The Weekend and Beyond
Here are some suggestions for your President's Day weekend planning and advice about upcoming transportation issues. Use this link to see The Post's status report on traffic, transit and parking for the holiday
The transit authority will use the long weekend to replace a switch at Pentagon Station. The station will be shut completely from 10 o'clock tonight through midnight Monday, when the rail system closes. No trains will go through.
This will have a big impact on people riding the Blue and Yellow lines between the District and Virginia, because they will have to get off the trains and board shuttle buses to get around the closed station.
See more details in this statement from Metro, and in this earlier posting on Get There. Note that Metro's Trip Planner, normally a very useful tool for plotting out a transit trip, doesn't account for disruptions like this.
VRE and MARC
There is no service Monday on either of the commuter train lines, because of the holiday.
Route 29 in Gainesville
Route 29 under Interstate 66 in Gainesville will be shut for extended periods over the next two weeks to allow safe removal of the bridge beams over the roadway.
This is the pattern of closures this coming week.
Southbound: Closed at Heathcote Boulevard from 5:30 a.m. Tuesday through 5 p.m. Friday.
Northbound: Closed under I-66 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, Tuesday through Friday.
Here's the status of the Gainesville interchange ramps during the week's closures:
Route 29 North to I-66 East: Open at all times.
Route 29 North to I-66 West: Closed. Follow detours.
I-66 West to Route 29 South: Open at all times.
I-66 West to Route 29 North: Open at all times.
I-66 East to Route 29 South: Open at all times.
I-66 East to Route 29 North: Closed. Follow detours.
This page on VDOT's Web site has more information, including the detour directions.
Braddock Road/Beltway Interchange
Drivers will see a new traffic pattern next week at the Braddock Road/Capital Beltway interchange, as Virginia continues the construction that will create the high occupancy or toll (HOT) lanes.
The work is scheduled to start Wednesday. The westbound Braddock Road bridge over the Beltway will be demolished and traffic will be shifted to what has been the eastbound bridge, which will have two lanes in each direction.
To make room for that additional lane, the Virginia Department of Transportation says, the sidewalk will be demolished. Pedestrians will be directed to the Wakefield Park Bridge over the Beltway. Here's a map of the detour. Watch for new traffic signals coming off the Beltway ramps once this work starts.
Look for lane closures along the Capital Beltway between Landover Road and Central Avenue as part of he project to turn Arena Drive into a full time interchange, rather than one used just for special events at FedEx Field. The closures can occur from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday.
Metrorail Next Weekend
Next weekend, Red Line riders between the Silver Spring and Forest Glen should plan on adding at least 20 minutes of travel time. Workers will be replacing rail fasteners that stabilize the tracks, so trains will share a single track to get around the work zone from 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 20, to midnight Sunday, Feb. 22.
New Express Bus
The transit authority has been tackling some of the toughest routes in its bus system, trying to figure out how to speed commuters and ease congestion. The 16 Street Line, the third most heavily traveled among the Metrobus lines, is notorious for its erratic schedule and for bunching up the buses so three arrive at the same time.
By the end of March, riders will have a new option: a rush-hour express service called the S9 will run between Silver Spring and downtown Washington.
Instead of making 82 stops from the Silver Spring Metro station to Federal Triangle or Potomac Park, the express would make 16 stops between Silver Spring Station and McPherson Square. Buses would be scheduled to arrive every 10 minutes during morning and evening rush hours. That should save six to eight minutes on travel times over the entire route.
Metro will hold public hearings in the coming week on two plans that involve canceling Metrobus routes and turning that service over to local jurisdictions.
A hearing will be held Wednesday on the proposed elimination of Metrobus routes 2W, 12A-S and 20F-Y in Fairfax County. The plan is to shift service to the Fairfax Connector. The hearing will begin at 7 p.m. at the Centreville Public Library, 14200 Saint Germain Dr., Centreville.
On Thursday, Metro will hold a hearing on the proposed elimination of Metrobus route N22, the shuttle linking Union Station, Eastern Market and the Navy Yard. The District's Circulator bus would take over that service. The hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Metro's headquarters, 600 5th St. NW in the District.
The Maryland Transit Administration says Amtrak Quicktrak Ticket Vending Machines are scheduled to be installed at most MARC train stations by the end of March. The ticket machines will accept debit and major credit cards only for daily, weekly or monthly tickets. They won't take cash or vouchers.
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