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Code red for Metro this weekend

The weekend and beyond

If you're headed out of town--or having friends or relatives come in--early for a long Labor Day weekend, here are some things you should know.

The big news this weekend is the work Metro has planned on the eastern end of the Red Line for one of the biggest maintenance projects in the history of the transit system.

Metro's rocky ride

USER PHOTOS: Share pictures of your experiences on Metro trains and buses.

TIMELINE: Take a look back at mishaps and tragedies in the system since 2009.

Starting Friday at 10 p.m., the Takoma, Silver Spring, Forest Glen, Wheaton and Glenmont stations will be closed until normal service resumes Tuesday at 5 a.m.

During the time the stations are closed, Metro will operate free shuttle buses to all stations between Fort Totten and Glenmont. Metro estimates that anyone traveling through the work zone should add 40 minutes to their trips. Metro's trip planner feature will not reflect the time changes caused by the track work, officials said.

Here are some of the schedule adjustments:

-- During the day, all Red Line trains will operate approximately every six minutes Saturday and about every seven to eight minutes Sunday and Monday. After 9:30 p.m. from Friday to Monday, all Red Line trains will operate approximately every 15 minutes.

-- The last Shady Grove-bound Red Line train through the work area will be scheduled to depart the Glenmont Metrorail station at 9:35 p.m., Wheaton at 9:38 p.m., Forest Glen at 9:41 p.m., Silver Spring at 9:44 p.m., Takoma at 9:47 p.m. and Fort Totten at 9:49 p.m., and to arrive at the Shady Grove Metrorail station at 10:38 p.m.

-- In order for Shady Grove-bound Red Line trains to make their final connections for the Blue, Orange, Yellow and Green lines, the last train will depart the Fort Totten Metrorail station at 2:51 a.m. Friday (early Saturday morning) and Saturday (early Sunday morning); 11:51 p.m. Sunday; and 12:51 a.m. Tuesday.

-- On Monday, the Metrorail system will close one hour later than usual to support fans attending the Virginia Tech vs. Boise State University football game at FedEx Field. The rail system will close at 1 a.m. Tuesday. The last train departing the Largo Town Center Metrorail station will be at 12:24 a.m., and the last train to leave Morgan Boulevard will depart at 12:27 a.m., after the game.

Metro is replacing track switches, installing track fasteners, crossties and new track as part of safety improvements recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Other work will include putting in new safety lights, repairing water leaks in tunnels, and laying 2,400 feet of fiber optic cables in order to upgrade cellphone access in the system.

Historic Red Line repairs (map and bus alternatives)

Chesapeake Bay Bridge

If you're hoping for a beach getaway this weekend in the waning days of summer, the best times to drive across the bridge are generally early in the morning or late at night. Here are some of the best times, according to state officials. Inclement weather due to Hurricane Earl could change this dramatically.

-- 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 and 11 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
-- Monday before 11 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

You can also find out just how bad things are before you go:
-- Call 1-877-229-7726 for the latest traffic conditions.
-- Check out the live Web cams from the bridge.

Washington Nationals vs. New York Mets
The Nats return from the road to take on the New York Mets for a home stand that begins on Labor Day. The first game of the three-day series is Monday, with a first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Tuesday's game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and Wednesday's for 12:35 p.m. (which means that South Capitol Street traffic will really be tortuous as we head into the p.m. commute). Then Friday, the Nationals begin a three-games series with the Florida Marlins. Game times are scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Friday, 1:05 pm. Saturday, and 1:35 p.m. Sunday.

Here's some advice on getting to and from the ballpark.

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

Transit
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.

Biking
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.

Walking
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.)

Labor Day
The District is suspending suspend enforcement of parking meters, residential parking and rush-hour lane restrictions for the holiday. It also will suspend towing of abandoned vehicles.

Interstate 66
The Dulles Rail Project canceled closures planned Interstate 66 westbound at the Dulles Connector Road in Northern Virginia this week. Future overnight closings to accommodate construction of the Metrorail extension to Dulles International Airport are scheduled to resume Tuesday, depending on the weather.

Work crews are building large concrete structures that will straddle the highway and support the new Silver Line, which will extend Metro 23 miles to the airport and into Loudoun County. The first phase of the new line through Tysons Corner is expected to open in 2013.

MARC trains

In anticipation of heavier than normal mid-day travel Friday, September 3, Camden Line Train 852 (5:51pm Wash departure) will NOT operate. Instead, an earlier train will depart Washington at 2:00pm, making all stops to Camden.

Larger train sets will operate on the mid-day Penn Line trains to accommodate more passengers, and Brunswick Line Train 871 will operate as scheduled, with extra cars.

-- Compiled by The Post's Transportation team

By Michael Bolden  | September 3, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Construction, Highways, Maryland, Metro, Northern Virginia, Red Line, Weekend Work  
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Comments

Any information on the last Glenmont-bound train Friday night?

Posted by: DOEJN | September 2, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

@DOEJN:
The last Glenmont-bound Red Line train is scheduled to depart Shady Grove at 8:58 p.m., Fort Totten at 9:47 p.m., and arrive at Glenmont at 10:01 p.m.
The last Shady Grove-bound Red Line train will depart Glenmont at 9:35 p.m., Takoma at 9:47 p.m.arrive at Shady Grove at 10:38 p.m.

Luke Rosiak
Deputy Transportation & Development Editor

Posted by: Luke Rosiak | September 2, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks!

Posted by: DOEJN | September 2, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

How much is the 1 hour open late extension for a football game costing Metro?

Posted by: Greent | September 2, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Going to Virginia Tech-Boise on Monday but NOT on the rails. Rather than try to make that 12:27 train (for a national TV game that starts at 8 and is liable to go until nearly midnight before the 20-minute walk -- and if it goes OT, who knows) we're going to try the drive. Having sat on the last train of the night after a Redskins game, I already know how excruciating that can be.

Posted by: ValleyCaps | September 2, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice if Metro would put an equal effort on escalator repairs as they are on track maintenance. In addition to their normal escalator service problems, I have received two Metro alerts on my BlackBerry this week telling me that a station had to be closed during part of the morning rush hour because none of their escalators were functioning. This morning it was Dupont Circle that they couldn't open up first thing this morning, the other day it was Tenleytown.

This is unbelieveable. Aren't we supposed to be a technologically advanced nation? Weren't we the first nation to put a man on the moon? We can do that, but we can't keep escalators in our transit system working during the hours that those stations are open.

This isn't a new technology, the first escalator was invented in 1859, so it shouldn't be so hard to figure out how to keep these things running.

Posted by: laSerenissima2003 | September 3, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Transit/transportation team: do you have a link where I can get updates on the road and lane closures in Tysons Corner, especially for route 123? Thank you.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | September 3, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Why is Metro closing at 10 PM tonight, and not, say, closing time, or midnight?

Posted by: ianswank | September 3, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@ianswank--

Try re-reading the article.

Posted by: ceebee2 | September 3, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Metro should close every weekend until they can get a few of the escalators to work without breaking down within a day and figure out how to provide adequate service to rush hour---the actual purpose of the Metro system.

Posted by: jiji1 | September 3, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

ceebee2, I've known about the work since they announced it. My question is, why do they need to close the stations early. Does anyone actually think they're going to be doing work starting at 10:01 PM tonight? They probably don't start till tomorrow. Why not say "Stations will be closed from closing time on Friday to opening on Tuesday"?

Posted by: ianswank | September 3, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

My understanding is that the track work will be going on around the clock, starting at 10 tonight.

Posted by: DOEJN | September 3, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@ianswank--

Likely because they are starting tonight and NOT waiting until tomorrow.

Also re-read your first post. You said, "Why is Metro closing at 10 PM tonight, and not, say, closing time, or midnight?" My point in telling you to re-read the article was, nowhere in the article does it say that Metro is closing at 10. Only that certain stations are closing at 10. Now, you clarified your question in your second post, but if you read your first post I think you'll see where I was coming from.

Posted by: ceebee2 | September 3, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait for Tuesday. Got to be at a meeting downtown off the Red Line at 8 a.m. sharp. Given Metro's track record, we can expect nightmares on Tuesday, and every bit as bad when Congress returns the following Monday. Elevators, escalators, the Metro schedule, and of course the bonus experienced tonight, no air on the cars. Only one solution: The worse the service, the higher they raise our fares. You would think there would be reasonable tradeoff between price and service, but there never is on Metro. Well within the next decade I will retire, and I hope to visit DC and our history then as an old man. But I will never, ever ride Metro again once retired, period.

Posted by: faygokid | September 3, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

FYI, Verizon Center is hosting WWE Raw on Monday night. Gallery Place is going to get jammed around 11:15pm.

Posted by: kmcandrew | September 4, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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