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Posted at 7:30 PM ET, 01/28/2011

The weekend and beyond

By Robert Thomson

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

This week's weather has played havoc with road construction schedules throughout the D.C. region. It was too cold for some work, while in other areas, operations were suspended for the safety of the crews and drivers. That work will start to pick up again over the weekend and next week. After Friday's light snow, travelers will have patches of sun and moderate daytime temperatures through the weekend.

Metro weekend delays
Maintenance on the Red, Orange and Blue lines will disrupt service from 10 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing on Sunday.

Red Line: Riders between Friendship Heights and Van Ness should add 20 minutes to their normal travel times. Workers will replace fasteners and repair tunnel leaks while trains share a track around the zone.

Riders between New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue should add 20 minutes to their travel time during track and station work.

On Saturday and Sunday, trains are scheduled to 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., service will be more frequent closer in, with trains arriving at the stations between Van Ness and New York Avenue about every eight minutes.

Orange Line: Riders between the East Falls Church and West Falls Church should add 20 minutes to travel times. Workers will replace rail and insulators in that area. Meanwhile, the Dulles Metrorail project will be doing work on what will eventually become the connection between the new line and the Orange Line.

Blue Line: Riders between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road should add a half hour to normal travel time. Workers will replace concrete slabs beneath the rails.

Riders between Braddock Road and Van Dorn Street should add at least half an hour to their travel time. The work in that area will be done by the Wilson Bridge project, which is rebuilding the interchange at Telegraph Road. Trains will be using one track to safely pass beneath that work area.

Beltway/Telegraph Road
Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and next Friday from 9:30 a.m. to noon, the left lane of the Capital Beltway's outer loop will be closed at Telegraph Road for construction related to the rebuilding of the interchange by the Wilson Bridge project.

I-66 detour Saturday
Weather permitting, Interstate 66 westbound at the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) will be closed from 11 p.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Sunday for Dulles rail project. This will affect drivers bound for destinations along I‐66 west of Arlington.

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.

To avoid the closing and congestion, the rail project says, drivers bound for destinations inside the Capital Beltway may find alternate routes via other local westbound roads by exiting I‐66 before the I‐66/Dulles Connector Road split. For example, traffic bound for the Falls Church City/Broad Street and Idylwood areas can exit before the detour and use Route 29/Washington Street to connect with Broad Street (Route 7 west).

H Street NE
The south side of the Eighth Street intersection with H Street NE will be closed during daytime today and Saturday, weather permitting, to accommodate streetcar track work within the intersection. The work was originally scheduled for last Friday and Saturday, but was rescheduled because of weather problems.

The work will be done from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday and from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. The 700 block of Eighth Street, the block just south of H Street, will be available only to local residential traffic. Watch for the detour signs and the flaggers.

The 90 and 92 Metrobuses will be detoured from their regular route and stops in the 700 block of Eighth Street.

Paper passes ending
Saturday marks the last day bus riders can use paper passes. Since October, Metrobus and many of the region's other bus systems have been switching the Seven-Day Bus Pass to the plastic SmarTrip cards. Saturday is the final day of the transition phase.

A Seven-Day Bus Pass downloaded to SmarTrip costs $15 for the regular bus pass and $7.50 for the senior/disabled bus pass. Unlike paper bus passes, which always took effect on Sundays and were valid through the following Saturday, the new version on SmarTrip is valid for seven consecutive days of unlimited travel on regular Metrobuses and on regional bus systems, including ART, DASH, the Circulator, CUE, Fairfax Connector, Ride On and TheBus.

Riders can load two bus passes at a time onto their SmarTrip cards. When the first pass expires after seven days, the second pass will be ready to activate.

Great Falls bridge
The re-opening of the Leigh Mill Road Bridge in Great Falls has been delayed until next week because of the recent cold and wet weather, the Virginia Department of Transportation says.

The bridge over Difficult Run has been closed to traffic since July 12 for rehabilitation. The original schedule called for re-opening by Labor Day. Then in August, VDOT engineers decided that the structure was in worse condition than previous inspections had revealed. So the entire substructure had to be demolished and replaced, delaying the re-opening.

With the new delay because of the weather, project managers now anticipate opening the bridge on Monday.

HOT lanes night work
Like other big projects in the region, the High Occupancy Toll lanes construction was slowed by the past week's weather problems, but for the week ahead, there's plenty of overnight work scheduled. These are the zones to watch out for:
* Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) west at I-495
* Dulles Toll Road (Route 267) east to I-495 north
* I-495 north at Leesburg Pike (Route 7)
* I-495 north and south at Lee Highway (Route 29)
* I-495 north and south at Gallows Road (Route 650)
* I-495 north at Little River Turnpike (Route 236)
* I-495 north and south at Little River Turnpike (Route 236)
* I-495 north and south at Braddock Road (Route 620)

I-95 widening project
The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to close the ramp from I-95 south to Route 1 south (Exit 161) from 10 p.m. Tuesday through 5 a.m. Wednesday so workers will have room to erect steel beams that are part of the I-95 widening project. The ramp from the HOV lanes to Route 1 south also will be closed at 10 p.m.

Motorists on I-95 south headed to Route 1 south will be detoured to the Prince William Parkway exit (Exit 158B), follow signs back to I-95 north to Route 123 east (Exit 160) to Route 1. Motorists on the HOV lanes headed to Route 1 south will take the exit to Route 123, left at the traffic signal on Route 123 to Route 1. The HOV reversible lanes will remain open toward southbound direction until 3 a.m. instead of midnight during this work.

The right lane on I-95 north also will close in the overnight hours. By 5 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, the Route 1 ramp and the northbound travel lane will be open.

Shady Grove platform restored
The Metrorail platform at Shady Grove is in full use again, following completion of the month-long first phase of a repair project that had restricted use of the platform to a single side, the transit authority announced.

Workers have now replaced deteriorated sections of the platform edges with new concrete. In the next phase, set for this spring, they will return to replace the platform tiles.

VRE hearings
Virginia Railway Express plans six hearings starting this coming week on proposals to change some fare structures and policies.

Cyclists are concerned about a proposal that would limit them to bringing aboard collapsible bikes only, as the trains get more crowded. VRE also proposes to reduce the step-up fee for riders boarding certain Amtrak trains. It would go from $10 to $5, a change VRE hopes will ease that crowding on its trains. Another VRE proposal would eliminate the group fare discount.

The first hearing is Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Rappahannock Regional Library, 1201 Caroline St. in Fredericksburg. The others are scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, 14700 Potomac Mills Rd.; 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at Manassas City Hall, 9027 Center St.; noon on Feb. 16 at the Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Ave. NW; 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at Burke Centre Conservancy, 5701 Roberts Pkwy.; and noon on Feb. 24 at VRE headquarters, 1500 King St., Alexandria.

[This post has been updated.]

By Robert Thomson  | January 28, 2011; 7:30 PM ET
Categories:  Congestion, Construction, Metro, Weather, Weekend Work  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Next: Congestion on VA roads


Just heard what sounded like jets scramblng over downtown (14th & I). Any news?

Posted by: ParkerGP | January 28, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

ParkerGP, WTOP reports that fighters scrambled to intercept a jet when ATC lost communication with it.

Posted by: 1995hoo | January 28, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

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