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Construction updates | D.C. area travel tips | Going Out Guide

The weekend and beyond
[This post has been updated]

Delightful weather will launch weekend activities on Friday and Saturday before rain moves into the D.C. area on Sunday. The Nationals are home this weekend, but the real traffic-generator will be the Redskins season opener on Sunday night. There are other events, including a Sunday morning triathlon and Adams Morgan Day, that will require street closings. Plus, some of our big construction projects have scheduled significant changes over the next week.

Nation's Triathlon
The annual Nation's Triathlon is scheduled to start at 7 a.m. Sunday. The event includes a swim in the Potomac, a bike ride through central Washington and a run near the National Mall ending by the Tidal Basin. The crowds and the street closings are likely to disrupt Sunday morning traffic along the Potomac and around the Mall. See a course map.

Parking for the event is very limited and Metro doesn't open until 7 a.m. Sundays, unless an event sponsor covers the cost of an early start. There are two shuttle bus operations to get athletes to the transition area.

The free buses will run from the Washington Hilton and from the Old Convention Center parking lot at 9th and I (Eye) streets NW to the transition area between 4:30 and 6:15 a.m. After the race, the shuttles will leave from the transition area, starting at about 2 p.m. Bikes are not allowed on the shuttles.

See a list of street closings for the triathlon.

Other D.C. events
Numerous activities in the District this weekend will have an impact on traffic. Here's a list from the D.C. police department.

Unite In Action March: The march begins on 4th Street NW at the National Mall at 11 a.m. Saturday and moves north on 4th Street, then west on Pennsylvania Avenue, west on Constitution Avenue, then south on 15th Street, disbanding on the Mall. The event is scheduled to continue until about 3 p.m. There will be rolling street closings along the way.

National Black Family Reunion: The annual event is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday on the National Mall between 7th and 14th streets NW. There are no street closings, but there will be many pedestrians on the streets in that area.

Freedom Works March: The march begins on 15th Street NW at the National Mall at noon Sunday and moves north on 15th Street, then east on Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol. The march should be completed by 2 p.m., but there also are several rallies planned during the day. Watch for rolling street closings along the route.

Adams Morgan Day: The festival will close 18th Street NW from Columbia Road to Florida Avenue starting at 4 a.m. Sunday. (The festival is noon to 7 p.m.) Side streets leading to 18th Street in Adams Morgan also will be closed to through traffic. There's likely to be lots of auto traffic and many pedestrians in the surrounding area.

Shiloh Baptist Church ground-breaking: The ceremony will close the 1500 block of 9th Street NW between P and Q streets from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Metro weekend delays
Track maintenance is scheduled for every line but the Orange Line.

Red Line: The restoration project continues at the Rockville platform. Riders between Shady Grove and Twinbrook should add at least half an hour to their normal travel time from 8 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing on Sunday.

Another long-term maintenance project on the elevated tracks outside Rhode Island Avenue also continues. Add 20 minutes to a trip between New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue from 10 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing Sunday.

On Saturday and Sunday, trains will leave Shady Grove and Glenmont about every 15 minutes. Passengers between Grosvenor and Florida Avenue should see trains about every eight or nine minutes.

Blue and Yellow lines: Add about half an hour between Pentagon City and Braddock Road from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Workers will be replacing old rail.

Blue Line trains will operate about every half hour between Franconia-Springfield and Largo Town Center. Yellow Line trains will operate about every half hour between Huntington and Mount Vernon Square.

Green Line: Add at least 20 minutes to a trip between Greenbelt and College Park from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Workers will be cutting weeds along the tracks.

14th Street Bridge
This weekend, the work zone will shift again, blocking the far-left lane by the bridge's north side. The new pattern should be in place by the Monday morning rush, but drivers will have four lanes open during the peak periods.

Between 10 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Monday, northbound drivers will find both the left center lane and the far left lane closed. Three lanes will be open to traffic.

When the morning rush begins, only the far left lane will be closed, and commuters will have four travel lanes. The left exit lane, Exit 10C, to the Memorial Bridge will be open so that drivers can exit before they reach the work zone. After the exit, the lane will end and traffic will need to merge right.

Route 7/123 ramp
The Dulles Metrorail project plans to close the ramp from westbound Leesburg Pike (Route 7) to southbound Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) for about four months. The closing is scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. Friday, Sept 10.

Detour: Traffic will continue on westbound Route 7, then turn right on Westpark Drive, right on International Drive, then right again onto southbound Route 123.

Football at FedEx
The Redskins start their regular season against the Cowboys at FedEx Field in Landover on Sunday night. Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. Our Commuter page (page B2 of the Sunday Metro section) will include a travelers' guide to FedEx. But the best advice for fans continues to be: Leave early. The parking lots will open at noon Sunday. Metrorail offers a good alternative to driving. The nearest station is at Morgan Boulevard on the Blue Line. From there, walk north for slightly less than a mile along a sidewalk, slightly uphill. Metrorail, which normally shuts at midnight on Sunday, will stay open late to get fans home.

There are three exits to the stadium from the Capital Beltway. Landover Road and Arena Drive are the most popular. Landover Road gets particularly crowded within two hours of a game. The southernmost of the three exits, at Central Avenue, tends to be the least crowded. But team officials suggest fans consider approaches that don't involve the three Beltway exits.

Here's one route a Northern Virginia driver could use: Take I-395N across the 14th Street Bridge and stay right for the Southwest-Southeast Freeway. Take the exit for Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Turn left onto Minnesota Avenue SE. Turn right onto B Street SE. Turn right to East Capitol Street, which becomes Central Avenue. Turn left onto Morgan Boulevard and drive north to the stadium. See more routes to the stadium.

The Redskins also provide mobile updates with stadium traffic alerts. Our traffic map provides regionwide alerts and traffic camera views.

Paving on Route 50
Starting Sunday, the Virginia Department of Transportation plans to close lanes 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.

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

Starting on Thursday evening, Sept. 16, 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, Sept. 17, when the northbound lanes of the new parkway section open. Southbound drivers on Rolling Road will follow this route until early Tuesday morning, Sept. 21, when the southbound lanes of the parkway open.

Once all the lanes of the new parkway section are open, the section of Rolling Road between Richfield Road and Chancellor Way will be closed for up to a year while crews build a bridge across the parkway for the new configuration of Rolling Road.

The new section of the parkway will be named the "Trooper Charles Mark Cosslett Memorial Highway," in honor of the Virginia state trooper killed in a motorcycle accident in 2002 while responding to one of the D.C. sniper shootings.

By Robert Thomson  | September 10, 2010; 10:35 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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