The Weekend and Beyond
Here are some transportation tidbits for your planning and perspective.
This should be the last weekend that Red Line riders will be vexed by the switch replacement project at Van Ness. It starts at 9 p.m. Friday and midnight Sunday, when the system closes. You can get all the details on this page at Metro's Web site, but the basic idea is that Metro is advising riders to add at least a half hour to their normal travel times.
One of our regular commenters, Woodley Park, made this astute observation about the weekend delays:
"It's the weekend before St. Patrick's Day, and next Saturday night will be a HUGE party night. Lots of revelers will be heading to DuPont and Adams Morgan (via Woodley Park Station) on the Red Line, and if you thought these past 3 weekends had bad crowding, I challenge you to try the Red Line at about 10:30 Saturday night."
Gerald Francis, Metro's deputy general manager, told me this week that he's heard complaints from many rail riders beleaguered by the delays that accompany track work, particularly you Red Line riders who have endured months of service interruptions because of the two switch replacement projects and the rehabilitation of the track bridge at Metro Center.
He says Metro will work on improving its planning for such projects so they don't overburden any line and are coordinated to avoid slowing service during big events that will draw extra riders.
The switch replacement is the big deal this weekend, but there will be delays on other lines, as well. Metro describes them here.
St. Patrick's Day Parade
The District's parade is Sunday, and the D.C. police department has a list of the parking restrictions and street closings on this page.
Douglass Bridge Rededicated
There's a new sign on the Frederick Douglass Bridge commemorating the abolitionist leader who lived a quarter-mile from the foot of the bridge in Anacostia. The bridge was rededicated on Thursdaymarch 13, marking the successful completion of a major restoration effort that included the complete shutdown of the span for two months last summer.
The restoration project is timely, because the north end of the bridge lies next to the new baseball stadium., But it's the restoration also is part of the District's plan to turn South Capitol Street into a grand boulevard approaching the Capitol building.
Adding Bike Racks
Eric Gilliland, the executive director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, says bikers were upset by the lack of inadequate bicycle parking to serve at DC USA, the shopping and entertainment complex that recently opened as part of the revitalization of Columbia Heights. WABA and the District Department of Transportation found some under-used bike racks at RFK Stadium that could be moved to the DC USA building.
The site at 14th and Irving streets NW does have has 1,000 spaces for cars.
Because Good Friday, March 21, is a holiday for CSX employees, only the Camden and Dorsey ticket offices will be open on the Camden Line, and only the Brunswick, Frederick and Martinsburg ticket offices will be open on the Brunswick line. All ticket offices will be open on the Penn Line.
Work on the bridge and nearby interchanges causes will cause lane closures and shifts. Here's a sampler of the coming week's activities:
Watch for lane closures on Route 1 between Franklin and Huntington avenues from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday. Access to Old Richmond Highway will be closed at Huntington Avenue for roadway construction.
The left lane on the Capital Beltway inner loop will be closed from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 9 a.m. to noon Thursday between Route 1 and Van Dorn Street. Alternating lanes will be closed on Livingston Road at the Capital Beltway overpass from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.
Bay Bridge Redecking
During the reconstruction project, the speed limit on the westbound span is 45 mph. Fines are doubled in the work zone. There are steel plates at various points in the travel lanes. Motorcycles must use the right lane.
HOT Lane Testing
The Virginia Department of Transportation is doing some test drillings for the upcoming construction of new lanes along the west side of the Capital Beltway. This is part of the plan to add high-occupancy or toll lanes.
Watch for weekday, off-peak lane and shoulder closures on weekdays on the Beltway and local roads in the vicinity of Braddock Road, the Orange Line bridge and the Interstate 66 eastbound overpass.
This isn't the HOT lanes. It's a separate VDOT project to add a fourth lane and ease traffic congestion. Next week, there will be lane and shoulder closures between Exit 166, the Fairfax County Parkway, and Exit 160, Route 123.
Monday through Thursday, between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and on Friday, between 9 a.m. to noon, watch for moving closures of the shoulder on I-95 north between Route 123 and Franconia-Springfield Parkway for survey work. On the southbound side, it's overnight work: Tuesday through Thursday, from 9:30 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., watch for left lane closures between Franconia-Springfield Parkway and Lorton Road for replacement of the concrete barrier.
I-66 Widening in Gainesville
Route 29 North, past the Interstate 66 eastbound on ramp to Larapinta Court, will be closed for bridge demolition Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Route 109, Montgomery County
Watch for flaggers on Route 109 (Beallsville Road) between Route 28 and the Little Monocacy River Bridge, south of the Barnesville MARC Station, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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