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The Weekend and Beyond

Some advice for your travels this weekend and during the rest of the month:

Metrorail Delays
Track maintenance on the Blue, Orange and Red lines this weekend will delay trains as they take turns on single tracks around the work zones. See the full details here on Metro's Web site. Remember if you use Metro's Trip Planner feature on the transit authority's home page that Trip Planner doesn't factor in the weekend delays.

Huntington Garage Open
Metro has opened a six-level, 1,424-space parking garage at Huntington Station on the Yellow Line. The $31.1 million garage, which took two years to build, is part of a development at the station that includes residential, commercial and office space.

E Street Expressway
The District Department of Transportation is repairing the ramp leading from the E Street Expressway to westbound Interstate 66. The single-lane ramp is scheduled to reopen by Aug. 25.

Detour: Go to the Potomac River Freeway North, then turn left onto 27th Street NW, make an immediate left onto Potomac River Freeway South, then enter westbound I-66.

Route 29 Bridge
A portion of southbound Route 29 is closed this weekend from 9 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday while the Virginia Department of Transportation installs a new deck on the Route 29 bridge over Broad Run in western Prince William County. The closure will be repeated next weekend, from Friday night through 5 a.m. Monday, and then again from Friday night, Sept. 5, through 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 8.

Detour for cars: Route 29 South to Route 15 North to Route 55 West to Beverly Mill Road (Route 600) to Route 29. Detour for tractor-trailers: Route 29 South to Route 15 North to I-66 West to Route 17 South to Route 29. (The detour for tractor-trailers is longer because they cannot travel two-lane Beverly Mill Road.)

Raven Rock Road Paving
The Maryland State Highway Administration has begun a $414,000 project to resurface about two miles of Route 491 (Raven Rock Road) between the Washington County Line and Fort Ritchie Road in Frederick County. Workers should finish in September.
Meanwhile, watch for single lane closures between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays and expect delays.

By Robert Thomson  |  August 15, 2008; 11:52 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  
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Next: The Weekend and Beyond


I don't know whether it affects the weekend, but there was roadwork on the ramp from I-66 West to the Beltway Outer Loop. When I went that way this morning, the cones blocked the left lane of that ramp, forcing cars to first slow down on the ramp then make an immediate merge onto the left lane of the Beltway. Believe me, there's nothing better than trying to merge onto Beltway traffic (especially the left-most lane) from a dead standstill!!!

Posted by: Mugavero | August 15, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I drove past the Gainesville US 29 closure (headed NB, thankfully), and cannot figure out for the life of me why they didn't route one southbound lane of 29 over to the northbound side. Instead of having one lane closed in each direction for about 200 yards, they opted to force drivers on a 7.5 mile detour.
There were variable message signs posted on 29, but none on I-66, so folks that don't read Dr. Gridlock would have only found out after they committed to 29.

There were PWC cops out there directing traffic, which was helpful, but the setup seems to have been typically poorly handled by VDOT.

Posted by: Joe in SS | August 17, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Does the new Huntington garage have more spaces than the surface lot all this development is going to take place on?

Posted by: wlevey | August 17, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

From an engineering perspective, re-routing traffic onto the northbound lanes is difficult to do for a weekend project. You would have to build crossovers beforehand, then erect/break down concrete divider walls in the northbound lanes (anytime there is 2-way traffic in what is normally a 1-way road, physical seperation of the 2 directions of traffic is required, according to FHWA rules), and a lot of signs/stripes would have to be placed. Makes sense to do this if the road is shut for a week or more, but for only 2 days at a time it would be too in-efficient and not to mention a lot more costly than slapping up some detour signs.

Hopefully VDOT will post signs on I-66 next time. However their logic in not doing so is probably to "spread out" the detour traffic onto several routes. Those who know about it beforehand can take I-66 to The Plains or Marshall to get to Warrenton, and those who do not know about it beforehand can take the "official" detour. Many times highway agencies will deliberately post a different detour than the route most local people will take on purpose in order to spread out the detour traffic.

Posted by: Woodley Park | August 18, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Woodley - Agreed - except for the fact that there are cross streets - with ready-made crossovers already existing on both sides of that bridge. US 29 is a divided, at-grade highway, not a controlled-access one.
To the east, there is Cerro Gordo Road, and to the west, there is Buckland Mill Road. The two are less than 800 feet apart, on opposite sides of the bridge.
I'd agree if there was a long distance with no crossovers, but this one belies common sense.
Would not the myriad of construction cones in the area sufficed as a physical barrier? Traffic through the area was moving quite slowly.

Posted by: Joe in SS | August 18, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

VDOT managing something poorly? You don't say!

That's page 1 of the VDOT SOP. Right before the section on "build interchange ramps that lead directly into a maze of traffic lights" like at Waxpool/Rte. 28 and Rte. 28/7.

Brilliant design work there, Lou!

Posted by: BOHICA | August 18, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

if only these roads could be plowed over and turned into community gardens!

Posted by: my urban dream | August 18, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

We were headed down to Prince William Golf Course on Saturday and since we knew about the roadwork, we took Glenkirk road. Worked well as an alternate since there was no traffic, but we didn't know it would turn out to be a rutted gravel mess for a while. I hate gravel roads. If a road has to be unimproved, give me a dirt road any day, much smoother and easier to drive on.

The part that I found amusing was the truck detour VDOT announced: From US-29 South, take VA-55 north to I-66, follow that west to US-17, and rejoin US-29 at Warrenton. Almost NO truck drivers are ever on US-29 north/east of Gainesville where it goes through the Bull Run battlefield, so why not just say "Trucks stay on I-66 west past Gainesville to the US-17 exit, then take US-17 south to Warrenton"? Why have them get off I-66 only to get back on at the next exit?

Posted by: Rich | August 19, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Is Dr. G on vacation? No posts since last Friday?? You would think the Post would either have a guest person or a back up to post about specific things, such as the MARC mess this morning.

Posted by: Laura | August 20, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this about the 4th or 5th week off that Dr. G has had this year? Must be nice!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Is there any reason that the blue and yellow lines are stopping at the Potomoc Yards station now, especially since it doesn't exist?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Yes, well when you kowtow to VDOT and METRO, the kickbacks must be pretty decent.

Still waiting on my "why does it take 120 days and counting for Metro 'customer service' to respond to an inquiry and a follow-up" question to be answered...

Posted by: Indeed! | August 20, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Metrorail service information for Tuesday, August 19, 2008 (according to Metro, as of Thursday, August 21, 2008, Tuesday is "yesterday")

Unexpected Service Disruptions:

8:01 a.m. A Red Line train at Brookland-CUA in the direction of Shady Grove was taken out of service because of a public health issue, and customers were required to exit the train.

Posted by: WTF is this? | August 21, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

8:01 a.m. A Red Line train at Brookland-CUA in the direction of Shady Grove was taken out of service because of a public health issue, and customers were required to exit the train.

Someone probably puked.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

That's just weird, not only because they're so vague but how does a person puke in 6-8 cars?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 22, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

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