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Get There: July 1, 2007 - July 7, 2007

Dealing With Douglass Bridge Shutdown

The first commute for drivers who had been using the District's now-closed Frederick Douglass Bridge at South Capitol Street included a car accident on inbound Interstate 295, congestion on the nearby roads and highways and some very confused motorists. Cone forest at Firth Sterling Avenue, just before the I-295 overpass. (Robert Thomson) The worst backup I saw was on I-295, behind that early-morning accident that blocked the right lane heading north. Though the lanes were open around 7 a.m., the highway traffic never did fully recover from that. The lane blockage might have reduced congestion for a while at the crucial merge point just beyond the accident scene where traffic from the Suitland Parkway and South Capitol Street enters 295. Here are some quick impressions: -- That short extra lane the District paved on the right side of 295 just south of the 11th Street Bridge is a big help...

By Robert Thomson  |  July 6, 2007; 9:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction  
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D.C. Bridge To Shut at Midnight

We're about to find out how many of you are on vacation. The Douglass Bridge, which takes South Capitol Street across the Anacostia River, will close at midnight tonight for two months of reconstruction. On summer days, the District Department of Transportation estimates, at least one of every 10 commuters is on vacation, providing some extra space for the rest of you. What lies beneath: The work zone under the Douglass Bridge, where the elevated road will be lowered. (Robert Thomson) We'll get our first look at that on Friday morning. The first few days of this should be the worst, as commuters get used to their new routes and schedules. Traffic on Friday should be lighter than normal, since many people used July 4 to launch a long holiday weekend. Next week will provide a better test of the commuting difficulties. We'll talk a lot more about that in...

By Robert Thomson  |  July 5, 2007; 5:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction  
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Travel Advisories for July 4

There won't be any scheduled road work in the Washington region on Wednesday, but the concrete barriers will still be in place at the big projects, including the staging area on the northbound side of the Legion Bridge. Before you head into Washington for the Independence Day celebrations, you should know that many downtown street will be closed and parking restricted. Consider taking Metro. (And thanks to Brian for pointing out this map illustrating Metro holiday service.) Metro Transit Metro parking is free on July 4, and holiday rail fares are in effect. Metrorail and Metrobus operate from 7 a.m. to midnight. The Smithsonian Station is closed. MetroAccess, the ride program for the elderly and disabled, will operate from 5:30 a.m. to midnight. Suburban Transit Ride On and the Fairfax Connector will operate on a Saturday schedule. ART will run Sunday service for Routes 41 and 51. DASH will operate...

By Robert Thomson  |  July 3, 2007; 5:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  holiday travel  
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Greenway Charging Drivers More

Drivers on the Dulles Greenway paid 30 cents more today to get through the toll plaza. (See a list of the new rates here.) Some motorists think their time is worth the $3 they get charged to use the privately built highway, while others will put up with congested Route 7 or local roads, either because they feel the Greenway is too much for their budgets or because they believe they are taking a stand against price gouging. Jonathan Mummolo wrote a story about the new tolls in Sunday's Post. The charge to use the Dulles Toll Road also will be going up, both to pay for highway maintenance and improvements and to help finance the Metrorail extension to Dulles and Loudoun County. That's part of the deal to have the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority take control of the Dulles Toll Road and build the rail line extension. With the...

By Robert Thomson  |  July 2, 2007; 10:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Driving  
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