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The week ahead for traffic, transit

Construction updates | Travel tips l Capital Weather Gang

Look for a great week to travel in the D.C. area, where there will be lots of sun and high temperatures in the 80s. Traffic congestion is rebounding from summertime lows now that students are back in school, and there are many road work projects moving into new phases. Here are some highlights.

14th Street Bridge
Drivers this week are getting used to a new traffic pattern at the inbound 14th Street Bridge. The action is on the left side, where motorists heading toward the bridge must merge, because the work zone has shifted to the far left lane. The bridge still has four travel lanes at peak periods. They're just in different places as the rehabilitation project advances.

The left exit lane, Exit 10C, to the Memorial Bridge is open, so drivers can exit before they reach the work zone. After the exit, the lane ends, and traffic needs to merge right.

Project managers recommend that drivers heading for the northbound span keep left if they will be exiting for the northbound George Washington Parkway on Exit 10C. If you're continuing to 14th Street, stay in the left and center lanes. Keep right if you're heading for the Southeast-Southwest Freeway.

Buses return to service
Metro says going to be using all 99 of its Orion VI diesel-powered buses today, now that temporary fixes have been made. The buses were pulled into the shop last week to repair their hydraulic pumps. A problem with a pump may have contributed to a fire that damaged an Orion VI on the Beltway last Thursday, the transit authority said.

In making the temporary fixes over the past few days, maintenance workers had to disable the automatic controls for the buses' wheelchair ramps, Metro said. Operators on those buses will extend the ramps manually when riders need to use them. Bus schedulers will assign the Orion VI buses to routes known to have low demand for wheelchair ramps, according to the transit authority. A permanent fix for the pump problem has been approved by safety officials, and the buses will be refitted.

Wilson Bridge openings
Two are scheduled for this week. The first will be Wednesday at 8 p.m.. The second will be at 8 a.m. Saturday. Each will last about 15 minutes.

Fairfax County Parkway
The Virginia Department of Transportation will make some traffic adjustments this week in preparation for opening the two-mile parkway extension that will provide direct access to Interstate 95.

Starting on Thursday evening, Rolling Road will close at Donegal Lane. Traffic will be shifted right onto Donegal and then back to Rolling Road, where it will run parallel to the parkway extension before heading off to the old Rolling Road path.

Motorists heading north from the Fullerton Road intersection, will follow Rolling Road through several shifts onto Donegal Lane, then shift to the right and back left onto Rolling Road. Northbound motorists will follow this route until Friday evening, when the northbound lanes of the new parkway section open. Southbound drivers on Rolling Road will follow this route until early on Sept. 21, when the southbound lanes of the parkway open.

Route 7/123 ramp
The Dulles Metrorail project has closed the ramp from westbound Leesburg Pike (Route 7) to southbound Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) for about four months. Detoured traffic will continue on westbound Route 7, then turn right on Westpark Drive, right on International Drive, then right again onto southbound Route 123.

Paving on Route 50
The Virginia Department of Transportation will close lanes overnights on Route 50 in Chantilly for milling and paving along a 1.8-mile section between Route 28 and Stringfellow Road. The work will take about four weeks to complete, VDOT says. Route 50 will be reduced to one lane in each direction from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights during the project.

Even though it's a night job, use caution during the day and expect delays on the milled surfaces.

By Robert Thomson  | September 13, 2010; 8:10 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Next: NTSB to hold child safety forum


Any idea why the Wilson Bridge is being opened? Something interesting coming in? Routine cycling of the mechanism?

Posted by: Glover78 | September 13, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

In today's Q&A you mentioned getting a Md. title for a car titled in another state. Can this be so? I can see getting Md. plates but I remember administering my Mother's estate in D. C. back in about 1989 and going to D. C.'s DMV, then down on D or E street. By the way, it was a hugely pleasant experience - when I got to the window, thinking I needed to have the car retitled in D. C. from Maryland where she originally lived and purchased the car, I began addressing the problem. The very nice lady behind the wicket cut me off sharply but pleasantly, and said "First, sir, good morning! Now what is it you need. " That sure caught me off guard! At any rate she said there was no need to re-title and no excise tax due. The original title was good until the car was sold, whether in Maryland, D. C., or elsewhere. Is that different in Md.?

Ed Snyder Bethesda

Posted by: ejsnyder | September 14, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

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