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The Weekend and Beyond

Looks like the biggest things to mind this weekend will be the Metrorail disruptions and the first concert at Nationals Park. But watch out for that construction on Kenilworth Avenue (295) in the District. Here's my weekly rundown on what to expect.

Metrorail Delays
The Red Line is still slowed between Fort Totten and Takoma, which has a ripple effect along the entire line. Update: Takoma Station, which has been closing each night at 10 o'clock so crash investigators can continue their work, will be open tonight, Friday, but will resume the 10 p.m. closings on Saturday. When the station is closed, there will be no train service between Silver Spring and Fort Totten. There will be free shuttle buses to take passengers between Silver Spring, Takoma and Fort Totten. (The Silver Spring shuttle stop is on Dixon Avenue, the others are at the stations.) Keep this in mind if you're going to a late movie in Silver Spring.

But Metro also has an intense schedule of weekend track maintenance on the Red, Orange, Blue and Yellow lines that will add a half hour to normal travel times. See the full schedule here.

Billy Joel/Elton John Concert
This is the first concert at Nationals Park. Don't expect the travel conditions to match those for a baseball game. Many drivers will be unfamiliar with the neighborhoods near South Capitol and M streets. Some people taking Metro won't know the transfer stations, the Navy Yard Station exits or the fare card procedures. Everyone will want to be there for the 7:30 p.m. start on Saturday, and everyone will leave at the same time. Navy Yard Station will likely be jammed afterward. See more details in previous entry.

Northbound Kenilworth Avenue (295)
Workers are scheduled to place a new section of deck on the northbound span of the bridge carrying roadway over Burroughs Ave NE. This will start at midnight tonight and continue till 5 a.m. Monday. The right and center lanes on the northbound roadway will be closed.

One left lane will get by. Or you can exit at Burroughs Avenue and use an overflow detour then merge back onto 295 after crossing through the Burroughs Avenue intersection. On the southbound side, two lanes will remain open at all times.

Alternatives to connect with the Beltway:
-- I-395 to Route 50 East (New York Avenue )
-- Whitney Young Memorial Bridge to East Capitol Street to Central Avenue
-- Sousa Bridge to Pennsylvania Avenue SE

Tunnel Ramp Closing
The eastbound ramp to the 12th Street Tunnel is scheduled to be closed tonight and Saturday as part of the rehabilitation of the 11th Street Bridge in Southwest. (Not the big one over the Anacostia in Southeast.) The ramp will close at 7 o'clock tonight and reopen at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Drivers coming off the 14th Street Bridge from Virginia will have to find an alternative route downtown. They can go north on 14th Street or take the L'Enfant Plaza exit to D Street SW. Detour signs will direct them to 7th Street .

Beltway Lane Closings
This is the first of two items about construction that will affect travel near the Wilson Bridge in Virginia. From Sunday through Friday, there will be nightly lane and ramp closings around the Telegraph Road Interchange. These are likely to cause long delays for nighttime drivers and it would be best to find an alternative route. These are the details:

From 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. each of those nights:
The outer loop will shrink to one lane from east of the Eisenhower Avenue Connector to east of Telegraph Road. The ramp from Telegraph Road North to the outer loop will be closed. Detour: From Telegraph Road North to Pershing Drive, then left on Stovall Street, left on Mill Road, left on Telegraph Road South to the outer loop ramp.

The inner loop will shrink to one Local and one Thru lane between the Eisenhower Metro overpass and Telegraph Road.

Eisenhower Connector
The Woodrow Wilson Bridge project has changed the schedule for a lane shift on the Beltway's outer loop in Virginia. What follows was originally supposed to happen on Saturday, but is now scheduled for next week:

Traffic in the right lane of the outer loop will be diverted to the right, using the Eisenhower Avenue Connector ramps as a third outer loop travel lane. Once that happens, drivers will not be allowed to turn onto the Connector or stop on these ramps.

This lane configuration will be in place through September. Meanwhile, workers will replace the deck on the Beltway bridge above the Connector. Look for signs saying that Exit 174 is closed. Follow detours via Van Dorn Street or Telegraph Road to reach Eisenhower Avenue from the outer loop.

Bikers and walkers: South Van Dorn Street may be your best alternative.

11th Street Bridge Project
This is the first impact I've seen from the District's project to rebuild the 11th Street Bridges over the Anacostia: The District of Columbia Department of Transportation plans to close a small section of M Street SE and the 12th Street ramp from I-295 North on the two weekends after this one for demolition of two overhead access ramps for RFK Stadium.

DDOT says that M Street SE between 11th and 12th streets and the 12th Street ramp (also known as the M Street /Washington Navy Yard Ramp) from I-295 North will be closed from 6:30 p.m. on July 17 to 6:30 a.m. July 20 and from 6:30 p.m. on July 24 to 6::30 a.m. on July 27.

The marinas and boat houses on Water Street SE still will be accessible. Look for the marked detours around the closed areas.

New Staircase at Vienna
Metro plans to build a new staircase at the Vienna Station. The transit authority staff hopes to get final approval for it from the Metro board on Thursday. With more eight car trains arriving at the platform to carry more people moving into new housing around the station, the transit authority and the Fairfax County government proposed adding the stairway. Fairfax County will pay for the $2 million construction costs.

As part of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project, on July 6, the Eisenhower Avenue Connector, its ramp to the Outer Loop of the Beltway and the ramp from Outer Loop to the Connector were closed to vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. Vehicle traffic from Eisenhower Avenue to the Inner Loop of the Beltway is the only remaining movement allowed.

By Robert Thomson  |  July 11, 2009; 11:01 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Billy Joel Elton John concert, Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail delays, Nationals Park  
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Next: Traffic Alert: Delays on S Van Dorn St. in Alexandria


Two million dollars to building a staircase???

Posted by: blah1233242 | July 10, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Anybody know what was up with the Red Line unloading at Metro Center last night around 5:30? The announcement said something about a "sick passenger" in the train ahead.

Posted by: dolm | July 10, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

That staircase had better be made of some nice stone for $2M. Or the workers had better have sterling health benefits. Or both.

I'm just glad it's a low-maintenance staircase and not some breaking-down escalator. If I ran Metro all escalators going to/from the platforms would be stairs. (Notice I said platforms, not exiting/entering the station itself)

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | July 10, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

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