The Weekend and Beyond
Some tips and suggestions for your upcoming travels:
Marine Corps Marathon
See all the details about Metro service changes and traffic disruptions in this blog entry. The race begins at 8 a.m. Sunday.
Track maintenance on the Blue and Green lines will slow your travels from Friday night into Sunday, as trains to take turns sharing a track around the work zones. (That Blue Line work will be done at 3 a.m. Sunday, so it won't interfere with transit to and from the marathon.) See the full details at this page on Metro's Web site.
Parkway Bridge Reopening
The ramp from westbound Clara Barton Parkway to the Capital Beltway's outer loop reopened Friday afternoon. The ramp closed in late summer for a $2 million bridge rehabilitation project that included a new concrete bridge deck, cleaning and painting the steel bridge beams, minor repair work on the approaching roadway, and guardrail removal and replacement, the Maryland State Highway Administration said.
Because there's still some work left, there will be some off peak ramp closures for up to 10 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. These closures could begin as soon as early November.
The same detour will be in effect on those days: Westbound Clara Barton Parkway to the next exit at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (Forrestal Road), then two left turns (crossing over the parkway), back onto the eastbound parkway and then a left exit to the Beltway's outer loop.
The Washington Region Alcohol Program will again be operating its anti-drunk-driving program on Halloween. Since 1993, WRAP has provided people with over 41,010 safe rides home.
To receive a ride from 10 p.m. Oct. 31 through 6 a.m. Nov. 1, call 800-200-8294 (TAXI) or #8294 (TAXI) on an AT&T telephone. A SoberRide call operator will direct the request to a participating cab company. The program will cover the first $50 of the fare. The caller is responsible for the rest.
SoberRide doesn't take reservations. It's a good idea to program the number into your cell phone before heading out for a celebration.
Vests for Visibility
Each October, the maintenance shops of Maryland's State Highway Administration help keep children safe on Halloween by loaning out reflective vests for use by trick-or-treaters. The vests will be available at the shops on Thursday and Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Return them by Nov. 7.
Here's a list of the shop locations in the Washington area: 910 Stewart Ave., Glen Burnie; Route 231 at Routes 2/4, Prince Frederick; 5725 Washington Ave., LaPlata; 5111 Buckeystown Pike, Frederick; 4401 Route 32, Dayton; 12020 Plum Orchard Drive, Silver Spring; 502 Quince Orchard Road, Gaithersburg; Talbot Avenue and Second Avenue, Laurel; 6500 S.E. Crain Highway, Upper Marlboro.
Here are some tips for drivers: Trick or treaters are small, fast and all too often wear dark clothing. Be extra careful coming in and out of driveways and passing by parked cars. They'll be jaywalking.
If you're the neighborhood driver for a bunch of trick or treaters, make them put on their seatbelts and tell them to get out of the car on the curbside.
Beltway Ramp Closing
The Eisenhower Avenue Connector ramp to and from the outer loop will be closed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. every weekday evening and some weekend evenings until Nov. 11.
This closure is part of the Wilson Bridge Project and the widening of the Beltway beyond Telegraph Road, which involves demolition and reconstruction of portions of the Beltway bridge over the Eisenhower Connector.
Drivers who want to exit onto the Connector from the outer loop will be detoured to Telegraph Road North. Those who want to enter the outer loop from Eisenhower Avenue will be detoured to the Van Dorn Street or Telegraph Road ramps.
The path and sidewalks between South Clermont Drive and Eisenhower Avenue will be closed during the construction.
Bike Light Giveaway
As the mornings and afternoons grow darker, bicyclists can take advantage of a bike lights giveaway in the District and Alexandria.
The program, supported by the District Department of Transportation, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and the City of Alexandria, among others, is handing out 600 free sets of bike lights.
Starting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in the District, it's first come, first served at Suntrust Plaza on the corner of 18th Street and Columbia Road NW and at Sacred Heart Church near the intersection of 16th Street and Park Road NW.
In Alexandria, the giveaway will start at 5 p.m. Thursday near Cora Kelly Elementary School at 3600 Commonwealth Ave.
Frederick County Bridge Shut
Maryland's State Highway Administration has closed the Point of Rocks Road Bridge over Catoctin Creek in southwestern Frederick County for repairs. SHA expects it will stay shut for up to four weeks.
The bridge is scheduled to be replaced in 2010, but SHA said a recent assessment showed it needs to repaired sooner than that. The safest and quickest way is to accomplish that is to close the road, the highway administration said.
But about 4,000 vehicles a day use this section of road. Watch for detour signs.
Route 29 in Howard County
On Monday, Maryland's State Highway Administration will start a $500,000 project to improve the acceleration and deceleration lanes along Route 29 at Old Columbia Road. Those "flex posts" at the intersection will be replaced with a concrete island. The work will continue into early December, SHA says.
Old Columbia Road at Route 29 will close after 9 a.m. Monday. SHA says that closing it completely will speed construction of the wider and longer lanes. During construction, watch for lane closures along Route 29, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Friday into Saturday morning. Watch for detour signs to reach Old Columbia Road.
Hearing Monday on I-66 Plan
The Virginia Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington on the preliminary design of the three I-66 spot improvements. The session starts at 7 p.m. Monday. The main entrance to the building is at 1301 N. Stafford St.
VDOT says that a court reporter will be available to take down public comments. The transcript will be reviewed and considered by the transportation department in establishing the final designs.
Preliminary engineering and environmental documentation has been completed for the three spot improvements, intended to ease traffic flow on I-66 westbound inside the Capital Beltway without widening the highway. You can read more details on this page at VDOT's Web site.
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