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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 02/20/2011

The weekend and beyond

By Robert Thomson

eastbound ICC.jpg
Workers ready the eastbound lanes of the Intercounty Connector near Olney. (Thomson)

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

We'll go into a cool down this weekend, but travel conditions still should be fine in the D.C. area, at least when it comes to the weather. Metro will launch its President's Day weekend track projects at 10 p.m. Friday. The main impact is the closing of Smithsonian and Federal Triangle stations, which severs the Blue and Orange lines in central Washington till the system's midnight closing Monday. Meanwhile, there's plenty of work going on along the Capital Beltway in Virginia. In Maryland, workers are getting part of the Intercounty Connector ready to open at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Metrorail weekend delays
From 10 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing on Monday, President's Day, there will be no service on the Blue and Orange lines between Metro Center and L'Enfant Plaza. The Federal Triangle and Smithsonian stations will be closed. Metro will replace track switches outside the Smithsonian Station and make other repairs.

The Blue Line will operate between Franconia-Springfield and Metro Center, and between Largo Town Center and L'Enfant Plaza. The Orange Line will operate between Vienna and Metro Center, and between New Carrollton and L'Enfant Plaza.

All Blue and Orange Line trains will be scheduled to operate every 12 to 15 minutes during the daytime, and every 20 minutes at night. As usual, Metro will provide free shuttle buses to bridge the gap between the line segments.

The buses will operate between the stations at Metro Center (12th Street, north of G Street), Federal Triangle (12th Street, south of Pennsylvania Avenue), Smithsonian (Independence Avenue and 12th Street) and L'Enfant Plaza (Maryland Avenue).

Metro also will be working on the Red Line during the holiday weekend. Trains will share one track between Shady Grove and Twinbrook, and between Rhode Island Avenue and New York Avenue.

Beltway in Tysons Corner
Drivers in Tysons Corner see a large horizontal crane, also known as a truss, positioned near the Capital Beltway. The Dulles Metrorail project will use the truss to build the bridges that will carry the tracks over the Beltway at Route 123, requiring many nights of Beltway lane and ramp closings for safety.

These overnight closings will occur Friday, then continue nightly Sundays through Fridays for the next five weeks. Drivers should expect significant delays each night.

Three lanes of the inner loop (northbound Interstate 495) are closing from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. In addition, the ramps from the inner loop to both northbound and southbound Route 123 are closing overnights. Work crews will begin to shut down some lanes as early as 9:30 p.m.

To reach Route 123 from the Beltway when the ramps are closed, follow detour signs north to Georgetown Pike (Route 193), then loop around to return south on the other side of the Beltway to Route 123.

Arlington Boulevard at Beltway
Beginning at 9:30 p.m. each night through Tuesday, all lanes of Arlington Boulevard (Route 50) under the Capital Beltway in Merrifield are scheduled to close for bridge beam placement, part of the High Occupancy Toll lanes construction project on the Beltway. All lanes will reopen by 9 a.m. Sunday and by 5 a.m. weekdays.

Through traffic traveling eastbound on Route 50 will be detoured to Gallows Road (Route 650), to Lee Highway (Route 29), to Fairview Park Drive, back to Route 50 east. Route 50 east traffic heading for the inner loop (I-495 north) will be directed to use that detour.

Through traffic traveling westbound on Route 50 will be detoured to Fairview Park Drive, to Lee Highway (Route 29), to Gallows Road (Route 650), back to Route 50 west. Route 50 west traffic heading for the outer loop (I-495 south) will be directed to use that detour.

Memorial Bridge repairs
The National Park Service is repairing the sidewalks and performing other maintenance on the Arlington Memorial Bridge. Two pedestrian bridges have been assembled on the north side of the bridge and are open to pedestrians. Two other pedestrian bridges are being assembled on the south side and will be finished in a few weeks, the park service says.

Pedestrians should follow the detour around the Lincoln Memorial and around the circle on the south side of the bridge. For drivers, no lane closures will occur during rush hours, but the pedestrian bridge installations may require closing two lanes on the bridge from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

President's Day
Monday is a federal holiday, and the parking and traffic rules for federal holidays apply. Metrobus will operate on a modified Saturday schedule. The service will be a bit different from last year's, because of holiday schedule changes approved in December. See more details of bus schedules on Metro's Web site.

Intercounty Connector
At 6 a.m. Tuesday, the D.C. region's first major new highway in decades will open -- at least part of it. The Intercounty Connector will open to traffic between Interstate 370/270 and Georgia Avenue/Norbeck Road.

It's a toll road, but there are no toll booths. Drivers will not be able to pay cash. The tolls will be collected electronically as vehicles pass under brown gantries on each side of the highway. Devices on the gantries will communicate with the E-ZPass transponders on vehicles and assess the toll. For vehicles without E-ZPasses, cameras on the gantries will take photos of the license plates, and the vehicle owners will be sent a bill.

For the first two weeks, however, travel on the ICC will be free. Beginning Monday, March 7, passenger vehicles and light trucks will pay $1.45 during peak hours (6 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays), $1.15 off peak (5 to 6 a.m., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 to 11 p.m. weekdays and 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekends) and 60 cents overnight (11 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily). See more on the Commuter page in The Post's Metro section on Sunday.

By Robert Thomson  | February 20, 2011; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Congestion, Construction, Driving, Metro, Transit, Weekend Work  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Next: Many buses on holiday schedule Mon.

Comments

Just out of curiosity, is the name "Presidents' Day" required by the Post stylebook? The US government calls the holiday Washington's Birthday, although the name varies from state to state. (My favorite is Alabama, which calls it "Washington and Jefferson Day." Jefferson's birthday is in April.)

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 18, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

trying to ride Metro on holidays, has become a challenge.

Posted by: Hattrik | February 18, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Most of the coupons don't even work unless you use good websites some of them Printapons retail me not etc, so do some research before you buy anything!

Posted by: dayleslover | February 19, 2011 6:02 AM | Report abuse

OK, I'm up to speed on the Georgia Ave./Norbeck Rd. entrance to the new ICC segmen, but isn't there something we should know about the I-370 exit, like where it dumps us off?

Posted by: GWGOLDB | February 20, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

The I-370 exit dumps you off in a maze of 13 ramps soon to be known as the "Martin O'Malley Mixing Bowl." The signage is so bad that they couldn't even get straight whether the Shady Grove Road exits are "North" and "South" (as the signs indicate on the Metro Access Road) or "East" and "West" (as the signs indicate on I-370). Expect many accidents as people change lanes at the last second when they figure out they are going the wrong way. And, of course, we the neighbors will be waked up every night as the emergency vehicles blare their sirens, since the sound wall is so pathetically low.

By the way, be sure to wave as you pass by our bedroom windows!

Posted by: juliemartinkorb | February 20, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

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