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Posted at 5:50 AM ET, 01/18/2011

Icy roads slowing A.M. commute

By Mark Berman
Mark Berman

Capital Weather Gang | Report power outages and road conditions | Snow removal info

10:05 A.M. UPDATE:

In Maryland:

- The eastbound lanes on I-70 are still blocked before Ridge Road/MD 27.

- An accident on MD 295 South at Riverdale Road could cause some problems.

In Virgina:

- I-66 East is slow as you approach the Beltway.

- The inner loop is sluggish as you approach I-66.

In the District:

Traffic signals are reportedly flashing at Massachusetts Avenue and Observatory Circle NW, Minnesota Avenue and Ely Place SE, 1st and C streets NE, Benning Road and C Street SE and S. Capitol and Eye streets. The signal is also reportedly out at Massachusetts Avenue and Garfield Street in NW.

9:54 A.M. UPDATE:

The accident on the outer loop after University Boulevard has been cleared.

9:46 A.M. UPDATE:

Traffic signals are also flashing at Massachusetts Avenue and Observatory Circle in NW DC.

9:44 A.M. UPDATE:

Also, the right lane of I-395 North has reopened at the 14th Street Bridge. The disabled vehicle has been cleared.

9:42 A.M. UPDATE:

The accident on the outer loop after University Boulevard is blocking the right on-ramp.

Meanwhile, the accident on I-270 North at W. Montgomery Avenue has been cleared up.

9:22 A.M. UPDATE:

A disabled vehicle on I-395 North at the 14th Street Bridge is blocking the right lane.

There's an accident on I-270 North at W. Montgomery Avenue blocking two northbound lanes.

An accident on the outer loop after University Boulevard could slow traffic.

Another traffic signal is reportedly out in the District, this one at Massachusetts Avenue and Garfield Street in Northwest.


The overnight snow and sleet that gave the entire region a fresh coat of ice continues to cause headaches for morning commuters. Major roadways are largely salted and clear, but there's still precipitation and frost on the ground in many spots, leading to delays and some accidents throughout the area. Side roads and sidewalks are bound to be treacherous, with the ice having several hours to settle before people are heading out.

With two-hour delays for the federal government as well as many area schools, plenty of commuters are hitting the road right now for the first time today. Work from home if you can. Expect delays and tread with caution, whether you're driving to the office or walking to a bus or Metro stop.

8:47 A.M. UPDATE:

The I-66 West lanes have reopened at U.S. 50/Lee Jackson Highway.

The I-95 North lane has also reopened at Powder Mill Road.

8:32 A.M. UPDATE:

Debris on I-95 North at Powder Mill Road is blocking the right lane and one of the shoulders.

8:20 A.M. UPDATE:

The eastbound lanes on I-70 are blocked before Ridge Road/MD 27.

Traffic is slow on the outer loop from New Hampshire Avenue to Georgia Avenue.

8:10 A.M. UPDATE:

A tractor trailer accident on I-66 West at U.S. 50/Lee Jackson Highway is blocking the left lane, left center lane and right center lane. With traffic inching by on the right, expect big delays.

Ridge Road has reopened at Tune Avenue in Damascus. Ditto southbound MD 210 at Farmington Road.


Firefighters are investigating a burning insulator at the Tenleytown Metro station. Expect traffic problems near Wisconsin Avenue and Albermale Street in Northwest.

7:38 A.M. UPDATE:

Add this to the list of traffic signals flashing in the District: New York and Montana avenues in Northeast.

7:35 A.M. UPDATE:

The debris on the road is now blocking southbound MD 210 at Farmington Road.

7:22 A.M. UPDATE:

There's bamboo on the roadway on Dalcarlia Parkway in Northwest Washington between Loghboro and Westmoreland Circle, according to the District Department of Transportation. Ice caused the bamboo to bend to the point that it was restricting the roadway, so they are working on clearing it now.

7:18 A.M. UPDATE:

There's debris on the road on MD 210 South at Farmington Road.

An accident on the Prince William Parkway is blocking the eastbound right lane near the ramp to I-95 North.

Meanwhile, the District Department of Transportation reports traffic signals could be flashing at the following intersection:
-- 18th & Q Streets NW
-- 7th & Eye Streets NW
-- New Hampshire Avenue, 7th & Shepherd Streets NW
-- East Tidal Basin Drive & Raoul Wallenberg Place SW
-- 9th & E Streets & NW
-- 21st, Eye Street & Pennsylvania Avenue NW
-- Wisconsin Avenue & Garfield Street NW

6:57 A.M. UPDATE:

An accident on I-66 West at U.S. 50/Lee Jackson Memorial Highway is blocking the left lane and one of the shoulders.

6:35 A.M. UPDATE:

I-270 is very, very slow heading south from MD 109 to MD 121, from Father Hurley Boulevard to Clopper Road and from Falls Road to the Lane divide.

Ridge Road remains closed at Tune Avenue due to emergency utility work.

6:27 A.M. UPDATE:

Weather-related debris could snarl traffic around Indian Head Highway/MD 210 and Livingston Road/MD 373 in Accokeek.

6:20 A.M. UPDATE:

The accident on I-95 South just to the south of the Springfield Interchange still might snarl traffic in that area.

I-66 East is pretty backed up at Nutley Street. Expect the icy conditions to exacerbate any routine delays like this one.

Ridge Road/MD 27 is still blocked in both directions at Tune Road in Damascus.

The outer loop accident at Branch Avenue could still cause problems, while the inner loop accident at the I-270 spur has been cleared up.

The southbound lane of MD 210 has reopened at I-295.


With snow, ice and rain hitting the area overnight, the region's roads are not going to be enjoyable this morning. The Capital Weather Gang estimates that icy road conditions in the District and to the north and west won't improve until at least 8 or 9 a.m. The slippery and icy conditions could significantly slow down the morning commute.

Check back here throughout the morning for updates on road conditions and what to expect out there. If you see any particularly bad conditions, let us know in the comments, e-mail us (transportation [at] washpost [dot] com) or tweet us @DrGridlock.

-- An accident on I-95 South just to the south of the Springfield Interchange could snarl traffic in that area.

-- Ridge Road/MD 27 is blocked in both directions at Tune Road in Damascus.

-- An accident is blocking one southbound lane on MD 210 at I-295.

-- There's an accident on the outer loop at Branch Avenue that could cause problems, as well as on the inner loop at the I-270 spur.

Federal workers are already getting a two-hour delay. Area schools are either delayed or closed due to the conditions:

- In the District, public schools will open two hours late Tuesday because of icy conditions. Catholic University will open two hours late.

- In Maryland, Montgomery, Howard and Charles County public schools will be closed. Prince George's County schools will open two hours late.

- In Virginia, Fairfax, Alexandria, Loudoun, Fauquier, Prince William, Stafford and Spotsylvania County schools will be closed. Arlington County schools will open two hours late.

By Mark Berman  | January 18, 2011; 5:50 AM ET
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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Next: The week ahead in traffic, transit


This is a good time to remind people that if you are uncomfortable driving in these conditions to STAY TO THE RIGHT on highways and major roads. I drove in to work, a 30+ mile commute, almost 2 hours ago. An amazing number of people were determined to do 40 in the left lanes even though everyone to the right of them was easily doing 50s or more. As a result there were a lot of people trying to swerve around the slow people on the left creating more hazardous conditions than were necessary. The left lanes are for passing, right lanes are the slow lanes. Driving the opposite way helps no one.

And clear your cars off! It is bad enough when you get hit with flying snow from poorly cleared cars. This ice is far mroe dangerous and cause serious damage to cars. I was hit with a huge chunk (roof size) on my way in this morning. Just waiting for the sun to be up enough to see just how bad the damage was. It is not only dangerous to your fellow drivers but also illegal not to properly clear you car. Please respect those on the road with you. Not clearing off your car may not cause you any problem but could cause serious injury to others on the road with you.

Posted by: McCarthy911 | January 18, 2011 7:00 AM | Report abuse

The Red Line sucks. Again.

Posted by: bs2004 | January 18, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Once I got off my icy side street onto Connecticut Ave, it was pretty smooth sailing, although there was a two-car accident on Connecticut a few blocks north of the Van Ness Metro station that was causing s/b delays (both cars looked completely totaled). However, ice flying off of car roofs and hoods was a MAJOR problem! A MPD cruiser just drove right by when a ice sheet flew off of car and hit the car in front of me. Was today a "no enforcement" day? Shesh.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | January 18, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Every day is a "no enforcement" day.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 18, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

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