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The Weekend and Beyond

Here are some suggestions for your travels this weekend and into January.

Metro Weekend Work
After work wraps up Sunday night on a Red Line switch replacement and Orange Line crosstie replacement, Metrorail is done for the year with its weekend schedule of track maintenance, but look for the program and the resulting travel delays to resume in January. Here are the full details about this weekend's delays.

Wilson Bridge Lanes
If this weekend's work finishes on schedule, Monday morning commuters will find they have two new lanes on the Capital Beltway's inner loop across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

Where the lanes divide, drivers can stay left for the two new Thru lanes or right for the three Local lanes. The outer loop's new lanes opened last weekend.

The Thru lanes should be used when the destination is beyond Route 210 on the outer loop or beyond Telegraph Road on the inner loop. The inner loop split will occur just east of Route 210.

The full details of this weekend's work, and the likely delays, are here.

Wilson Bridge Map.jpg

Suburban Transit to Inaugural
MARC, the Maryland commuter buses and VRE plan to run special services on Jan. 20. All together, they can provide transportation for about 50,000 people. The trains will arrive at Union Station, but the commuter buses will drive from park and ride spots to Metro stations on the region's fringe.

The train tickets must be purchased in advance. The bus fares can be paid on Inauguration Day.

D. C. Circulator Transfers
The District's Circulator buses will join Metrobus in providing a bus-to-Metrorail transfer discount starting Jan. 4 for riders who use a SmarTrip electronic fare card. The new discount will reduce the Metrorail fare by 50 cents.

This is the same day that paper transfers will be eliminated for both Metrobus and Circulator. To get either the transfer discount from bus to train or the free bus-to-bus transfer, riders will have to use the SmarTrip card. Riders will have three hours to make the transfer and receive the fare break.

Another change: The Circulator won't accept MARC or VRE passes as transfers. Monthly Circulator passes can be bought online for $40 through

Fairfax Fare Rising
Starting Jan. 4, the regular fare on the Fairfax Connector will rise from $1 to $1.25 if paying by SmarTrip, and from $1 to $1.35 if paying cash.

Fairfax will apply the same transfer policy as Metrobus: The paper transfers will be discontinued on the same date. If riders use the SmarTrip card, they'll get a 50 cent discount when transferring either from rail to bus or bus to rail. Bus to bus transfers with SmarTrip will be free for three hours.

Route 7 Ramp
The ramp at exit 46 from the Capital Beltway's inner loop to westbound Leesburg Pike is scheduled to be shifted on Monday night. Use caution because the turning radius will be different. This work is part of the construction project that will add new lanes to the western side of the Beltway in Virginia.

Road Work on Route 29
Watch for single lane closures on Columbia Pike at the Montgomery-Howard County line from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Central Avenue Closures
Watch for single lane closures from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and double lane closures from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday on Central Avenue between Cindy Lane in Prince George's County and the District line.

Bethesda Circulator Expands
The Bethesda Circulator, a free shuttle that operates in the downtown area, has expanded its route and hours through Dec. 31. This has added new stops on Montgomery Lane, East-West Highway and Old Georgetown Road. The shuttle arrives every 10 minutes from 7 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Saturdays.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 12, 2008; 11:38 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  
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