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Get There: September 9, 2007 - September 15, 2007

Travel Advisories for Weekend and Beyond

The big one to remember this weekend is the road work on the inner loop of the Capital Beltway in Maryland, near the Wilson Bridge. But let's also review some of the other road work and transit projects that could affect your travels. First, here are the details about the major work on the Beltway. It's part of the bridge construction program and will result in a new path for the inner loop lanes by 5 a.m. on Monday. Between now and then: -- At 9 o'clock tonight, the inner loop will be reduced to one lane between the Route 210 Interchange and I-295. Two lanes will reopen at mid-morning on Saturday mid-morning, according to the schedule. A third lane will be restored on Saturday afternoon. The fourth will be back by 5 a.m. Monday. -- The ramp from I-295 South to the inner loop will close at about 10:30...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 14, 2007; 4:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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An Unstoppable Train to Dulles

The Metrorail extension to Dulles is flawed and expensive, and it's going to get built. That's a Gridlockian prediction based on the pattern set by the Wilson Bridge and the Springfield interchange. Each of those projects had its problems with design and finance, but those issues are distant memories now. If enough people in leadership positions see a transportation project as essential to the future of this region, they'll find a way to get it done. Rebid a contract, extend the construction schedule, chop the project into more phases with more revenue sources -- whatever it takes. That's what the Virginia government was up to on Thursday when Gov. Tim Kaine announced that the state planned to cut $300 million from the $2.8 billion cost of the rail extension. As Amy Gardner reported in today's Post, the cuts include: -- Eliminating $77 million in road improvements to Route 7 in...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 14, 2007; 7:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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Route 29 Interchange Done in Maryland

We've talked about the completion of travel-blocking work at the Frederick Douglass Bridge in the District and the Legion Bridge across the Potomac. But another bit of work that got done recently was the reconstruction of the Briggs Chaney Road interchange with Route 29, a major commuter pathway in Maryland. This is part of a longterm project by the State Highway Administration to ease traffic flow by turning Route 29 intersections into interchanges. Many commuters heading for Washington find they have an easier trip, until they reach the older, more built up White Oak area, with it's intersections, traffic lights and narrower roadway. Still, the completion of the $49 million Briggs Chaney work should come as welcome news for many travelers. For one thing, all the temporary ramps and traffic signals are gone. But the design of the finished product should safe travelers time, whether they're heading north-south or east-west...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 12, 2007; 4:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Construction  
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Watch for Work Near Wilson Bridge

Starting Wednesday, there will be a lot of work affecting travelers on the Maryland approach to the Wilson Bridge. The goal is to shift the inner loop lanes into a new configuration, as part of the bridge reconstruction project, but getting to that point will be a hassle. The ramp from Route 210 South to the inner loop will be rebuilt and raised by about 7 feet to match the grade of the new inner loop lanes. To perform the work, the ramp is scheduled to close at 10 a.m. tomorrow, so that will seriously affect morning commuters on Thursday and Friday. Drivers will be following a detour to Route 414 East (Oxon Hill Road) that then returns to the inner loop. Expect delays. The next action affects the inner loop itself: At 9 p.m. Friday, the construction schedule calls for reducing the inner loop to one lane between the...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 11, 2007; 4:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Construction  
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Two Big Transportation Proposals

This week's transportation news likely will be dominated by the road and transit plans unveiled this weekend: -- Metro board members on Thursday will begin considering a fare increase plan for early next year developed by General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. (See story in Saturday's Post by Lena H. Sun.) -- Virginia announces today that it has an agreement to start building express toll lanes along the western side of the Capital Beltway between Springfield and the Potomac River. (See story in today's Post by Karin Brulliard.) Sun, who covers transit issues, and Eric Weiss, who covers road issues for The Post, can take questions about these plans during their Live Online discussion at 11 a.m. today. On Saturday, Sun reported that the cost of a transit ride would increase an average of 45 cents early next year as Metro sought to close a shortfall of $173 million anticipated...

By Robert Thomson  |  September 10, 2007; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Commuting  
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