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The Week Ahead in Traffic, Transit

The week is getting off to an extremely hot start. Don't let it affect your temperature as you deal with these delays.

Metrorail
You may experience a slowdown on trains in any part of the Metro system this week. It may occur during a check of a track circuit for safety. You can see Metro's status report on those circuits here. Travelers noted last week that there seem to be a lot on the Red Line right now. I asked Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. about that last week, and he said there's no particular issue with circuits on the Red Line. In fact, if you look at the complete list of all circuits that Metro has reviewed, you see a much more balanced picture across the lines.

In other cases, you'll experience a slowdown because of a scheduled maintenance project.

Red Line
This month's repairs to the track circuits has led to late-night single tracking between Fort Totten and Takoma. From 10 p.m. to the system's closing each night, Red Line trains will share one track between Fort Totten and Takoma to get around the track-circuit work zones.

In addition, there will be two weekend shutdowns of Red Line service between Takoma and Brookland. Those will occur this coming weekend, Aug. 14-16, and the following weekend, Aug. 21-23. The shutdowns will begin at 10 p.m. on the Fridays and continue through the midnight closings on the Sunday nights. The free shuttle buses will be back to bridge the gap, stopping at Brookland, Fort Totten and Takoma stations. Green Line service at Fort Totten will not be affected by this, but the work means continued delays all along the Red Line.

Blue and Yellow Lines
Through the rest of the month, many late night trips on the Blue and Yellow lines will be greatly affected by preparations for a big track rehab program scheduled to be completed during Labor Day weekend. Metro is advising riders to add 45 minutes to normal trip times when the work is underway this month.

This week: From 10 p.m. to the midnight closing each night through Thursday, there will be no Blue Line service between Rosslyn and King Street. During those same hours, Yellow Line trains will share a track between Braddock Road and L'Enfant Plaza.

On the Yellow Line, trains will operate once every 36 minutes between Fort Totten and Huntington. On the Blue Line, shuttle trains will operate between Franconia-Springfield and King Street to connect riders to the Yellow Line. Free shuttle buses will operate between Rosslyn and Pentagon.

Tysons Traffic
Drivers in Tysons Corner should look for a new traffic pattern on Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) created by the Dulles rail project. This permanently closes the gap in the median in front of Marshall's Drive/Frontage Road and results in these changes:

-- Traffic exiting Marshall's Drive and Frontage Road on to Route 7 will be allowed to turn right only at these intersections.
-- Drivers will not be able to turn from Marshall's Drive to westbound Route 7, or from Frontage Road to eastbound Route 7.
-- Drivers will not be able to cross Route 7 from Marshall's Drive to Frontage Road, or from Frontage Road to Marshall's Drive.

Beltway Paving
Maryland has begun a resurfacing project on the Capital Beltway between I-270 and the Legion Bridge. This week's schedule: Look for single lane closings overnights from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and double or triple lane closings from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Thursday.

Maryland Commuter Routes
Rockville Pike and Route 198 also will be affected by construction projects this week.
-- Look for single lane closings from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. today through Friday on Rockville Pike between Route 121 and Clarksburg Road.
-- Look for single lane closings on Route 198 between New Hampshire Avenue and the Montgomery/Prince George's county line from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. today through Friday.

Virginia Megaprojects
The Virginia Department of Transportation collects information about lane closings on its big projects -- the HOT lanes, the I-95 widening, the Telegraph Road/Beltway interchange, Dulles rail -- into one very useful Web site. See it here.

Chinatown Block Closed Early Tuesday
For very early morning commuters: H Street NW between 6th and 7th streets is scheduled to close from midnight to 5 a.m. Tuesday. Variable message signs will direct drivers to use F Street or I Street to detour around the block. During those hours, some heavy construction equipment will be moving as part of the eight-week project to restore the Chinatown Arch that is scheduled to be done this month.

By Robert Thomson  |  August 10, 2009; 7:35 AM ET
Categories:  Commuting , Construction , Metro , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock  
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Next: Summer of Discontent on Metro

Comments

Absolutely worthless. Red line closures only reiterate the need for third and fourth tracks. Where is Catoe? Where is our local political leadership? Does Chris Van Hollen even ride Metro? Where is the Board on advocating for riders?

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | August 10, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Dr G. will there also be single tracking on the Western side of the red line on either of those weekends (Aug 14th - 16th and Aug 21-23rd)? They have been doing a lot of work it around friendship heights it seems.

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | August 10, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

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