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Posted at 9:05 AM ET, 01/10/2011

The week ahead in traffic, transit

By Robert Thomson

Construction updates | Travel tips l Capital Weather Gang

Keep an eye on the Capital Weather Gang's snowcast for Tuesday, which could have an impact on several commutes this week. After that, the biggest obstacles to getting around in the D.C. area are likely to be Metro's plan for major maintenance over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend and the Wilson Bridge project lane closings at Telegraph Road.

Chain Bridge
The District Department of Transportation plans to close an inbound lane on Chain Bridge daily between 10 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. today through Friday. The lane closings are needed so that construction equipment used during the bridge rehabilitation can be removed. One lane will remain open in each direction for traffic crossing the bridge.

Maryland bridge checks
The Maryland State Highway Administration plans a series of routine bridge inspections this week that will close some highway lanes. Here's the schedule.
Monday: On I-70 over the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks in Frederick County, watch for a single right lane closing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tuesday: On westbound I-70 over Antietam Creek in Frederick County, watch for a right lane closure from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wednesday: At Bower Avenue over I-70 in Frederick County, watch for left and right lane closures from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Thursday: At westbound I-70 over Catoctin Creek in Frederick County, watch for a right lane closure from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Telegraph Road/Beltway
This weekend, construction related to the Wilson Bridge project will require the complete closure of northbound and southbound Telegraph Road, as well as several Capital Beltway ramps at the Telegraph Road interchange. This is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. Friday, and continue through 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 17.

A complete closing is necessary so that the old Beltway bridge over Telegraph Road can be demolished during a single weekend. Project managers strongly advise that travelers plan on using alternative routes while the work is underway.

Maryland bridge checks
The Maryland State Highway Administration plans a series of routine bridge inspections this week that will close some highway lanes. Here's the schedule.
Monday: On I-70 over the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks in Frederick County, watch for a single right lane closing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tuesday: On westbound I-70 over Antietam Creek in Frederick County, watch for a right lane closure from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wednesday: At Bower Avenue over I-70 in Frederick County, watch for left and right lane closures from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Thursday: At westbound I-70 over Catoctin Creek in Frederick County, watch for a right lane closure from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Telegraph Road/Beltway
This weekend, construction related to the Wilson Bridge project will require the complete closure of northbound and southbound Telegraph Road, as well as several Capital Beltway ramps at the Telegraph Road interchange. This is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. Friday, and continue through 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 17.

A complete closing is necessary so that the old Beltway bridge over Telegraph Road can be demolished during a single weekend. Project managers strongly advise that travelers plan on using alternative routes while the work is underway.

Metro's MLK weekend schedule
Here's a preview of the track work starting Friday night. More details appeared on Sunday's Commuter page in The Post.

Blue and Orange lines
No service between Rosslyn and Farragut West stations. Foggy Bottom will be the only station shut down. This will be in effect from 10 p.m. Friday through the rail system's midnight closing Monday, Jan. 17.

Virginia riders headed into the District should consider using the Yellow Line to avoid the track closure, then transfer to Blue and Orange Line trains at L'Enfant Plaza. Metro will operate extra Yellow Line trains between the Huntington and Mount Vernon Square stations between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Jan. 15 and 16, and from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 17.

If the Yellow Line dodge doesn't work, you can board one of Metro's free shuttle buses. They will operate between North Moore Street at the Rosslyn Station, 23rd Street at Foggy Bottom and 17th and 18th streets at Farragut West. If you have to close the train service gap via bus, build in an extra 40 minutes to your travel time.

That Rosslyn-Farragut West disruption, cutting the lines in two, is the big one for Orange and Blue Line riders, but not the only one that weekend. Trains will be sharing one track in two areas: Orange Line trains will share a track between West Falls Church and East Falls Church. Meanwhile, trains will share one track between Van Dorn Street and Braddock Road.

Red Line
Red Line trains will share a track between Friendship Heights and Van Ness, and also between New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue. The single-tracking in those areas will make room for more work on several of Metro's long-term rehab efforts on the line. Add 20 minutes to your regular travel time.

On the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of MLK weekend, trains will leave about every 15 minutes from the ends of the line at Shady Grove and Glenmont. From 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. each day, there will be more frequent service -- about every seven to eight minutes -- between Van Ness and New York Avenue, to accommodate riders on the most crowded part of the Red Line.

The most challenging part of the project for riders, says Hughes, is remembering the Friday night part of the Blue and Orange Line disruption. On Friday nights, the transit system remains open till 3 a.m., but the disruption will start at 10 p.m. on the Friday of MLK weekend. People who made a trip earlier that evening without any disruption may want to find another way to get back home that night.

By Robert Thomson  | January 10, 2011; 9:05 AM ET
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Construction, Driving, Metro, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Comments

"The most challenging part of the project for riders, says Hughes, is remembering the Friday night part of the Blue and Orange Line disruption. On Friday nights, the transit system remains open till 3 a.m., but the disruption will start at 10 p.m. on the Friday of MLK weekend. People who made a trip earlier that evening without any disruption may want to find another way to get back home that night."

The Caps have a home game against Vancouver on Friday night and this closure could pose a very serious problem, especially if the game goes into overtime. Perhaps I might contact the team to suggest making a reminder PA announcement during a stoppage in play. They've done that sort of thing in the past when there have been serious Metro issues.

Posted by: 1995hoo | January 10, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

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