The Weekend and Beyond
Metro Previews Weekends
The transit authority has put out its first schedule for an entire month's worth of weekend track work, so riders have more time to anticipate the delays.
Metro had been posting the weekend work plan on the Thursday before it begins, so this new system is a bit of a breakthrough, though riders would prefer to do away with weekend track work altogether.
So what's up in October? The transit authority will be installing new rails, upgrading sections of track, replacing floating slabs and conducting switch replacement work on the Red, Orange, Blue and Green lines. (It's Yellow that's missing.) The delays resulting from track-sharing around the work zones will be 15 to 20 minutes.
But there will be no track work on Sunday morning to impede those running in or just watching the annual Army 10-Miler race in Arlington and the District. Metrorail will open an hour early at 6 a.m. and there will be extra service on the Blue Line. The closest stations to the race start are Pentagon and Pentagon City.
Metro offers this tip for racers: Use a plastic SmarTrip card or put your paper Farecard in a plastic holder. Sweat will demagnetize the paper cards.
Delay on HOV Switch
Because of the race, which is likely to bring more than 26,000 runners across the 14th Street Bridge, the usual weekend reversal of the I-95/395 HOV lanes will be delayed.
The HOV lanes will remain open to southbound motorists until 1 p.m. Sunday instead of 2 p.m. Saturday, the Virginia Department of Transportation says. The HOV lanes will close to all traffic at 1 p.m. and reopen for northbound traffic at 3 p.m.
There is one bit of Metrorail maintenance going on this weekend, but it will be done by the time the rail system opens on Sunday.
From 10 o'clock till the system closes at 3 a.m. Sunday, add at least 20 minutes to the usual travel times on the Blue Line between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road-Seat Pleasant. The transit authority is replacing a floating slab (a big section of concrete that supports the tracks and absorbs noise and vibration), so trains will be sharing a track to get around the work zone in that area.
Starting this month, District residents will be able to spend more time on the roads between visits to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Driver's licenses and identification cards will be valid for up to eight years, rather than five. The inspection sticker for new vehicles is valid for four years, rather than two.
But some fees have increased: The vehicle inspection fee rose from $25 to $35; the non-commercial driver's license fee went from $39 to $44.
The DMV also says it is cutting drivers some slack by expanding its online services. Drivers can print out temporary online licenses, identification cards and registrations so those who wait till the last minute to renew can keep on driving. The DMV Web site is at dmv.9dc.9gov.
The hearings on VRE's proposed fare increases are done, but riders still have until Wednesday Oct. 8 to comment by e-mail, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or regular mail, at Public Comment, Virginia Railway Express, 1500 King St., Suite 202, Alexandria, Va. 22314.
Resurfacing Route 50 Ramps
Starting Sunday night, three ramps at the Route 50/Davidsonville Road interchange are scheduled to be resurfaced. Each ramp will be closed for two night, between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. each night. Watch for detour signs Sunday through Thursday nights and then again on Sunday, Oct 12.
The Maryland State Highway Administration is starting a $110,000 resurfacing project along a quarter mile of West South Street (Route 144) between Jefferson Street and Bentz Street in downtown Frederick. It's scheduled to be done by the end of the month. Watch for single lane closures or lane shifts between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and expect delays.
The transit authority plans to hold a public meeting Thursday to discuss the future of the Metrobus D line, which includes routes between Sibley Hospital and Stadium-Armory Station, Glover Park and Dupont Circle, and Ivy City and Union Station.
The meeting, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., will be held on the 8th floor of the Department of Housing and Community Development, 801 North Capitol Street NW. Transit managers will be looking for suggestions on how to improve service.
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