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On roads & rails, pick your misery

The weekend and beyond
[This post was last updated Sunday at 10 a.m.]

The Capital Weather Gang predicts we'll have generally pleasant weather this weekend, which just may help make up for the problems you may encounter roaming the region. Whether you're on the streets of the District or the suburbs, or riding beneath it all on Metrorail, you may run into delays that interfere with your travels.

Here's a roundup of what's happening this weekend:

Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Sunday the Nationals play the last of four games in a series with the Cardinals. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. Expect the streets and subway stations to be crowded with the masses headed to and from the ballpark to see if the Nats can repeat Saturday's explosive performance when they scored 14 runs.

Expect heavy traffic on the Southeast-Southwest Freeway and around M Street and South Capitol Street, where the park is located.

The Green Line's Navy Yard Station, closest to the park, also will be very crowded, as will the transfer stations at L'Enfant Plaza and Gallery Place. After the game, be prepared for a long line to get back into the station at Half Street.

These six Metrobus routes stop near the stadium: 70, P1, P2, V, V8 and V9. The District's red, black and silver Circulator bus stops just outside the New Jersey Avenue entrance to the Metro station and runs every 10 minutes between Union Station and Navy Yard Station.

Nationals Park has a free bike valet in Red Garage C at the corner of N and 1st streets SE. Access to the valet is on N Street just left of the entrance. The valet will accept bikes two hours before game time and will close an hour after the last inning. There also are many bike racks around the stadium.

You can also avoid much of the hassle by walking. Take the Blue or Orange Line to Capitol South Station, then walk down New Jersey Avenue. (It is downhill from the station to the stadium.)

Metrorail maintenance work
The Foggy Bottom and Smithsonian Metro stations are the closest to the Lincoln Memorial, so expect those stops to be crowded with people headed for the National Mall and the rallies. Maintenance work on the Red, Blue and Green lines will complicate everything a bit more. Metro advises that people add at least 30 minutes to their travel times due to the work.

Red Line
Trains will share one track between Shady Grove and Twinbrook stations from 8 p.m. Friday to closing Sunday night. Crews will be repairing the platform at Rockville Station. Add at least 30 minutes to your travel time.

Blue Line
There are two areas of concern on the Blue Line this weekend.
-- Trains will be single-tracking between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road stations from 10 p.m. Friday to the Sunday close as crews replace concrete slabs beneath the rails. Add at least 30 minutes extra. From 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday ever other Blue Line train traveling toward Largo Town Center will terminate at Stadium-Armory and return to Huntington or Franconia-Springfield stations.
-- Trains will be single-tracking between Braddock Road and Van Dorn stations from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday as Metro trims weeds along the tracks. Add at least 30 minutes. During these time periods, all Blue Line trains will be rerouted to operate between Largo and Huntington. If you use Franconia or Van Dorn, you'll need to take a Blue Line "shuttle train" to the King Street Station and catch another Blue or Yellow line train headed toward Washington. The shuttle will run about every 18 minutes on Saturday from Franconia to King Street and about every 15 minutes on Sunday.

Green Line
-- Trains will be single-tracking between Greenbelt and College Park stations from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday as crews weld new rails. Add at least 20 minutes.


Interstate 66
Two of the three lanes of eastbound I-66 will be closed this weekend as construction crews prepare to shift traffic onto new bridges that carry the highway over the Capital Beltway. The work is part of the high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes project.

The Virginia Department of Transportation said major delays are likely between Nutley Street and the Beltway, and warned that all traffic may be stopped for up to 30 minutes during overnight periods.

In addition to the two lanes closed on I-66 East, the ramp onto the Beltway will be closed, as will all Nutley Street on-ramps to I-66 East. I-66 eastbound access to the Vienna Metro station and the left HOV exit to I-495 North will remain open throughout the weekend. Motorists can expect up to 35-minute delays during peak hours on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., from Route 50 to just past the work zone.

By 5 a.m. Monday morning, the three I-66 East lanes will be shifted to the new bridges over I-495. HOV drivers traveling in the left lane on I-66 East heading to Arlington/Washington will need to merge to the right lane prior to I-495 north to continue into downtown.

Telegraph Road Closures
Detours due to milling and paving along the Inner Loop at Telegraph Road will prompt several closures in the vicinity this weekend. This work is part of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge project.

Starting at 9 p.m. Friday, crews will close the ramp from the Inner Loop to Telegraph Road North and will begin closing lanes on Telegraph between Huntington and Pershing avenues. All lanes on Telegraph will be closed by 10 p.m. Pershing Avenue West will be used as a detour, but expect delays.

Crews expect to begin reopening lanes on Telegraph by 7a.m. Saturday, along with the ramp from the Inner Loop. Work is expected to be completed -- and the lanes reopened -- by 5 p.m. Saturday.

U.S. 50 East in Maryland
Motorists traveling on U.S. 50 eastbound should expect major delays this weekend as road crews finish repairs along a nine-mile stretch of the highway.

The Maryland Department of Transportation's State Highway Administration said the $402,000 project between the Anne Arundel County line and the Capital Beltway in Prince George's County will begin at 9 p.m. Friday and finish at 5 a.m. on Monday, if the weather cooperates.

Roadwork on U.S. 50 westbound was finished Aug. 22.

Alternate routes include the Capital Beltway to MD 32 to I-97 or MD 450, which runs parallel to U.S. 50 through Prince George's County.

The work includes repairing nearly three dozen 12-foot-by-12-foot concrete segments along eastbound U.S. 50. Sections of concrete have deteriorated, creating safety issues, state officials said.

Two lanes at a time will be closed as crews remove entire sections of the roadway and pour new concrete, according to the State Highway Administration. If you don't see people working and the lanes are blocked off, the roadway will be curing, which takes 24 hours, officials said.

Arlington County Fire Department
On Sunday New York City will present the department with a piece of steel from the World Trade Center to honor the department's service on 9/11. The presentation takes place at Fire Station No.5 and will cause road closures. South Hayes Street from South 15th Street to South Fern Street will be closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking will be restricted to the west side of South Hayes Street from South 15th Street to South 18th Street.

Feet in the Street
Fort Dupont Park will be closed to vehicles Saturday.

Walkers, runners, bikers and skaters will have the streets to themselves at the District's second annual Feet in the Street from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in Fort Dupont Park. The roads in the park, including Fort Davis and Fort Dupont drives SE, will be closed to vehicles and open to only foot traffic.

Restoring Honor Rally
This rally at the Lincoln Memorial headlined by Glenn Beck is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Saturday and to end by 1 p.m. D.C. police say the following roads will close from 8 a.m. to about 3 p.m.
-- 17th Street between Constitution Avenue and Independence Avenue SW.
-- Henry Beacon Drive NW
-- Daniel French Drive SW (beginning at 6 a.m.)
-- 23rd Street SW
-- Westbound Independence Avenue between 17th Street and 23rd Street SW
-- Maine Avenue split to westbound Independence Avenue (all traffic north to 15th Street)

Police say there may be other closures in the area, too, so don't be surprised if this affects roads that aren't on the list.

The D.C. Circulator bus won't have any Smithsonian service until 3 p.m. Saturday because of all the activity.

Reclaim the Dream March and Rally
This event sponsored by the National Action Network will begin Saturday at 11 a.m. at D.C.'s Dunbar High School, 1301 New Jersey Ave. NW. The march is scheduled to step off at 1 p.m. at North Street and New Jersey Avenue NW; proceeds west on N Street to south on 6th Street; then west on Constitution Avenue to 15th Street; south on 15th Street to Independence Avenue; west on Independence Avenue to the construction site for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial site, where participants will disband. D.C. police said rolling street closures will be in effect during the event, which is expected to end about 3 p.m.

Students Finding Solutions/Generations Next March & Rally
The march is scheduled to start at 8 a.m at Howard University; proceed south on Georgia Avenue to Seventh Street NW; east on Pennsylvania Avenue NW; then east on Constitution to the Taft Memorial on First Street NW. Expect rolling street closures. The event is expected to end at 2 p.m.

NOTE: Metro says passengers should expect rolling delays on the following bus routes beginning at 8 a.m.: 70, 71, 32, 36 and 96

MAP: Saturday's rallies


George Washington University Move-In Day
Saturday is the official move-in day for students, so expect Foggy Bottom to be inundated with young people and their parents. If you don't have to travel on the streets around the campus, the best plan is to just avoid the area.

If you do travel through the area, be alert for cars being unloaded and people slowly cruising the streets looking for buildings and parking spaces.

-- Compiled by The Post's Transportation team

By Michael Bolden  | August 29, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Blue Line, Congestion, Construction, Driving, Events, Green Line, Highways, Metro, National Mall, Red Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Construction causes I-66 E delays
Next: Va. DMV still unable to process licenses


So... basically we just need to stay home this weekend.

Posted by: tspack | August 27, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

A very minor nit regarding the list of closures around the Lincoln Memorial: The name of the street is Henry Bacon Drive, not Henry Beacon. (mmmmm.....bacon....)

Posted by: 1995hoo | August 27, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

OK, folks, help me out here. Next Monday, I need to get from an office building on Route 50 just outside the Beltway to NW DC during the EVENING RUSH HOUR. Should I (1) take the Beltway over the American Legion Bridge to Old Georgetown Road and then south into Bethesda, then south into the District on Wisconsin Ave OR (2) take Route 50 east to Glebe Road and then over Chain Bridge to the Palisades neighbor in NW DC (which is about 15-20 minutes from where I need to be, once I get into DC)? Which is the lesser of two bad alternatives? Or anybody know another alternative? Thanks in advance.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | August 27, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

WashingtonDame, I think US-50 to Glebe to Chain Bridge is way out of your way from that area. It would be much more direct to take either VA-123 directly to Chain Bridge or to take the Beltway to VA-193, which puts you into 123 at the CIA headquarters. If you want to take US-50 in towards the District, it might well be faster to go all the way to Key Bridge, depending on where you're going.

I haven't driven on the Beltway during rush hour through that area in a while, but when I worked in McLean (and lived in Fairfax near Woodson High School) my experience was that the backup on the Beltway was on the Outer Loop heading from Tysons to I-66. The Inner Loop between US-50 and Tysons never looked too bad, although I know it often slowed at the Legion Bridge due to zig-zagging traffic entering from the GW Parkway and exiting for the Clara Barton Parkway. Of course, all the construction on the Beltway may have changed this. My gut tells me that the Beltway to 123 to Chain Bridge is your best bet, assuming of course that there are no accidents to mess it up. Just remember that during the evening rush hour you will be forced to turn left onto Arizona Avenue because Canal Road is one-way outbound from that light to Georgetown.

Posted by: 1995hoo | August 27, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I should clarify: My last comment assumes that by "next Monday" you mean August 30 and not September 6. If you meant September 6, then just take the Beltway. That day is a holiday.

Posted by: 1995hoo | August 27, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for your advice, 1995hoo. Your suggestions make a lot of sense to me. Yes, I mean next Monday 8/30. Thanks again!

Posted by: WashingtonDame | August 27, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

WashingtonDame, I disagree with 1995hoo. I frequently travel both directions of the beltway between 270 and 66, in the evening rush, they are both disasters. The construction has increased already existing back-ups relating to people who have no idea how to cross a bridge or how to properly exit for the toll road west. Whatever route you choose, spend the least amount of time on the beltway you can in this area.

Posted by: kp_nova | August 27, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

What day is the closure related to the Arlington fire department -- Saturday or Sunday?

Posted by: TootSweets- | August 27, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the omission, TootSweets. It is Sunday. We will update the post.

Michael Bolden
Development &
Transportation Editor

Posted by: Michael Bolden | August 27, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm still confused about the Rte 50 East construction. No one is clarifying what lanes will be closed... I am leaving the city at about 3am. Are the backups going to be "massive" then? I need a more comprehensive explanation!

Posted by: sigmagrrl | August 27, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Makes you wish we had 2 feet of snow on the ground again.

Posted by: lipschitzantwon | August 27, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Sigmagrrl, there will be double-lane closures, according to the Maryland State Highway Administration. They are going to be removing entire sections of the roadway and pouring new concrete, which will require 24 hours to set; if you don't see work going on, the lanes may be curing. Travel at 3 am. will probably be one of the better times this weekend simply because of the reduced volume.

Michael Bolden
Development &
Transportation Editor

Posted by: Michael Bolden | August 27, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

kp-nova, thanks for your input. I was specifically worried about the Tysons Corner area of the Beltway. Not that 50 is any picnic, either. Oh, well, I'll charge up the iPod and listen to some new music while I sit in traffic.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | August 27, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Any thoughts about 50 East on Sunday a.m.? What a way to start a vacation! May just shorten by a day and leave Monday after rush hour, if there is an after rush hour.

Posted by: summerlover | August 27, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

WashingtonDame, I noted in my prior post that I hadn't been on the Beltway in the Tysons area during rush hour for several years. On Friday night I passed under the Beltway on VA-123 at around 5:50 PM and the Inner Loop was at a standstill heading towards Maryland. Based on that, I have a revised suggestion for you because you said you're coming from Gallows and US-50 (I'm guessing either the ExxonMobil office park or one of those buildings diagonally across from Yorktowne Centre):

Take Gallows towards Tysons and continue across VA-7 (it becomes International Drive at this point). Make a right onto VA-123 at the light after you pass the Crate & Barrel store on your left. Then just follow 123 all the way to where it ends and make a left onto Chain Bridge.

Gallows has generally moved pretty well over the years with the exception of often being a bit slow between US-50 and US-29. But that's a very short stretch.

Posted by: 1995hoo | August 29, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

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