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The Weekend and Beyond

metro handout.jpg
As the weekend began Friday afternoon, Metro employees handed out pamphlets to fast-moving travelers at Gallery Place. The pamphlets describe the crash investigation and its consequences, including potential slowdowns on all Metrorail lines. (Thomson)

Here are some suggestions about your travels by road and rail this weekend and next week. Rail slowdowns continue, but we've got some highway work, as well.

Metro Weekend Delays
Track maintenance is scheduled on only one line this weekend, but riders could experience slowdowns on any day on any line because of Metro train control policies instituted after the June 22 train crash.

The scheduled work this weekend is on the Blue Line: Riders traveling between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road should add at least half an hour to normal trip times. Metro will be replacing the concrete support structures underneath the tracks, and as a result, trains in both directions will share a single track to get around the work zone. This continues through the train system's close at midnight Sunday.

Red Line Open
Takoma Station, which had been closing its rail service at 10 o'clock some nights because of the investigation into the June 22 crash, will be open at its regular hours all this weekend. No interruptions along the Red Line. Still, because trains take it one at a time through the crash zone between Takoma and Fort Totten, the line is likely to get backed up. So Metro still advises riders to add a half hour to regular travel times.

Nationals At Home
There's baseball at 7:05 tonight and at 1:35 p.m. Sunday at Nationals Park. That means extra traffic around South Capitol and M streets and along the Southeast-Southwest Freeway. It also puts a crowd on Metro's Green Line to Navy Yard Station, the closest to the stadium. Parking is free at all Metro lots and garages on Saturdays and Sundays.

Intercounty Connector Project
Maryland's Intercounty Connector construction, much of which has been hidden from view along the right of way set aside for it, is busting out in a couple of new spots along its eastern side. Two traffic shifts, to allow construction of new bridges over the connector, will last for up to a year.

Traffic on Briggs Chaney Road about halfway between Route 29 and Interstate 95 has been shifted to a temporary road to the east of Briggs Chaney. For bikers and walkers, a temporary path is being built along the west side of the new route, separated from traffic by a guard rail. Local bus stops stayed in place.

On Wednesday, July 29, traffic on Old Gunpowder Road just south of Greencastle Road will be shifted temporarily onto a 1,200 foot road to the east of Old Gunpowder.

Wilson Bridge Project
The Beltway's outer loop is scheduled to slim down to a mere two lanes near the Eisenhower Avenue Connector from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday (July 30). It's part of the work to widen the Beltway, same as other recent changes drivers have seen in that area.

Drivers have enough trouble with what normally is a squeeze down to three lanes approaching the construction zone, so it would be best to avoid the outer loop during the two-lane situation.

I-95 Lane Change
Those who travel up and down the Northeast corridor this summer will notice a change in the traffic pattern on Interstate 95 north of Baltimore that is part of Maryland's Express Toll Lanes project. Southbound traffic on I-95 used to split off to the right to stay on 95 and reach the Fort McHenry Tunnel, while I-895 traffic went to the left. That's reversed now. The I-95 traffic stays to the left, and the I-895 traffic moves to the right.

HOT Lanes Project
The lane construction project along the Capital Beltway's western side in Virginia is about to begin placing steel beams for the new eastbound Little River Turnpike bridge over the Beltway.

The turnpike bridge, where the steel lift is scheduled to begin Monday night, is the first of a dozen to be rebuilt and lengthened to span the extra four lanes being added to the Beltway over the next two years. New steel beams also will be placed on bridges at Interstate 66 and Routes 123 and 50 before the end of summer, project officials say.

During the overnight work at Little River Turnpike, scheduled to last three weeks, watch for multiple lane closures and detours between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

Telegraph Road Interchange
The ramp from southbound Telegraph Road to the Capital Beltway's inner loop has been temporarily realigned. This will make room to rebuild parts of the ramp where the Beltway is being widened. The S-shaped ramp accommodates one lane of traffic. No date has been set for an end to the temporary realignment, part of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge construction project|http://www.wilsonbridge.com/.

Chain Bridge Change
Avoid the bridge on Monday night -- though it still will be open -- and hope that the lane adjustment scheduled to be in place by Tuesday morning's rush will ease traffic during the rest of the bridge rehabilitation project. A right-turn lane will be added on the Virginia side, so it will be easier for bridge traffic to get up onto Route 123.

By Robert Thomson  |  July 25, 2009; 12:46 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories  
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