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The Weekend and Beyond

Here are some suggestions about your travels this weekend and during the rest of April.

Cherry Blossom Festival
It ends this weekend. Metrorail has no track work scheduled for the weekend, because it wants to maintain the train schedule at such a crowded time. Riders will see some eight-car trains on the Red, Orange and Green lines from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. to accommodate crowds.

More Eight-Car Trains Coming
Speaking of longer trains, watch for them starting Monday on the Red and Green lines. Metro is putting 20 more cars into service and that's where they'll show up. However, some of the 20 will be held in reserve in case other trains break down.

Nationals Open Monday
Those extra train cars are just in time for opening day at Nationals Park. The ball game against the Phillies starts at 3:05 p.m. Monday. Traffic at the stadium did not turn out to be a nightmare and you can now buy a parking spot for a single game, but it's still a good idea to take Metro's Green Line to Navy Yard Station. This link takes you to the Nationals Park transportation page. The neighborhood parking restrictions remain in effect, to discourage fans from looking for street parking in the residential areas.

Work Near Wilson Bridge
A new ramp from Route 1 southbound to the Thru Lanes on the Capital Beltway's outer loop is scheduled to open on Monday, April 13. But there's also a lot of over night work coming up nearby at the Telegraph Road interchange, and traffic congestion is very likely.

Starting Monday night, there will be a series of lane and ramp closures as workers place steel beams for a new bridge ramp over the Capital Beltway. One loop or the other will squeeze down significantly on the work nights from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. This work is scheduled to end April 26.

New Traffic Cameras
With all the road work on the western side of the Beltway in Virginia, the Virginia Department of Transportation is installing 20 portable traffic cameras to monitor conditions on the Beltway, the Dulles Toll Road and Routes 123 and 7. Route 123 in Tysons Corner will be a particularly active spot on both the HOT lanes and Metrorail construction projects. Watch for left lane closures later this month.

Traffic Calming Project
The Virginia Department of Transportation is building four roundabouts in eastern Loudoun County. Route 15 is closed between Route 50 and the newly built connector road called Howsers Branch Drive, about a quarter-mile south of Gilbert's Corner.

Drivers are using Howsers Branch Drive and a new roundabout on Route 50. That detour will be in place through May. This is likely to add five minutes to trips at off-peak times and up to 10 at rush hour.

As the project unfolds over the next few months, more detours are planned for Route 50 and Watson Road. The whole job is scheduled to be done late this year. For now, Robinson says, be patient and slow down while driving through that area. It's a new route and, as the project develops, a new style of merging for many motorists.

Free Cards for Seniors
Two more chances for seniors or people who are disabled to exchange their regular SmarTrip cards for the senior or reduced fare cards at no cost. The exchange events are scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, and on April 22 at Metro headquarters, 600 Fifth St. NW. Any far value on the old cards can be transferred to the new ones.

Gallows Road Bridge
The lane shift on the bridge over the Capital Beltway has begun. All east-west traffic on Gallows Road is now traveling on what used to be the westbound side of the bridge while the old eastbound side is demolished. Eastbound traffic can no longer turn left to reach the Beltway's inner loop. The reconstruction of the bridge is part of the HOT lanes project.

Repaving on K Street NW
The work, which also includes sidewalk repair, is between 12th and 18th streets in the middle of Washington. There will be some lane closures, though the milling and paving will be done at night. The scheduled completion date is May 15. Look for parking restriction signs, which should be posted at least 72 hours in advance, the District Department of Transportation says.

Rockville Pike Interchange
Watch for single lane closures around the construction zone at the junction of the pike and Randolph/Montrose Road from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday.

Rebuilding Bridge Over NY Avenue
The District Department of Transportation will reconstruct the 9th Street Bridge over New York Avenue NE, starting the week of April 20. The project will continue until mid-2011.

To start, DDOT will close the two southbound lanes on the bridge. To maintain two-way traffic, the two lanes that now handle northbound traffic will be split into one northbound lane and one southbound lane until the new bridge is done.

To accomplish the lane shift, DDOT will close access from Brentwood Parkway northbound to the bridge. The ramp from the southbound 9th Street Bridge to westbound New York Avenue also will be closed.

Detours: Southbound traffic on 9th Street can take Brentwood Parkway to Penn Street to reach New York Avenue. Northbound traffic on Brentwood Parkway can take Penn Street to eastbound New York Avenue, and then use the ramp to the northbound bridge.

By Robert Thomson  |  April 10, 2009; 10:32 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  
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"Eastbound traffic can no longer turn left to reach the Beltway's outer loop."

Dr. G, I used to live near that interchange and I believe the sentence quoted above should refer to the inner loop. Eastbound traffic is going from outside the Beltway to inside the Beltway and a left turn would carry you onto the inner loop via the very long onramp that goes through the US-50 interchange.

Posted by: 1995hoo | April 10, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: Thank you, 1995hoo, I went back and fixed it to say "inner" loop after you correctly pointed out the mistake.

Posted by: rtthomson1 | April 10, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Requiring seniors and persons with disabilities to travel to Metro Headquarters to acquire the special fare card is not customer friendly. Getting to Metro Headquarters is not an easy trip for many and certainly not convenient. Surely Metro can figure a better way to accomplish this task that better serves their customers.

Posted by: edwardatvienna | April 11, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

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