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The Weekend and Beyond

A bunch of events in the District will provide challenges for drivers this weekend. Meanwhile, Metrorail riders will face delays on the Red, Orange and Green lines because of routine maintenance work.

Nation's Triathlon
Drivers will want to avoid roads near the Potomac River from East Potomac Park north to the Capital Beltway in Maryland during The Nation's Triathlon on Sunday. The annual event is scheduled to start at 7 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. The course includes a swim in the Potomac near Memorial Bridge, a bike ride on portions of Rock Creek Parkway, M Street, Canal Road and the Clara Barton Parkway and a run around East Potomac Park and the Tidal Basin. Use this link to view a course map in pdf format.

The Key Bridge and Chain Bridge are scheduled to be open, but using them will be a challenge because of the many road closures along the triathlon route.

If you just want to get a look at the event, this map shows some parking possibilities. But I suggest taking Metrorail to either the Foggy Bottom, Smithsonian or Arlington Cemetery stations and walking over.

Metro's Weekend
Red Line riders between Medical Center and Grosvenor should add at least 20 minutes to their travel time while Metro workers replace drainage pump cables. Trains will share one track between the stations from 9:30 tonight (Friday) through the midnight closing on Sunday.

Orange Line riders between East Falls Church and Ballston should add at least 20 minutes to their travel time while Metro replaces cross ties along the tracks. Trains will share one track between the stations from 9:30 tonight (Friday) through the midnight closing on Sunday.

Green Line riders between Greenbelt and College Park should add at least 20 minutes of travel time while workers are tamping down the tracks, a measure intended to ensure durability. Trains will share one track between the stations from 9:30 tonight (Friday) through the midnight closing on Sunday.

National Press Club 5K
Street closings along the downtown Washington race route will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and may last until about 11 a.m., D.C. police say. (The run starts at 9 a.m.) This is the route: The 1300 block of F Street NW, south on 13th Street, east on Pennsylvania Avenue, east on Constitution Avenue, northeast on Louisiana Avenue,
east on D Street, U-turn at D and 1st streets NE heading west on D Street NE, southwest on Louisiana Avenue, west on Constitution Avenue, west on Pennsylvania Avenue, north on 13th Street NW, west on F Street, where the race ends.

Tea Party Express
This rally and march is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, starting at Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington. As the march proceeds, D.C. police will temporarily close streets along Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 3rd streets NW. The march will end with a rally on the National Mall.

Adams Morgan Day
The annual festival is scheduled for noon to 7 p.m. Sunday on 18th Street NW between Florida Avenue and Columbia Road. But the street closings will be in effect from 4 a.m. to about 9 p.m.

These are the streets D.C. police plan to close: 1800 block of Belmont Street, 1800 block of Wyoming Avenue, 1800 block of Vernon Street, 1700 block of Euclid Street, California Street between Florida Avenue and 19th Street.

Green, Yellow Line Delays
Metro is preparing for a switch replacement project at L'Enfant Plaza on Columbus Day weekend. This will affect late night travel on the Green and Yellow lines starting this coming week.

Green Line trains will share a track between Navy Yard and Mount Vernon Square and Yellow Line trains will share a track between Pentagon City and Mount Vernon Square from 9:30 p.m. to the midnight closing this Sunday through Thursday, as well as on Sept. 20 and 21, Sept 30 and Oct. 1 and Oct. 4 through Oct. 8.

At those times, all Yellow Line trains will operate between Huntington and Mount Vernon Square only, so riders traveling north of Mount Vernon Square will need to switch to the Green Line in the direction of Greenbelt.

Repaving in Bethesda
We're heading toward fall, but resurfacing and paving projects are still very active. Getting started this coming week is a resurfacing job along nearly a mile of Old Georgetown Road between Center Drive and North Brook Lane, near Suburban Hospital.

The work, which should wrap up in the spring, includes upgrades to the sidewalks, installing or replacing the traffic loop detectors and improvements to the traffic signals at Lincoln Street, McKinley Street and Huntington Parkway.

Drivers should watch for single lane closings between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays and double lane closings overnight Sundays through Thursdays between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Watch for Uneven Paving
The repaving project along the Capital Beltway between the American Legion Bridge and Interstate 270 is creating some beautiful new surfaces, but drivers -- particularly motorcyclists -- should watch out for the uneven layers between lanes as the work progresses. Avoid lane changes in those areas.

The layering is sometimes difficult to spot between lanes that have at least one coat of black asphalt. It's clearer where one lane is milled down to concrete while the adjacent one is covered with asphalt.

Frederick Repaving
To the northwest of the Capital Beltway, resurfacing is underway on about seven miles of westbound Interstate 70 between a point just west of I-270 and Hollow Road. This one, funded by federal stimulus money, should be done in the fall. There are lane closings overnight Sundays through Thursdays.

HOT Lanes
Drivers along the outer loop of the Capital Beltway at Interstate 66 should expect lane closures, delays and detours overnights Mondays through Thursdays while steel beams are lifted for a new bridge over the Beltway that will be used by the High Occupancy Toll lanes. Also, the ramp from I-66 west to the outer loop is scheduled to close overnights starting Monday night and traffic will be detoured. All lanes will reopen by 5 a.m.

D.C. Streetcar Tracks
The District has plans for several streetcar lines, but the first one scheduled to operate is under construction in Anacostia. The target date is late 2012. The District Department of Transportation is scheduled to start installing tracks at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the intersection of South Capitol Street and Firth Sterling Avenue. The intersection work is scheduled to be done on Sept. 30, though work on Firth Sterling and South Capitol will continue into December.

Traffic through the intersection on South Capitol Street will be reduced to one lane in each direction. The department predicts this will cause travel delays of five to 10 minutes ad suggests drivers consider alternative routes. Here are some possibilities: Interstate 295 North to Suitland Parkway to South Capitol Street, Malcolm X Avenue to Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue to W Street to 13th Street to I-295 North, South Capitol Street to Suitland Parkway to I-295 South, or I-295 to the 11th Street Bridge to Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue to South Capitol Street.

Turns from northbound South Capitol Street to Firth Sterling Avenue and Defense Boulevard will be prohibited. This is a detour from South Capitol Street: East on M Street, south on First Street, southwest on Potomac Avenue and South on South Capitol Street to turn east on Firth Sterling Avenue or west on Defense Boulevard.

By Robert Thomson  |  September 11, 2009; 12:15 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Driving , Metro , Weekend Work  | Tags: Adams Morgan Day, Beltway, Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail delays, Nation's Triathlon  
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"Drivers along the outer loop of the Capital Beltway at Interstate 66 should expect lane closures, delays and detours overnights Mondays through Thursdays while steel beams are lifted for a new bridge over the Beltway that will be used by the High Occupancy Toll lanes."

Minor quibble with the last clause of this sentence: Since the HOT lanes will be on the Beltway, they wouldn't be using a bridge over the Beltway! I expect the overpass in question is probably replacing the existing one because of the need for more space for the wider Beltway and the reconstructed interchange.

(I don't mean to take away from a very thorough posting, though, and the usefulness of the information to the average reader would not be impaired if the sentence is left as-is. I'm just a stickler for details! BTW, welcome back, Dr. G.)

Posted by: 1995hoo | September 11, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The main page of the WMATA website is currently reporting "On Time" for the Red Line. It is the first time I have seen that since the summer accident. Can it be true??

Posted by: data-driven24 | September 11, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I do hope the "teabag" protesters against government spending on health care will enjoy our publically-funded Metro system, the taxpayer-funded Park Police who will keep them safe, the government-maintainted National Mall on which they protest, and Ike's government-project interstate highway system on which they drove to our nation's capitol confidently in their NHTSA-safety-regulated cars.

But don't forget, the government never gets anything right, and we don't want any more of those expenditures that might help people! Enjoy your stay.

Posted by: B2O2 | September 12, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

The closure info is wrong. Chain Bridge is closed.

Posted by: jameshturnerjr | September 13, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

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