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Posted at 7:55 AM ET, 01/18/2011

The week ahead in traffic, transit

By Robert Thomson

Construction updates | Travel tips l Capital Weather Gang

Major projects on Metro and on the Capital Beltway wrapped up over the long holiday weekend before the snow and ice moved in to hinder the start of the short work week.

The main obstacles commuters face today will be chopping the crust of ice from their sidewalks and cars. The Foggy Bottom Station has reopened, and single tracking around work zones has ended on the Orange, Blue and Red lines. In Alexandria, Telegraph Road has reopened, along with its Beltway ramps.

Some of the other projects planned for this week will probably get off to a slow start because of the bad weather, but here's a look at what's scheduled.

Dulles Metrorail
The Westpark Bridge in Tysons Corner is scheduled to be closed some nights through the next few weeks until the Dulles Metrorail project's work on the bridge bridge is done and the blue and yellow construction truss moves west toward Tysons Boulevard. The closings will occur from 10 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.

I‐66 westbound is scheduled to close overnight at the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) split Wednesday through Saturday between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Through traffic will be detoured on to the Dulles Connector Road westbound, then on to Route 123 south toward Tysons Corner, to a right turn on to the ramp to the Capital Beltway south toward Richmond. Drivers can then rejoin I‐66 from the Beltway. Local traffic can use exits before the detour area.

Red Line maintenance
Through Friday, midday riders on the Red Line may encounter some single-tracking between Silver Spring and Forest Glen for a track work project. Such midday programs will become more common this year as Metro steps up the maintenance schedule and looks for windows in which the extra work can be done.

During the midday hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the train service is less frequent, so Metro says the single-tracking should not interfere with the regular schedule.

Late night track work
After 10 p.m. each night through Thursday, riders between the Friendship Heights and Van Ness should add 20 minutes to their travel time. Metro workers will be installing new fasteners and welding new rail on the tracks.

Late-night riders between New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue should add 20 minutes to their travel time. Workers will be doing maintenance on the tracks near Rhode Island Avenue.

H Street NE
For about four weeks, the 700 block of 12th Street NE from H Street south to G Street NE will be restricted to south-bound traffic only as part of the H Street rehabilitation project. The usual two lanes of traffic on 12th Street will be reduced to one lane. This will allow the contractor to install streetcar tracks on H Street and complete work across the intersection.

Northbound motorists can use 11th Street or 13th Street as alternatives.

Meanwhile, the District Department of Transportation plans to close the south side of the 8th Street intersection with H Street during the day Friday and Saturday, Jan. 21 and 22, to accommodate streetcar track work in the intersection.

The work will be done from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 21 and from 7:30 a.m to 4 p.m. on Jan. 22. The 700 block of 8th Street, just south of H Street, will be open to local residential traffic only.

Chain Bridge
The District Department of Transportation plans to close a single inbound lane on Chain Bridge between 10 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. daily from Tuesday through Friday, weather permitting.

The lane closings will clear room for removal of cable from the rigging equipment that was used during the rehabilitation of the bridge, the transportation department said. One lane will remain open for traffic in each direction.

Highway lighting experiment
The Maryland State Highway Administration has turned off about 75 lights along Route 100 between Columbia Pike and Coca-Cola Drive in Howard County. This is a year-long experiment to evaluate the impact of reductions in highway lighting, which would result in cost-savings.

The highway agency says it evaluated several locations for this pilot program and determined that overhead lighting could be reduced while still meeting state and federal safety standards.

The light poles will remain in place during the experiment. If the lighting reduction becomes permanent, the poles will be removed.

Weekend track work
The track work and resulting delays scheduled for this coming weekend won't be as extensive as what riders experienced during the holiday weekend, but there will be work on the Red Line between Friendship Heights and Medical Center, on the Orange Line between East and West Falls Church and on the Green Line between Navy Yard and Anacostia.

By Robert Thomson  | January 18, 2011; 7:55 AM ET
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion, Construction, Driving, Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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