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Traffic Alert for Thursday

The national event of the week will also be our traffic event of the week:
Thursday morning's dedication for the Pentagon Memorial is likely to disrupt travel over a wide area.

Pentagon Memorial.jpg Click for larger map of road closures. (Arlington Police Department)

Arlington police will block many major roads near the Pentagon during the morning and early afternoon. See a map here.

The schedule calls for these points to be closed from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.:

Washington Boulevard eastbound at Interstate 395 and Columbia Pike and westbound at Memorial Bridge, I-395 and Hayes Street; southbound I-395 to the Pentagon south parking lot; and Columbia Pike from Joyce Street to the Pentagon south parking. I-395 northbound HOV will have no access to Washington Boulevard.

Police say these roads will be closed at 3 a.m. and reopened when conditions permit:

South Fern Street from Army Navy Drive to the Pentagon; South Eads Street from Army Navy Drive to the Pentagon; Rotary Road throughout Pentagon south parking; and the north-south connector road at the Pentagon. Traffic heading north on the I-395 HOV lanes won't have access to Eads Street and must exit at Army Navy Drive.

The dedication ceremony is open only to those with invitations.

All Metrobuses that normally serve the Pentagon Transit Center, the largest transfer station in the Metrobus system, will move to the Pentagon City Metro station from 2 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday. Metrorail service won't be affected.

Besides telecommuting, what strategies would you suggest for dealing with traffic congestion on Thursday?

By Robert Thomson  |  September 8, 2008; 8:23 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion  
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Next: Afternoon Alerts for Commuters


Dr. Gridlock,
I ride my bike to work in DC along the trail around the Pentagon down to Memorial Bridge. Will that be closed as well on Thursday morning?

Posted by: LionelMandrake | September 8, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Does this mean there will be no access from Washington Blvd. to the 14th street bridge? My commute is on the GW Parkway from Spout Run to the 14th St. Bridge and from what I've read, I can't tell what Thursday morning is going to be like for me.

Posted by: Arlington, VA | September 8, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

My morning commute usually involves taking the Yellow Line to Pentagon and then catching a bus to Shirlington where I work. So WMATA is going to move all the bus routes that begin and end at the Pentagon to Pentagon City. I guess that solves everything, huh?

I've got my doubts.

How exactly is that supposed to work? WMATA hasn't explained that yet. There are considerably fewer bus stops at Pentagon City than there are at the Pentagon. I anticipate chaos, which is kind of appropriate given the day all this will be happening on.

Posted by: OddNumberDave | September 8, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

OddNumberDave, I'm guessing you had a different commute in the months after 9/11. WMATA moved all bus stops to Pentagon City right after and they stayed there for months. The new bus stop at the Pentagon wasn't ready yet. So I doubt there will be as much chaos as you expect. They'll likely use the entire sidewalk from the book store to the Costco. They probably still have the signage from 7 years ago.

Posted by: Arlington, VA | September 8, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Are the closure expected to impact 395 traffic as well?

Posted by: DCDriver | September 8, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes they will effect I395 and I66 traffic.
Has anyone asked the important question why does DOD feel it necessary to ask Arlington to close these roads? Its overkill. I guess W is making an appearance.

If you work in the area of the pentagon you might as well book a room and stay in the area Wed night. Traffic will be screwed up as far west as Front Royal and as far south as Fredericksburg.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2008 6:35 AM | Report abuse

"I guess W is making an appearance."

He is. If you click the map above, you'll notice references to "POTUS" in several places. That's their acronym for "President of the United States."

I've always wondered what would happen if Virginia told the feds to pound sand because of the traffic tie-ups and to schedule the event outside of rush hour.

Posted by: Rich | September 9, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

That would be nice, the feds could defund the projects that NIMBY NOVA won't build.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 9, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Will this affect Arlington transit ART buses? Nothing is on their website yet and I take the 74 AM bus that goes through the Pentagon City area where there are street closures.

Posted by: cw | September 9, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering if anyone has predictions as to what this will do to city-wide traffic. I live in Maryland and commute to the Kennedy Center so I am not sure how affected I will be by other people's changed patterns for the day ahead.

Posted by: Carolyn | September 10, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

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