The Weekend and Beyond
Here's some travel advice for the holiday weekend and on into the summer.
You won't see much of it this weekend. Maryland and Virginia pull up the orange barrels at their short term work sites for high-traffic holiday weekends. Don't take it as a sign of the summer to come. There will be plenty of construction, so stay alert in the work zones, which can be as dangerous for motorists as they are for construction crews.
Some streets in Washington will be closed Sunday for the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle parade, part of the Memorial Day weekend commemorations.
The event is from noon to 3 p.m. Most of the street closings end as the procession rolls on. Here's a map of the route. It starts at the Pentagon parking lot, goes over Memorial Bridge and around the national mall.
Memorial Day Parade
On Monday, watch for congestion around the national mall in conjunction with the holiday parade. The D.C. police announcement describes the parade route, street closings and parking restrictions.
The switch replacement project at Mount Vernon Square is suspended for this weekend, so it won't cause delays on the Green and Yellow lines as it has for the past two weekends. It starts up again for May 30-June 1 and finishes up on June 6-8.
This weekend, the Metro menu calls for maintenance and testing on the Red, Blue and Green lines, creating delays as trains take turns sharing one track to get around the work.
Memorial Day Transit
Metro's Web site lists the level of service available on the region's transit systems for the Monday holiday.
A Warning For Drivers
Officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation tell me you'll see greater enforcement of safety laws this summer. Don't get a ticket: Police programs across the nation are targeting seat belt use, aggressive driving, speeding in work zones and unsafe motoring around trucks.
In many states, there's a new emphasis on protecting public safety and emergency personnel along highways. Many states now have "Slow Down, Move Over" laws, meaning they want you to move away from stopped emergency vehicles and if that's not possible, slow down.
Fort Belvoir Gate
The inbound lane at Fort Belvoir's Telegraph Gate (Telegraph Road at Beulah Street) is closed this weekend for construction of security enhancements. Motorists may use the J.J. Kingman Gate off the Fairfax County Parkway to enter the post. The gate will reopen at 5 a.m. Tuesday.
D.C.Bridge Repair Postponed
The start date for repair of Southwest Washington's 11th Street Bridge over D Street, the railroad and approach roadways has been rescheduled, the District Department of Transportation says. The new date is June 2. The 12th Street SW tunnel ramp will remain open until then. (This 11th Street Bridge is in the L'Enfant Plaza area. It's not the Anacostia River crossing that many of you commuters are familiar with.)
This will be the big story of next weekend: Workers will be fiddling with the inner loop so those lanes can be redirected across the new span. By June 2, if the schedule holds, inner loop traffic will be using that span, the north one, while outer loop traffic continues to use the south span, the one that opened two years ago.
It's a big deal, because it means that the entire new bridge will be open, but the immediate impact on traffic congestion will be limited. The main thing drivers will notice is that some of the highway bending will be gone, and the merge from I-295 onto the inner loop should be a lot easier.
But the main thing you need to know is that the inner loop will be extremely congested next weekend when the lanes are being shifted onto the new span. Don't go there.
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