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The Weekend and Beyond

Here are some travel tips for your weekend and the rest of May, when we'll have some big disruptions because of road and rail projects.

Weekend Metro Delays
The transit authority is doing track maintenance this weekend along the Orange and Blue lines, causing delays for riders. Full details are in this statement from Metro. But that's nothing compared to this next one.

New Metrorail Project
The transit authority is planning a switch replacement project at Mount Vernon Square that will slow travel on the Green and Yellow lines during four weekends this month and next, including two when people will be traveling to games at Nationals Park.

The $475,000 project, which stems from a recommendation made by the National Transportation Safety Board following a derailment at the station, is scheduled to begin next weekend. The work will start Friday night and continue through Sunday. The other weekends are May 16-18, May 30-June1 and June 6-8. The Nationals are home next weekend and June 6-8.

Yellow Line trains will operate between Huntington and Greenbelt and Green Line trains between Branch Avenue and Greenbelt. Trains on both lines will operate every 24 minutes.

Wilson Bridge
The second span of the new bridge is scheduled to open in mid-May. That's something travelers have been looking forward to for years, but there's also going to be some pain during the month, because the construction work will require weekend lane closures and detours.

The exact schedule has not been announced, but it looks like drivers will want to avoid the bridge area next weekend. Watch for updates here.

National Airport Lanes
Drivers heading to Reagan National Airport from the George Washington Parkway are likely to encounter new delays starting Monday, because of the construction project that will add 1,424 garage parking spaces by 2010.

Watch for left lane closures at the airport entrance and near the garage parking. Also, the "return to airport" traffic coming from the parking garage exits will be rerouted to a new ramp just beyond the old ramp. The 25-space bicycle rack at Garage C will be unavailable during construction, because it's too close to the work.

Drivers from the southbound parkway could use the second airport exit ramp to get around the construction. Other bike parking is available around the airport.

Remaking Beltway Lanes
VDOT is reconfiguring the lanes on the outer loop of the Capital Beltway from just past the Interstate 395 overpass to the Van Dorn Street exit. The results will add one eastbound through lane for drivers heading toward the Woodrow Wilson Bridge while dropping one right-hand merge lane.

The road work reduces the outer loop at this point to one through lane from 8 p.m. Saturday to until 10 a.m. Sunday . Paving for the new lane configuration is scheduled for Sunday night through Thursday nigh. The hours will be 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Beach Drive Closure
Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park is scheduled to be closed between Wise Road and Sherrill Drive NW from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Workers will be repairing the roadway and removing trees.

Tysons Night Work
Watch for overnight lane closures Monday through Saturday during the next two weeks on eastbound Route 7 just before the Route 123 overpass in Tysons Corner. The closures will start at 10 p.m. and end at 5 a.m.

Washington Gas is relocating its utility lines to prepare for construction of the Metrorail line through Tysons and eventually out to Dulles.

The utility relocations have been underway for several months and are not a response to Wednesday's breakthrough announcement by the Federal Transit Administration that will allow the rail project to receive more federal money.

Georgia Avenue Resurfacing
Many readers asked about this one.

Watch for single lane closures between Veirs Mill Road and Randolph Road from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Crews have completed the new asphalt base and will be adjusting the utilities along the work zone next week, said Chuck Gischlar, spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration. The final paving surface is scheduled to be applied the week of May 12.

By Robert Thomson  |  May 2, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  
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Green line single tracking during Nats games...that's gunna be a blast I can tell. I'm assuming Metro can still run extra Green line service between Navy Yard and some intermediate point beyond L'Enfant...I'm not sure if there are any crossover switches at L'Enfant or Archives or Gallery Place. If there aren't, then this could be a disaster.

As for Reagan National Airport....I'm very familiar with the roadways and traffic patterns there. I would very highly recommend taking the second airport exit if coming south on GW Parkway, since that bypasses most of the construction. In fact, if you are bound for anywhere within the airport other than Rental Car Returns, that exit is normally better than the first one that everyone uses. If coming from the south, consider using Route 1 instead of GW Parkway from Alexandria. The airport entrnaces from Route 1 will not be affected.

Posted by: Woodley Park | May 2, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

So I'm confused about the train times involved with the switch replacement project. If I'm at College Park heading to Gallery Place, can I expect a train to come every 24 mintues, or every 12?

And also, why is there no information about this on the Metro website? They have the press release about the Orange/Blue track work. Seems like this might warrant one as well.

Posted by: Laura | May 2, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Also note the following road closures in Arlington on Sunday, including Washington Blvd closed between 395 and Memorial Bridge:

The Arlington County Police Department will close several streets in the Crystal City area on Sunday, May 4, for the United States Air Force Cycling Classic. Listed below are the streets that will be affected.

From 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.:

• S. Joyce Street will be closed from Army Navy Drive to Columbia Pike.

• Columbia Pike will be closed from Oak Street to the Pentagon South Parking Lot (for access to the Pentagon use Eads and Fern Streets).

• There will be no access to Columbia Pike from S. Gate Road.

• Washington Blvd. will be closed between I-395 and the Memorial Bridge.

• Boundary Channel Drive will be closed.

• Old Jefferson Davis Highway will be closed from Boundary Channel Drive to Crystal Drive.

• Crystal Drive will be closed from 23rd Street to Army Navy Drive.

• Vehicular access to Clark Street will be restricted. Residents should use 12th Street.

• 15th Street will be closed between Jefferson Davis Highway and Crystal Drive.

• 18th Street will be closed between Bell Street and Crystal Drive.

• 20th Street will be closed between Jefferson Davis Highway and Crystal Drive.

• 23rd Street will be closed between Jefferson Davis Highway and Crystal Drive.

Race spectators are encouraged to use Metro. The Crystal City Station is located close to the race route.

In addition, street parking in the area will be restricted. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary "No Parking" signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call 703-228-4252.

Posted by: arlington | May 2, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: WP, the extra Green Line trains will run up only as far as L'Enfant Plaza and not to Gallery Place. And yes, that's likely to be messy. Metro will be announcing many more details, and I'll post them.
Laura, You'll see a train every 12 minutes.

Posted by: Robert Thomson | May 2, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

There is an interlocking directly north of L'Enfant Plaza that will allow them to reverse trains there. That's one reason longer headways will be required--reversing a train with no pocket would be too disruptive otherwise.

Guess I'm happy I made a noon tee time tomorrow instead of buying baseball tickets.

Laura, it sounds like you might be better-served by driving to a Red Line stop and riding to Gallery Place that way.

Posted by: Rich | May 2, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Are we expecting any kind of traffic disruptions due to the Avon Walk happening this weekend?

Posted by: Brian | May 2, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Trains every 24 minutes? This is why Metro is useless on weekends. Have fun slumming it in the DC sewer system!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Rich, I will need to take metro (no should know this by now!) but 12 minute waits for trains isn't bad (and in fact may be better than a usual saturday night on the green line).

Poster at 3:12, it is not 24 minutes between trains, but 12 (one green line every 24, one yellow every 24, so one or the other should come every 12 minutes).

Posted by: Laura | May 2, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Laura, Huntington, Eisenhower, King Street, Braddock Road, National Airport, Crystal City, Pentagon City, and Pentagon are not on the Green Line. Similarly, Yellow line trains will not be continuing to Branch Avenue. Trains in these areas will be every 24 minutes.

No doubt when the lines are parallel, the green and yellow trains will be one minute apart, and then 23 minutes until the next train.

Posted by: Read | May 2, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"(no should know this by now!)"

I don't think you had ever actually said that before.

Posted by: Rich | May 5, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Get a room.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

As I remember, there are differend designs/shapes of the transit car wheels & some are more prone to climing the rail. Also, the curved sections typically have oilers that allow the wheels to slide around & not try to climb! The oilers also had there problems in the past, including the typical METRO problem of not servicing untill it runs out of oil or fails (was a generic maintenance problem yrs ago)! You can hear the curve with out proper oiling make its screeching.
It might be nice to get the full NTSB report on line somewhere & link it.

Posted by: Lightning | May 5, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I went to the Nats game Saturday & everything was routine on the Green. No delays.

Posted by: 307/418 | May 5, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Dr. G, did this track work happen last weekend at Mount Vernon Square? I couldn't tell based on the train service, which seemed like a usual saturday night on the green line. I think the trains on the green line were running about 15-18 minutes apart. I did notice that yellow line trains were going to Fort Totten, not all the way to Greenbelt as stated earlier. I also saw no notices on the boards or annoucements in the station about it (at least not at 8:15pm saturday when I was catching a train at College Park metro).

Posted by: Laura | May 6, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Last week's post was poorly written. It went up Friday and said things would be starting Friday.

Posted by: Mark | May 6, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

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