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The Weekend and Beyond

Looks like a relatively quiet winter weekend around our region, with the exception of the Chinese New Year celebration in Washington's Chinatown. Here are some things that could effect your travels this weekend and later.

Chinese New Year Celebration
The New Year's festival will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday in the 600 block of H Street, which will be closed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The parade starts at 2 p.m. in the 500 block of I (Eye) Street NW, which will be closed from noon to 3 p.m. Other streets along the parade route will be closed starting at 2 p.m. and reopened as the parade goes through.

This is the route: West on I (Eye) Street, south on 7th, west on H, south on 8th, east on G, north on 7th, east on H and back to the festival area.

Bus Detours
Four Metrobus routes will have to detour around the Chinese New Year parade and festival on Sunday. The routes affected are: 70, 80, P6 and X2.

Weekend Metrorail Delays
This is the last of four weekends for work on the switch replacement at Medical Center. Trains will share a single track to get around the work zone, and Metro recommends that Red Line riders add at least a half hour to their usual travel times between 9 o'clock tonight (Friday) and midnight Sunday. All the Red Line trains will have six or eight cars. You can get full details on this page at Metro's Web site.

Track work and rail car testing also will slow service on the Orange, Blue and Green lines this weekend. All the details about that are on this Metro Web page.

Metro Center Project
Watch out for more transit delays next weekend on the Red, Blue and Orange lines when crews are scheduled to wrap up restoration of the track bridge at Metro Center.

While workers repair the sag in the bridge that takes the Red Line over the Blue and Orange Line tracks, train service through Metro Center will be reduced and riders should add at least a half hour to their normal travel times. Metro began this project during the long Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend in January and is using the President's Day weekend for the finale.

Connecticut Avenue Bridge
The northbound curb lane of Connecticut across the Klingle Bridge is scheduled to be closed Saturday through Friday for repainting of the metal railings on the east side of the bridge. Here's the setup on the lanes:
-- During non-rush periods, three southbound lanes and two northbound lanes will be open.
-- During morning rush periods, four southbound lanes and one northbound lane will be open.
-- During evening rushes, three northbound and two southbound lanes will be open.

Penn Line Reminder
Starting Monday, MARC will add a late night southbound train that includes a stop at BWI Station, providing a new transit option for travelers landing late at Baltimore Washington International Marshall Airport. The train will leave Baltimore at 10:30 p.m., reaching BWI Station at 10:43 p.m., New Carrollton at 11:04 p.m. and Union Station at 11:30 p.m.

Ride On
People who are over 65 or who have disabilities can now ride Montgomery County's Ride On buses for free at all times, just as they can on the Metrobuses that operate in the county.

Seniors boarding the Ride On buses must show a Metro Senior Reduced Fare Identification Card or a Medicare Card with a photo ID. People with disabilities and their attendants can ride free by showing a Metro Disabled Identification Card or a Metro Disabled Attendant Eligible Card. cbk:ID card applications are available at the county's senior centers, libraries, commuter stores, and regional services centers.

National Marathon
A reprise of the marathon that drew complaints from many D.C. drivers and residents in 2007 will occur March 29, the same day as the Nationals' exhibition game in their new stadium on South Capitol Street. Last year, many people complained that they were trapped in their neighborhoods because too many streets were blocked for too long. Marathon planners say they have worked with the communities to plan this year's course, with less disruptive street closings.

The marathon's course through the District will be open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. It begins and ends at RFK Stadium. The Nationals' exhibition game against the Baltimore Orioles is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

ICC Update
Construction is underway at several spots for the intercounty connector. They include Redland Road, eastbound Interstate 370, Georgia Avenue and Shady Grove Road. During this phase of work, people will see temporary lane closures, temporary concrete barriers, vegetation clearing and erosion control work, among other evidence of construction.

The Maryland State Highway Administration has an outreach team available to meet with individuals and small groups on the second Thursday of every month to answer their questions, at the project's Hub Office, 2 Taft Court, Rockville. Call 866-462-0020 to schedule a meeting or get more information.

Road Work
Winter is a slow time for road work. No major paving can be done till the weather warms. But there are some continuing projects that may slow your travels.

George Washington Parkway: Watch for lane shifts at the Humpback Bridge, just northwest of the 14th Street Bridge and I-395. The lengthy project to rebuild the bridge started in early January and it's starting to have an effect on traffic. All lanes are open during the rush periods, but the lanes shift to accommodate the work. Look for updates on this Federal Highway Administration page.
New Hampshire Avenue: Left lane blocked in both directions at University Boulevard, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.
Georgia Avenue: Single lane closures between Veirs Mill and Randolph Roads from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.
Capital Beltway: Work in median between Landover Road and Central Avenue between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. week nights. It's part of the reconstruction of the Arena Drive interchange, so it can be open all the time rather than just during events at FedEx Field.
I-66 widening at Gainesville:
-- I-66 eastbound between mile markers 42 and 44, right Lane closed from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Right shoulder closed from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
-- I-66 westbound in the same area, watch for lane and shoulder closings from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
-- Route 29 from Heathcote to Route 55, single lane closed from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Here's a link to a Virginia Department of Transportation Web page with updates on the project.

[If there's a type of travel advisory you think should be posted among the ones I put up each Friday, or you have an idea for a traffic or transit tip that should appear on The Post's Sunday commuter page, drop me a line at]

By Robert Thomson  |  February 8, 2008; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  
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How bad has the delay and crowding been at Gallery Place with this weekend track work? I'll be leaving Verizon Center after the hockey game tonight, going back to Shady Grove, and wonder if I should bring a long book (or a pillow).

Posted by: Nick | February 8, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: Nick, I don't recall hearing any complaints from readers about the post-game crowding because of this switch replacement project, which starts up again at 9 o'clock tonight. But on the other hand, you're in the worst spot among transit users, because you're heading back through the work zone.
Trains should be arriving at Gallery Place every 15 minutes tonight, but half of them will turn back at Friendship Heights.

Posted by: Robert Thomson | February 8, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

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