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The week ahead for traffic, transit

Construction updates | Travel tips | Capital Weather Gang

After a weekend respite, D.C. area commuters will be traveling in high heat again this week. There will be some new obstacles in their path, but also some relief for District-bound commuters in the L'Enfant Plaza area.

VRE back
Normal service on the Fredericksburg Line is scheduled to resume Monday morning. The train service was canceled Friday because of a CSX train derailment.

Ramp to 12th Street tunnel reopening
Commuters in the L'Enfant Plaza area will find a long-awaited change today: The District has reopened the ramp to the 12th Street Tunnel from the westbound Southeast-Southwest Freeway.

The reopening of the ramp, closed since spring 2008, is a milestone in the nearly completed reconstruction of the 11th Street SW Bridge over D Street and the railroad tracks. For commuters, it means easier access to downtown Washington from the freeway. (Don't confuse this with the much larger project to replace the 11th Street SE Bridge over the Anacostia River. See map for 11th Street SW Bridge project here.)

The District Department of Transportation's $11 million project included the replacement of the bridge deck, portions of the piers, abutment walls, roadway and retaining walls. The lighting was upgraded, a new water main installed and the roadways resurfaced.

H Street/Benning Road corridor
The District Department of Transportation has scheduled a week-long paving of the Starburst intersection to begin Tuesday. The intersection, which has been undergoing a major reconstruction, is located where 15th Street, H Street, Benning Road, Bladensburg Road and Maryland Avenue meet in Northeast D.C.

The work will require lane closings for a few hours on each roadway, beginning at 7 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on Saturday. During those hours, street parking will be prohibited on the segment being paved.

Northbound B2 Metrobuses have returned to their normal route on 15th Street NE through the Starburst intersection and onto Bladensburg Road.

Route 50 repairs
The Maryland State Highway Administration has launched a $402,000 roadway patching project along nine miles of Route 50 (John Hanson Highway) between the Anne Arundel County line and the Capital Beltway in Prince George's County. This section of the highway carries an average of 210,000 vehicles a day, and the pavement is cracking. The patching is scheduled to be done by Labor Day. Watch for updates here.

SHA plans to close one or two lanes overnight, which will cause traffic delays even with the lighter overnight volume. The HOV lane restrictions will be lifted during work hours only.

-- Westbound Route 50: single lane closures overnight Mondays through Fridays between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., with double lane closures between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
-- Eastbound Route 50: single lane closures Sundays through Thursdays between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., with double lane closures between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Continuous double lane closures are scheduled for the weekends of Aug. 13, Aug. 20 and Aug. 27.
Westbound US 50:
-- 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13, through 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 15
-- 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 20, through 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21
-- 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 27, through 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 29

Eastbound Route 50:
-- Noon Saturday, Aug. 14, through 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 16
-- 2 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 22, through 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 23
-- Noon Saturday, Aug. 28, through 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 30

Ohio Drive
Watch for project updates here. This is the scheduled for the week.
Morning rush (6-10 a.m.): Ohio Drive is two lanes inbound only. Westbound Independence Avenue is closed beyond 17th Street. Traffic is detoured onto 15th or 17th streets. The ramp from Ohio Drive to Lincoln Memorial Circle is closed at all times.
Off-peak: One lane in each direction.
Afternoon rush (3:30-6:30 p.m.): Ohio Drive will be two lanes outbound only.
Nights: No night work is scheduled for Monday through Thursday.

George Washington Parkway
There are now two reconstruction projects underway along the parkway, one at the Humpback Bridge, north of Reagan National Airport, and one to the south of the airport, at the parkway's intersection with Dangerfield Island Marina.

Daingerfield Island Marina: Traffic delays are likely during reconstruction on the access interchange at the Daingerfield Island Marina and the entrance road leading to the Indigo Landing restaurant. The area is about a half-mile south of Reagan National Airport. The work is scheduled to start today and be done by the end of September.

Parkway drivers heading south to Daingerfield Island will not be able to turn left at the interchange. They should continue south and turn right at the exit to Slater's Lane and then turn left to the northbound parkway to Daingerfield Island.

Lane closings on both sides of the parkway are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., but at least one lane in each direction will be open at all times. Watch for project updates here.

Humpback Bridge: The demolition that began July 6 on the Potomac River side of the old bridge should be done by early September. Cranes will then begin drilling the shafts to support the last portion of the new bridge. The entire project is scheduled to be done in late spring, which is a little over a year behind the original schedule. Watch for project updates here.

There are no scheduled lane closings during rush hour. Here's the plan for this week:

Work involving possible lane closings occurs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Biking and walking: There's a temporary five-foot wide trail over the bridge. Park service rules say that bicyclists must walk their bikes across the bridge.

Beltway/Telegraph Road
The final stage of the Wilson Bridge project involves reconstruction of the Beltway interchange at Telegraph Road. See project updates here. These are the lane closings scheduled for the week.
From 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. each night from Sunday through Thursday:
-- Inner loop (I-95/495 South) ramp to Telegraph Road North/Pershing Avenue will be closed. Drivers should exit at Route 1 South, then turn right on Huntington Avenue West to take Telegraph Road North.
-- Pershing Avenue West to Telegraph Road North will be closed. Drivers should take Eisenhower Avenue East to Holland Lane and then turn left on Duke Street.
-- Telegraph Road North will be narrowed to one lane with periodic 15-minute full closings between Huntington Avenue and Duke Street.

From 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday:
Thru lanes left lane will be closed between the Metro bridge and Telegraph Road.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to noon Friday:
-- Telegraph Road North will be narrowed to one lane between Huntington Avenue and Pershing Avenue.
-- Telegraph Road South will be narrowed to one lane between Mill Road and Huntington Avenue.
-- The Telegraph Road South ramp to the outer loop will be closed. Drivers should take Telegraph Road South to Huntington Avenue East to Route 1 North to reconnect with the outer loop.

Beltway/Route 29
The HOT lanes project is shifting the two northbound lanes of Route 29 (Lee Highway) to a new four-lane bridge over the Beltway. The new traffic pattern will include a shared left-turn and through lane for drivers heading north on Route 29 to Shreve Road.

Southbound Route 29 traffic will remain on the old bridge until about Aug. 22, before shifting to two temporary southbound lanes on the new northbound bridge. At that point, night work will begin to demolish the old southbound bridge. Drivers should expect weeknight and weekend lane closings and detours along Route 29 and the Beltway starting around 9:30 p.m. most nights.

The demolition will continue through the fall, followed by construction of a new southbound bridge, which is scheduled to open by fall 2011. Look here for HOT lanes updates.

Dulles Metrorail extension
Paving continues along Leesburg Pike (Route 7) between the Dulles Toll Road (Route 267) and Chain Bridge Road (Route 123), as well as on adjacent roads, as two years worth of utility relocations wrap up. Next up in Tysons Corner: construction of the Metrorail stations in the median of Route 7 and on the north side of Route 123.

This summer, lane shifts began to occur around the site for the Tysons Central 7 Station on Route 7, between Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) and Westpark Drive/Gosnell Road.

In the next few weeks, another lane shift in both directions on Route 7 from just east of Spring Hill Road to the Dulles Toll Road will make room for construction of the Tysons West Station. See more about Dulles Metrorail construction.

The Metro board is scheduled to meet at 2:30 p.m. Monday with the members of the National Transportation Safety board who delivered the scathing report about Metro's operations, from top to bottom, after the NTSB investigation of the June 2009 Red Line crash. The meeting at Metro headquarters, 600 Fifth St. NW, is open to the public. We'll have updates this afternoon.

By Robert Thomson  | August 9, 2010; 6:30 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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