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Posted at 8:10 AM ET, 12/10/2010

The weekend and beyond

By Robert Thomson

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

Your weekend travel will be done in cold weather, with rain on Sunday, says the Capital Weather Gang. That won't stop people from checking out the many holiday light displays, including the one at the National Zoo or the lighted boat parade in Annapolis. Leesburg is holding its holiday parade on Saturday morning.

In this cold weather, there aren't a great number of work zones or big events to slow down travel, but there seem to be enough of them in strategic places to get in the way of your holiday outings. Here are some highlights.

Metro weekend work
Red Line: Riders between Shady Grove and Twinbrook should add at least half an hour to their travel time from 8 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing on Sunday. Workers will be installing new rail cross ties and repairing the platform at Rockville. This is a long-term project that is part of the rehabilitation program underway along the Red Line.

Riders between Silver Spring and Wheaton should add at least 20 minutes to their travel time from 10 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing Sunday. Workers will be replacing track switches at Forest Glen.

On Saturday and Sunday, trains will leave the ends of the line at Shady Grove and Glenmont about every 22 minutes. From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., a more frequent service will be offered in the more heavily traveled section of the line between Grosvenor and Silver Spring. In that area, trains will operate every 12 minutes.

Blue/Orange lines: Riders between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory should add at least 20 minutes to their travel time from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Workers will be welding new rails.

Blue Line: Riders between Braddock Road and Van Dorn Street should add at least half an hour to their travel time from 11 p.m. Friday through the closing on Sunday. Workers will be engaged in maintenance related to the Wilson Bridge project along the Capital Beltway. All Blue and Orange Line trains will operate about every 20 minutes this weekend.

There will be track work again next weekend, but not during the Christmas and New Year's weekends.

Beltway lane closings
The Woodrow Wilson Bridge project plans to narrow the Capital Beltway's inner loop from the Route 1 exit to just after Telegraph Road this weekend. The restriction is likely to create a lot of congestion, and it would be best to take another route between Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

At 9 p.m. Friday, one of the two THRU lanes and one of the two LOCAL lanes in the area will be closed, leaving one THRU and one LOCAL lane open. Also, the inner loop exit for Telegraph Road South and the Telegraph Road South ramp to the inner loop will close.

Also, the ramp from Telegraph Road North to the inner loop is set to close Friday night and remain closed for two weeks to allow work on an interchange bridge.

South Dakota Ave./Riggs Rd.
The District Department of Transportation, which has been rebuilding the intersection at South Dakota Avenue and Riggs Road in Fort Totten, is going to install a new traffic signal system there this weekend. The work will be done from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

At times during the work, the signals may need to go dark. Temporary signs and traffic control measures will be in place, and flaggers and safety personnel will be on the scene.

The intersection redesign, which is going to reduce the size of the junction and make it look more like a traditional intersection with safety enhancements, began in March and is scheduled to last a total of 16 months.

GW Parkway
Workers will continue closing lanes on the George Washington Parkway through the weekend, the National Park Service says. They are installing pavement markings from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, and then again starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The Saturday work will continue until the temperature drops so low that the marking can't be done. Then work will resume at 9 a.m. Saturday. The entire operation is scheduled to be over by 5 p.m. Sunday.

The lane closings will occur between the Capital Beltway and the Roosevelt Bridge. This is the last phase of a paving project in those areas. Drivers will find at least one lane open in each direction during the pavement marking.

H Street closings
The District is continuing a series of closings that are part of the reconstruction project along H Street NE. From 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Seventh Street NE will be closed between H and G streets to accommodate the installation of streetcar tracks at the intersection of Seventh and H.

Local access will be maintained for residents on Seventh Street. Eighth Street can serve as an alternative to Seventh Street.

Redskins at FedEx
The football game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers begins at 1 p.m. Sunday. The stadium parking lots open four hours before game time, but the main roads in the Landover area will be crowded, particularly around the Landover Road, Arena Drive and Central Avenue interchanges with the Capital Beltway. Best bet: Take Metro's Blue Line to the Morgan Boulevard Station. See our travel guide for FedEx Field.

Verizon Center games
The Wizards play the New York Knicks at 7 p.m. Friday. The Capitals play the Colorado Avalanche at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Georgetown Hoyas play Appalachian State at noon Sunday. The downtown streets around Verizon Center get crowded around game time. Watch for pedestrians, particularly at the H Street/Seventh Street intersection, where drivers are not allowed to make turns in any direction.

By Robert Thomson  | December 10, 2010; 8:10 AM ET
Categories:  Congestion, Construction, Driving, Metro, Transit, Weekend Work  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Next: K Street tunnel reopened


How much longer are these ridiculous Blue Line delays going to continue on weekends? Its absurd. Of course there will be no reduction in fare for the inconvenience of it now taking me over an hour to get to work. They always say it will be "about 20 minutes" between cars but every weekend so far thats been closer to 30. Fantastic job as always Metro.

Posted by: dcmidnight | December 10, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I guess no one predicted that wreath layings at Arlington Cemetery would cause absolute gridlock today at all approaches to the cemetery (GW Parkway, 110, and Memorial Bridge).

Posted by: jmichaelharris1959 | December 11, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I did not experience trains running every 12 minutes between Grosvenor and Silver Spring today. It was more like every 20 minutes.

Posted by: DOEJN | December 11, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

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