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Rallies, roadwork and rail delays

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

The weekend and beyond

After this week's super soaking, the weekend should look pretty good to travelers, with partial sunshine and mild temperatures. An usually large number of events are scheduled for the National Mall. St. Michael's hosts a nautical crowd for the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival on Saturday, while foodies will visit the Taste of Bethesda.

Baseball has left D.C. for the year, but the Orioles will be finishing the season at Camden Yards. At 12:30 p.m. Sunday, the Capitals play in the Verizon Center. Here's my list of the likely sources for crowds and delays this weekend and beyond.

One Nation rally
Metrorail is scheduled to open at 6 a.m. Saturday to accommodate people heading for the One Nation rally and march on the National Mall. The rally for civil and human rights is scheduled for the Lincoln Memorial. The event site will open at 6 a.m. Saturday, with a "pre-program" at 11 a.m., the organizers say. The official program is set for noon to 4 p.m.

The closest Metrorail stops are Smithsonian and Foggy Bottom on the Orange and Blue lines, and Arlington Cemetery on the Blue Line. (I'd pick Foggy Bottom as the easiest walk, but Arlington Cemetery for scenery, since you get to walk across the Memorial Bridge with its views of the Potomac River and the Lincoln Memorial.)

Metro will operate extra Blue Line trains between 7 and 11 a.m. and again from 4 to 8 p.m. Metro and the organizers are expecting big crowds on all the lines, though the largest probably will be on the Blue Line inbound from the Largo Town Center, Stadium-Armory and Pentagon stations.

People who are up for a longer walk to and from the trains also could use the stations at Metro Center, Gallery Place, L'Enfant Plaza, Archives and Federal Triangle. Parking at the lots and garages operated by Metro is free on weekends.

Transit users heading for weekend events in the D.C. area should check the schedule for Metrorail delays below. Drivers, look for crowding on the streets bordering the National Mall. The Memorial Bridge will be closed to vehicles from about 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Don't drive in the Lincoln Memorial area. There's no event parking. The streets surrounding Lincoln Memorial Circle will be closed, as will Independence Avenue NW west of 15th Street and East Basin Drive, near the Tidal Basin, and 17th Street in the Mall area south of Constitution Avenue. See a map of street closings.

AIDS Walk Washington
This 5K fund-raising walk is scheduled for 8:15 to 11 a.m. Saturday. It begins and ends at Freedom Plaza and Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 13th and 14th streets NW. That area will be closed to traffic from 3 a.m. to about 2 p.m. Police will set up rolling street closures along the route, down Pennsylvania Avenue, Third Street and Independence Avenue. See a route map here.

The closest Metro stations are Federal Triangle on the Blue and Orange lines and Metro Center on the Blue, Orange and Red lines.

National Memory Walk
The walk to end Alzheimer's disease is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. It begins at Nationals Park. Half Street SE between M and N streets and N Street SE between South Capitol and First streets will be closed from 4 a.m. to about 3 p.m.

Leonard "Bud" Doggett Dedication of Engine 16
The dedication ceremony, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, will close 13th Street NW between K and L streets from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Turkish Festival
The festival, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, will close Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 13th and 14th streets, and 13th Street NW between Pennsylvania Avenue and E Street from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Metro weekend delays
Red Line: The continuing platform repairs at Rockville will require trains to share a track around the work zone this weekend. 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 Sunday.

Repairs also continue on the elevated tracks near Rhode Island Avenue. Riders between New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue should add at least 20 minutes to their travel time from 10 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing Sunday.

Yellow/Green lines: Workers will be replacing a track switch and installing new rails near Mount Vernon Square. Riders between Mount Vernon Square and U Street should add at least half an hour to their travel time from 10 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing Sunday.

Beltway HOT lanes
The Capital Beltway inner loop exit ramp to westbound Braddock Road is scheduled to close from 9:30 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday for storm drain installation, part of the High Occupancy Toll lane construction project.

Detour: Continue on the inner loop (I-495 north) to Exit 52A for the westbound Little River Turnpike, cross over the Beltway and follow signs back to southbound I-495 to Exit 54A, westbound Braddock Road.

Drivers on the inner loop may encounter congestion at peak periods when approaching the Braddock Road interchange.

Tysons road work
The Dulles Metrorail project recently changed the way drivers get from southbound
Route 123 to westbound Route 7 by routing traffic on to Frontage Road, which runs parallel to Route 123 north of Route 7.

The project is going to do some overnight work on the new exit to Frontage Road from Sunday through Thursday. Frontage Road will be close from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each of those nights. But the work will be phased to ensure that businesses that would be open late remain accessible.

Chain Bridge
The contractor working on the rehabilitation of Chain Bridge decided that this weekend's work under the bridge will not require the closing of the bridge to traffic. But there are closings scheduled for two upcoming weekends. The first is planned for 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, through 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 11. The second is scheduled for the following weekend, Oct. 15-17, at the same hours.

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 from Sunday 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.

By Robert Thomson  | October 2, 2010; 5:45 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories, Events, Metro, Weekend Work  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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