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The week ahead for traffic, transit

Construction updates | Travel tips l Capital Weather Gang

Travelers will want umbrellas and jackets as this week starts off, but the weather in the D.C. area will get more pleasant as the week develops. There will be many interesting challenges for drivers and transit users. See the highlights here.

Slug pick-up area changing
The Web site, an important source of information for carpoolers, is reporting several developments this month.

The District Department of Transportation will be testing a new location for vehicles to stop and pick-up passengers starting Wednesday. In this test, the slug location at 14th Street between H Street and New York Avenue will move one block west to 15th Street between H Street and New York Avenue.

At the new spot, drivers can pick up passengers 3:30 to 6 p.m. Personnel from the transportation department will be there Wednesday to help out. Meanwhile, at the old spot, police, the Department of Public Works and the transportation department will bar drivers from stopping, standing or parking. They will be issuing tickets to violators.

Call the District Department of Transportation at 202-671-0682 or go to for more information.

On Oct. 19, a new slug line will create a carpooling link between Woodbridge and Alexandria. Drivers will be able to pickup slugs at the new Woodbridge VRE Kiss-and-Ride area on Route 1 between 6:45 and 8:30 a.m., then take I-95 to the Capital Beltway and go directly to either the Eisenhower Avenue or King Street Metro stations.

The return line between 4 and 5 p.m. will be at the Alexandria VRE station. If you can't find a ride home there, board a VRE train to Woodbridge.

Douglass Bridge
The repair program on the Frederick Douglass Bridge, which takes South Capitol Street over the Anacostia River, is done, the District Department of Transportation says. The load restrictions put in place for the repair work have been removed and the bridge is open to all traffic including trucks and buses over 10 tons.

The maintenance program, started in 2007, is designed to extend the life of the bridge, but it probably will have to be replaced during the next decade.

Tysons road work
Drivers heading from southbound Route 123 to westbound Route 7 in Tysons Corner should be cautious using the new ramp on Frontage Road, where they encounter two way traffic before reaching the stop sign at Route 7.

Also, the Dulles Metrorail project is doing some overnight work on the new exit through Thursday night. Frontage Road will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night. The work will be phased to ensure that businesses that would be open late remain accessible.

Intercounty Connector paving
The Maryland State Highway Administration says workers will pave lanes of the unfinished Intercounty Connector between Shady Grove Road and I-370 each night through Thursday, weather permitting. Work hours will be 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. each night. This western portion of the highway is scheduled to open late this year or early next.

Bay Bridge schedule
The Maryland Transportation Authority announced this schedule for lane closings on the bridge.

-- One lane of the eastbound span will be closed Monday through Thursday from
9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for preservation/maintenance work or routine annual inspections.

-- During single-lane closures on the eastbound span, two-way traffic will operate on
the westbound span. Toll lanes 1 through 5, on the left side of the toll plaza, will be directed into contra-flow traffic on the westbound span. Motorists wishing to use an E-ZPass Only lane to access the eastbound span should use toll lanes 9 or 6.

-- The westbound span will be closed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Wednesday nights and from 10 p.m .Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday for maintenance. Two-way traffic will operate on the eastbound span.

Ohio Drive reconstruction
The current phase of the project, Phase III, is scheduled to be done around the middle of the month. It includes replacement of all drainage, curbs and sidewalks. The sub-base of the roadway is under repair.

When Phase IV begins, it's scheduled to last about two weeks. To start, work will focus on the center of the roadway. Jersey barriers will create an island, where construction will take place. After that work in the middle, all surfaces will be repaved at night, during a complete closing of the roadway. If all that goes as scheduled, the project will be done around the end of October.

Meanwhile, morning rush hour traffic will remain inbound only. During the afternoon rush, Ohio Drive will be two lanes outbound only. There may be full closings of the roadway from 7 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. nightly.

I-66 lanes to close overnight
Construction of the Dulles Metrorail extension is scheduled to close the westbound lanes of Interstate 66 at the Dulles Connector Road overnight Monday. The closing is scheduled to start at midnight and end by 5 a.m.

The shutdown will clear room for construction crews to continue building the large concrete structures that will straddle the road between piers. These structures, called "straddle bents," will support the new rail line near its merge point with the Orange Line.

Through traffic will be detoured onto the westbound Dulles Connector Road, then to Route 123 south toward Tysons Corner, to a right turn onto the ramp to the Capital Beltway's outer loop, toward Richmond. Drivers can then rejoin I-66 from the Beltway.

Beltway traffic shift
The High Occupancy Toll lanes project is scheduled to shift the four lanes of the Capital Beltway's outer loop to the right, onto a new bridge over Route 50, on Wednesday night. Watch for some overnight lane closings before the shift while crews put down pavement markings and set up the new tie-in for traffic.

Next weekend . . .

Metro's Columbus Weekend disruption
The Blue and Orange lines will each be split in two sections from 10 p.m., Friday through the midnight closing on Monday, Columbus Day. During that time, Blue Line trains will operate between Franconia-Springfield and Foggy Bottom, and also between Largo Town Center and Federal Triangle. Orange Line trains will operate between Vienna and Foggy Bottom, and also between New Carrollton and Federal Triangle. Service on Oct. 12, should be normal.

During the disruption, Metro will operate free shuttle buses to bridge the gap between the lines. Metro estimates Orange and Blue Line riders should add an extra 40 minutes to their normal travel times. That may be optimistic during peak periods on Columbus Day. Many people would be better off avoiding the bus bridge. Walking might be faster.

See more details about the Metrorail shutdown on our Commuter page.

Transit riders also will encounter this work, scheduled for the weekend.

Red Line: Next weekend, Metro will continue the much-needed repairs to the platform at Rockville. Trains in both directions will be sharing a track around the work zone. So riders between Shady Grove and Twinbrook should add at least a half hour to their travel time from 8 p.m. Friday through the rail system's midnight closing on Oct. 11.

Yellow Line: Transit workers also will be doing some landscaping repairs at Huntington Station. Riders between the Huntington and Braddock Road stations should add at least half an hour to their travel time from 10 p.m. Friday through closing time Oct. 11.

Chain Bridge closings
The bridge over the Potomac River is scheduled to close over each of the next two weekends. The first closing is planned for 8 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday, Columbus Day. The second is scheduled for Oct. 15-17, at the same hours.

Fairfax Connector changes
The Fairfax Connector bus system will change some routes and schedules in Mount Vernon, Reston and Tysons Corner starting Oct. 10. The routes affected are 151, 152, 574 and RIBS 5. A new route, numbered 159, will be created.

The new route will provide service in the rush hour direction between the Engleside neighborhood, Richmond Highway and the Huntington Metro station. The schedule for Routes 151 and 152 will be modified to reflect the realities of travel times and to improve the accuracy of the schedule. Route 151 will operate primarily on the west side of Richmond Highway, while Route 152 will operate primarily on the east side.

Route 574 has schedule problems because of the construction and traffic delays in Tysons Corner. So the route will be truncated. Service between Tysons West Park and Tysons Corner Center will be eliminated. On RIBS 5, the scheduled time between buses will be widened to 35 to 45 minutes to more accurately reflect the run times.

The new route maps and schedules are on the Fairfax Connector's Web site, at

By Robert Thomson  | October 4, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Next: Have any questions for Dr. Gridlock?


Any idea of when the traffic lines will be painted on Lynn St. in Rosslyn (between Rt 50 and a block before the exit to 66)? The black top has been down for nearly 3 weeks.

Posted by: Redial1 | October 4, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

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