph Road interchange, but still requires an overnight shutdown.

There's likely to be a significant backup in traffic on the inner loop, which carries traffic from Maryland into Virginia. It's likely to be especially bad on Saturday morning. Alternatives: Southbound I-95 drivers could use the western side of the Beltway, crossing the Potomac at the American Legion Bridge.

Suitland Parkway
Starting at about 7 p.m. Friday, July 23, the National Park Service plans to launch the first of a five weekend closings on Suitland Parkway. The first will be on the westbound parkway (heading toward D.C.) from the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue (Route 4) to Forestville Road in Prince George's County.

This weekend's closing will end no later than 5 a.m. Monday, the park service says. During that time, both left-turn lanes at northbound Pennsylvania Avenue and the parkway will be closed. Drivers heading north will be directed under the Beltway overpass to a left turn onto Forestville Road. Then they'll turn right onto the westbound parkway.

Traffic on Old Marlboro Pike will be directed to northbound Pennsylvania Avenue. Drivers heading south on Pennsylvania Avenue will be directed to turn right onto Forestville Road, and then right onto the westbound parkway.

Kenilworth Avenue
Friday night, July 23, should be the last one for the week-long overnight lane closings 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 have been installing the new, pre-cast bridge structure above Kenilworth Avenue.

Leesburg Pike delays
Two years of utility relocation along this Dulles Metrorail construction corridor is almost done. The next major phase along Leesburg Pike involves widening the roadway for station and railway pier construction.

Starting Friday night, July 23, drivers using westbound Leesburg Pike (Route 7) just west of Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) will shift slightly around the construction site for the Tysons Central 7 Metro station near the entrance to SAIC and Frontage Road. There will be more lane shifts in this area over the next month.

This coming week, paving will continue in both directions along Leesburg Pike between the Dulles Toll Road (Route 267) and Chain Bridge Road and on adjacent roads, including Tyco Road, Westwood Center Drive, Spring Hill Road, Gosnell Road and West Park Drive.

Bay Bridge tips
When you're heading to and from the Eastern Shore this summer, these are the best travel times to avoid weekend congestion on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge: Thursday before 2 p.m., Friday before noon and after 10 p.m., Saturday before 7 a.m. and between 5 and 10 p.m., Sunday between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

Rockville Pike
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 Sunday, July 25. The closings will occur from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays.

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.

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, the Virginia Department of Transportation says, but the plan still calls for reopening the Oak Street bridge before closing the Idylwood bridge. Tentative dates: Reopen the Oak Street bridge on Thursday, July 29, and close the Idylwood Road bridge on Friday, July 30.

Virginia bus detour
Metro bus route 23A will detour from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Crystal Drive between 21st and 23rd streets in Arlington due to the Crystal City Twilighter 5K. Route 23A will use Jefferson Davis Highway instead of Crystal Drive.

By Robert Thomson  | July 23, 2010; 5:37 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Next: Detours, closures for Scout parade


Does anyone know if the giant oxygen tank on its way to the Eastern Shore is coming through the greater DC area?

It came through Culpeper yesterday:

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | July 23, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

For anyone for whom it would be impractical to go around the other side of the Beltway, here's a suggestion for a bypass around the Telegraph project:

(1) Get into the Beltway's "Thru" lanes when you are coming from Maryland.

(2) Take the exit marked "Eisenhower Avenue" after you enter Virginia. There is no exit number.

(3) Turn left at the traffic light onto Eisenhower Avenue.

(4) Follow to the Eisenhower Connector and make a left. This is the first traffic light after you pass Cameron Run Park on the right (you'll see the water slide, wave pool, and mini-golf).

(5) Then make a right to get back onto the Beltway.

Note that in step #1 the exit in question is only available from the "Thru" lanes. If you're coming down I-295, you cannot access this ramp and you'll have to find another route. If you're coming from National Harbor, you'd have to go up to MD-210, head south one light, then turn around, or else take the Beltway to St. Barnabas Road and make a "cloverleaf U-turn."

If instead you're coming over the Wilson Bridge and heading for I-95 south of the Beltway, you might consider taking the "Local" lanes, exiting for US-1 south, and following it through umpteen traffic lights to Woodbridge, where you can get back on I-95. (Or, if you take Exit 177C, marked for Mount Vernon, you can make a right at the light and take the GW Parkway to Mount Vernon, then Mount Vernon Highway back to US-1. Way fewer lights and a nicer drive.)

Posted by: 1995hoo | July 23, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

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