The week ahead in traffic, transit
After this morning's brief encounter with winter weather, there's not much chance of bad travel weather for the rest of this week, though the temperatures will stay cold. Watch for continued crowding around the malls and the holiday light shows. Construction work that involves paving has slowed down a lot, but project managers still are looking for opportunities to complete some of these jobs. Meanwhile, Metro has plans for work on the Green and Red lines.
From today through the end of the month, Metro will be doing midday work on the Green Line. While trains will be sharing one track to get around the work zone between Branch Avenue and Naylor Road, this should not cause any delays, because of the normal gaps between trains at midday. The work is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Eastbound Dulles Connector
The eastbound Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) from I-495 to Route 123 will be closed nightly from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Friday. The construction is for the Dulles Metro line.
All traffic will be detoured onto southbound I-495 (Capital Beltway outer loop), then to northbound Route 123 (exit 19A). After turning left onto northbound Route 123, follow Route 123 to rejoin the eastbound Connector Road.
Red Line repairs
Metro recently completed repairs to the Rockville platform and is about to launch a similar effort at Shady Grove. These projects are part of the long-term rehabilitation program on the Red Line, an effort that will continue through 2013.
The Shady Grove work is scheduled to begin Friday. Because the station is at the end of the line, the work pattern will be different than it was at Rockville. The transit authority says the Shady Grove repairs will be done around the clock, with one side of the platform closed. That means it probably will take passengers longer to board trains and clear the platform, particularly at rush periods.
Metro is timing the work to start during the holiday period, when ridership tends to drop a bit, but this is still going to be difficult for riders at the station.
Workers will replace deteriorated sections of the platform edges with new concrete, an effort that should extend through January. During the spring, workers will replace the platform tiles with a new surface.
The recent cold weather slowed down paving and stripe painting, so the new ramp from Interstate 95 south to the Fairfax County Parkway is no longer scheduled to open on Dec. 18, as originally scheduled. Stand by for a new date, as weather permits.
Another speed camera
The Maryland State Highway Administration has added one more speed camera zone and taken one away. The state places these cameras in highway work zones under a law passed in 2009.
The new camera zone is on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, just south of Interstate 695 (the Baltimore Beltway) in Anne Arundel County, where the speed limit is 55 mph. Until Dec. 29, the owners of vehicles that go at least 12 mph over the 55 mph speed limit will get warning notices. After that, it's a $40 fine.
The state recently removed the camera zone that had been in effect at Route 15 and Hayward Road on the north side of Frederick, because the construction is done.
The other active locations for work zone cameras are the Intercounty Connector construction area on I-95 between Routes 198 and 212, the Baltimore Beltway at Charles Street, the Baltimore Beltway at Liberty Road and the I-95 Electronic Toll Lane project in Baltimore County.
The lane closures around the Capital Beltway's Telegraph Road interchange were done so that the Wilson Bridge construction project could shift lanes from the old path of the inner loop to a new configuration. This is part of the widening of the Beltway in that area.
As a result of this new configuration, which drops the LOCAL inner loop down to one lane before southbound Telegraph Road, project managers expect there may be worse congestion during the evening rush on the LOCAL side just before the Telegraph Road exits. Drivers are likely to experience that extra congestion through spring or early summer of 2012.
The lane configuration at that point is affected by the location of the Metro bridge pier. There's only room left for one LOCAL lane, but no room for an exit-only lane to southbound Telegraph Road. Past the second of the new flyover ramps, the roadway widens sufficiently to add a standard deceleration lane for the southbound Telegraph traffic.
Join me at noon today, and we can chat online about any of these issues and your other traffic and transit concerns during the holiday season. Here's a link to the chat, where you can submit questions or comments now.
| December 13, 2010; 6:05 PM ET
Categories: Commuting, Congestion, Construction, Driving, Metro, Transit | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead
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