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The weekend and beyond

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

Yom Kippur begins at sundown Friday. The H Street NE Festival will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday between Eighth and 14th streets NE. Motorcyclists have gathered for an annual celebration in Ocean City.

Many travelers will be out enjoying the last weekend of summer, with daytime temperatures in the low 80s in the D.C. area. But there are quite a few shutdowns, delays and lane shifts between those travelers and their destinations.

Metrorail weekend delays
Red Line: Work continues the platform at Rockville. Riders between Shady Grove and Twinbrook should add at least 30 minutes to their normal travel times from 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, till midnight closing on Sunday, Sept. 19.

Green/Yellow lines: Riders between Mount Vernon Square and U Street should add at least 30 minutes to a trip from 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, till the midnight closing on Sunday, Sept. 19. Metro is working on a switch replacement and welding new rail outside the Mount Vernon Station.

On Saturday and Sunday, all Green and Yellow Line trains will operate about every 15 minutes from the ends of each line from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and about every 20 minutes after 9:30 p.m. Throughout the weekend, all Yellow Line trains will operate between Huntington and Fort Totten.

Change at Tysons intersection
Tonight, the Dulles Metrorail project will close one of the ramps at the very busy Chain Bridge Road/Leesburg Pike interchange in Tysons Corner for the rest of the year. The ramp that is closing now takes drivers from southbound Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) to westbound Leesburg Pike (Route 7). In addition to being a major commuter route, this ramp is heavily used by drivers heading west to Wolf Trap

The ramp will be replaced by a new exit in the same area. The key challenge for drivers heading south on Chain Bridge Road will be to pick up the new entrance point for the Leesburg Pike ramp as they pass International Drive and the Marriott Courtyard hotel. This will take them onto Frontage Road. That's an existing road that will now be accessible from Chain Bridge Road. Drivers who miss this new access ramp will have to continue south on Chain Bridge Road to a right turn on Old Courthouse Road, which becomes Gosnell Road and intersects with both directions of Leesburg Pike.

Friday night: Construction workers will begin closing the existing ramp at 11 p.m. The new access to Frontage Road will open by 9 a.m. Saturday and still open for about four months.

Wilson Bridge opening
The bridge is scheduled to open at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, for about 15 minutes.

Bridge trail closed Sunday
The hiker/biker trail across the Wilson Bridge and the Potomac River Waterfront Neighborhood Park in Oxon Hill will be closed from 6 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, for a marathon.

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.

D.C. bridge closings
Both the Douglass Bridge and the Chain Bridge will be closed this weekend as part of long-term repair programs. The Douglass Bridge, which takes South Capitol Street over the Anacostia River, is scheduled to close at 9 p.m. Friday and reopen by 5 a.m. Monday. The bridge sidewalks will remain open for pedestrians and bicyclists.The Chain Bridge over the Potomac River will close completely at 8 p.m. Friday and reopen by 5 a.m. Monday.

Emergency drill Saturday
On Saturday morning, expect to see lots of emergency vehicles around the George Washington Parkway near Reagan National Airport. Travelers may also observe smoke and fire on the south side of the airport, rescue boats in the Potomac River and helicopters near the airport.

This is a drill, set for 9 to 11 a.m. by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. It includes a river rescue exercise in which people participating in the exercise will be pulled from the Potomac. The drill also will include a simulated aircraft accident and response.

Dramatic as it sounds, the exercise does not include any planned effect on normal airport operations. Travel as you normally would. (The exercise site will not be open to the public.)

Interstate 70 work
Watch for double closings in the left lanes along westbound I-70 at West Watersville Road in Howard County from 3 to 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, while the Maryland State Highway Administration works on the bridge over the Interstate.

Route 50 lane closings
Watch for double closings of the left lanes along both eastbound and westbound Route 50 on Sunday, Sept. 19, from 5 a.m. to noon. The Maryland State Highway Administration is planning work on the Church Road bridge over Route 50.

Motorcycle traffic
Delmarva Bike Week continues through Sunday, Sept. 19, in Ocean City. Drivers heading to and from the Eastern Shore this weekend should pay extra attention for motorcycles, especially heading eastbound on Sunday.

Fort McHenry Tunnel
The northbound right tube of the Fort McHenry Tunnel on Interstate 95 in Baltimore will be closed temporarily for Sunday's Fort McHenry Tunnel 5K Run/Walk. Barriers will separate traffic from runners around the toll plaza. The tunnel will shut at about 7 p.m. Saturday and northbound traffic will be restricted to the other northbound tunnel, the one marked Bore 3. The right-most tunnel, Bore 4, is scheduled to reopen to traffic by noon Sunday.

VRE construction
Construction is scheduled to begin Monday on both platforms at the Fredericksburg Station. Once that happens, VRE says, trains will not open their doors onto areas of the platform that are under construction.

During the first phase of work, both ramps for people with disabilities are scheduled to be closed. Signs will direct riders with disabilities to the elevators. If it turns out that the elevator on the VRE side of the platform is out of service, the contractor will adjust the work schedule so the ramp remains open as needed, VRE says.

Route 29 paving
Watch for nightly lane closures and delays on Route 29 in Fairfax County. Workers are milling and paving on the four and a half miles between the Prince William County line and Pickwick Road. The job is scheduled to be done by Oct. 14.

Route 29 will be down to one lane each way from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights. The Virginia Department of Transportation is asking drivers to use extra caution this Sunday through Sept. 30 on southbound Route 29 from Pickwick Road to just north of the ramp to Interstate 66, the from Oct. 3 through Oct. 14 on the northbound side from just north of the ramp to I-66 to Pickwick Road.

By Robert Thomson  | September 17, 2010; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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