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Get There: October 21, 2007 - October 27, 2007

Rain Delay

The rainy weather has forced the District to postpone the reopening of Foxhall Road NW. The Department of Transportation had hoped that traffic would be flowing by today. The new schedule calls for the roadway between Reservoir Road and Nebraska Avenue to reopen after the morning rush on Wednesday. DDOT spokesman Erik Linden said in a statement that the department hopes crews can resume work on Foxhall once the rain tapers off on Saturday. On Thursday, I put up an advisory about weekend lane shifts planned for Beltway lanes near the Wilson Bridge, but then had to take it back when project managers looked at the extended forecast and decided the rain would make it impossible to complete the work this weekend. That's been rescheduled for next weekend, although there will be some lane closures late Sunday night and early Monday to prepare for the realignment. What other effects has...

By Robert Thomson  |  October 26, 2007; 8:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Construction  
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Beltway Work Postponed

How long has it been since this happened? Managers of the Wilson Bridge project have postponed all the work on the Beltway scheduled for this weekend because of the rainy forecast. The shifting of the Beltway outer loop lanes in Maryland that I described in the previous posting now is scheduled to happen next weekend. But to prepare for that, there will be overnight lane closings this Sunday night into Monday morning. All the lanes wil be open in time for the Monday morning rush. In Virginia, workers will spend late Sunday night and early Monday morning preparing the inner loop for lane shifts next weekend as well. So there should be some Sunday night-Monday morning lane closures there, but again, the lanes are scheduled to open in time for the Monday morning rush. In recent months, it has been very unusual to see highway work postponed because of bad...

By Robert Thomson  |  October 25, 2007; 6:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Beltway Changes Coming

[Update: The forecast for continuing rain has led the Wilson Bridge project to cancel all the work scheduled for this weekend.] They're moving the Beltway again. The Capital Beltway's outer loop on the Maryland side of the Wilson Bridge will be shifted to the right this weekend. A similar operation was performed recently with the inner loop lanes in that area as the bridge reconstruction project puts the bridge approach into its new configuration. The work affects about a one-mile stretch of the highway between the I-295 and Route 210 interchanges. You'll want to avoid that area if at all possible while the work is going on Friday night and Saturday, and if you have to travel that way, be prepared for delays and alert for slow traffic. On the Virginia side this weekend, you'll see crews installing large storm water drain pipes beneath the Beltway and doing some of...

By Robert Thomson  |  October 25, 2007; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Weather Warning on Bay Bridge

The combination of rain and falling leaves is making driving difficult across the region this afternoon, but there's a special advisory up for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Because of the rain and poor visibility, the Maryland Transportation Authority will not be using the two-way traffic pattern one one span that normally prevails in the afternoon. The authority warns that this may cause extensive delays for homeward bound travelers. You can check on current traffic conditions at the bridge by making a free call to 877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) or going to www.baybridge.com to view traffic camera images from the bridge. Though commuters almost certainly will be delayed, it's a good decision by the transportation authority to maintain one direction of traffic on each of the two bay bridge spans in this weather rather than reversing a lane on one span. We had a nasty accident earlier this year when two-way traffic was...

By Robert Thomson  |  October 24, 2007; 3:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Early Warning on Marathon

We've had several discussions lately about the difficulties of getting around during big weekend events, so I thought I'd post this early warning about the Marine Corps Marathon coming up Sunday. Many roads will be closed, with many different agencies responsible for the closures. (I think that's part of what gets us into trouble with these things. Sometimes, interagency communication has not been what it should be.) Here's a link to a pdf page on the Marathon Web site that lists the street closings, the times and the jurisdictions involved. Here's a link to a map of the route through eastern Arlington and through the mall and Potomac River areas of the District. Travelers should expect delays through the area and add extra time. Also, the Fern Street, Hayes Street and Eads Street Pentagon parking lots will be closed beginning 7 p.m. on Friday and remain closed until 7 p.m....

By Robert Thomson  |  October 24, 2007; 8:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Car Advice for Older Drivers

I often talk with older drivers who want to stay mobile and who pay attention to their driving skills, so I'd like to pass along this advisory about a free clinic on Wednesday in Fairfax County sponsored by AAA and its Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education. In the program, called CarFit, an older driver can spend about 15 minutes going through a check-list with a trained staffer that evaluates whether the driver is sitting properly in his or her vehicle and whether the driver's seat, seat belt, mirrors, steering wheel, head rest, gas/brake pedals and other controls are positioned properly. Also, says AAA, the Wednesday event includes a winter car care evaluation in which AAA-approved specialists offer maintenance inspections, test car batteries and check tire pressure. The clinic is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, and seniors have to have appointments, which they can make by calling 703-222-4112....

By Robert Thomson  |  October 23, 2007; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Driving  
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Red Line Delay Continues

Metro says it will need a second night of work to replace the flawed section of track discovered on Sunday during a routine ultrasound check of the transit system's tracks. So trains continue to move at reduced speed between Medical Center and Friendship Heights. Metro made temporary repairs on Sunday night, so the track still could be used for weekday service, and the transit authority had hoped to replace the 39-foot track section Monday night, but announced today that the second night would be needed. Meanwhile, trains in that area are moving at 35 mph, rather than the normal 44 mph. The ultrasound checks on the track system are performed five times a year. Track inspectors also walk the rails twice a week to make safety checks. The only way to make permanent repairs during the day is to shut down a track and have trains from both directions take...

By Robert Thomson  |  October 23, 2007; 12:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Metro  
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Rock Creek Ramp Open

The ramp that leads traffic from P Street NW down to the southbound Rock Creek Parkway was open yesterday. I may be the first one telling you that. I haven't seen any advisory on it from the National Park Service, which is in charge of the parkway reconstruction project, along with the Federal Highway Administration. Single lanes pass on either side of parkway work zone. (Robert Thomson) On Monday, I was walking along the parkway to see what's going on, since this lengthy reconstruction project between P Street and Virginia Avenue in Northwest Washington remains the primary generator of letters among my readers. I spotted two work zones: One at the P Street ramp, but the work was confined to the grassy little island where the ramp's on-lane and -off lane split. That wasn't interfering with traffic. The other work zone was the big deal. That takes up the center...

By Robert Thomson  |  October 23, 2007; 5:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Construction  
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UPDATE: Downtown Road Closures

D.C. transportation officials have updated which street closings remain in effect around the offices of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Pennsylvania Avenue NW is open to vehicular traffic, but 18th, 19th and 20th streets are closed south of Pennsylvania and north of G Street NW. G Street also is closed to traffic between 18th and 20th, D.C. traffic officials said. View a map of road closures....

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  October 22, 2007; 11:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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The Week Ahead

Commuters, here's some information you might find useful this week. UPDATE: Some of this information has been updated since this was first posted. Click here for details. Downtown Washington Some restrictions remain in effect until 9 p.m. because of the IMF/Work Bank meetings. These streets are closed: -- 18th Street NW between F Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW -- 19th Street NW between F Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW -- 20th Street NW between F Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW -- F Street NW between 17th Street and 20th Street NW The 1700 through 2000 blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue NW, the 1700 and 1800 blocks of H Street NW, and the 800 block of 19th Street NW are tentatively scheduled to be open to traffic this morning, but the street closings are subject to change without notice. Red Line Slowed Trains are likely to be delayed all day long, because...

By Robert Thomson  |  October 22, 2007; 7:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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