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The Weekend and Beyond

There's plenty going on during this first weekend of fall and a lot to look forward to in the coming week. Use these suggestions in making your travel plans.

Beltway Closing in Tysons
Avoid the Beltway in Tysons late tonight into Saturday morning. The Beltway will close in both directions for short times between midnight and 5 a.m. to relocate overhead power lines. This is part of the Dulles Rail project. More details here.

Festival on Mall
The National Book Festival will draw plenty of drivers, bikers and pedestrians to the National Mall from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Here's a map showing the layout. The Smithsonian Station on the Blue and Orange lines is the closest Metrorail stop, but note that there will be weekend delays on the Orange Line between Cheverly and Stadium-Armory.

Big Weekend at Bay Bridge
It will be busy on the Eastern Shore roads this weekend, as people travel to Sunfest at Ocean City and NASCAR races at Dover Speedway. These are the best bet travel times for the Bay Bridge:
-- Today before noon and after 10 p.m.
-- Saturday before 7 a.m. and between 5 and 10 p.m.
-- Sunday between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. and after 7 p.m.

Metro Weekend Delays
Metro warns Orange Line riders that they should allow an additional half-hour this weekend if traveling between the Cheverly and Stadium-Armory stations. Crews will replace cross ties and work on the bridge outside Stadium-Armory. Trains will share a single track from 9:30 o'clock tonight until normal service resumes Monday morning.

College Park Football
The Terps host Rutgers at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on the University of Maryland's College Park campus. That will increase traffic on Route 1, University Boulevard, the BW Parkway and the Capital Beltway. Here's a map showing football parking areas.

Parking permits are required for all vehicles parking in surface lots on campus. The university advises that anyone without a permit will be directed to available cash garages: Mowatt Lane Garage, Regents Drive Garage and Terrapin Trail Garage.

Some fans may have to park at the College Park Metro station or other off-campus lots. (Parking is free on weekends at the Metro lots and garages.)

Nationals Park
The Nationals are on their last home stand of the 2009 season. They'll play Atlanta at 7:05 tonight (Friday), 1:05 Saturday and 1:35 p.m. Sunday at Nationals Park. The Monday and Tuesday games against the Mets are at 7:05 p.m. and there's a 4:35 p.m. game against the Mets on Wednesday. Watch for crowding on the Green Line before and after the games, and for extra traffic around South Capitol and M streets, and on the Southeast-Southwest Freeway. Then wait till next year.

Some Metrobus Changes
There will be some adjustments to routes and schedules in Maryland and Virginia starting this Sunday. You can find all the details here.

U2 Concert at FedEx
The band's concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at FedEx Field in Landover. During my online chat on Monday, fans said they were worried about traffic congestion, given the lengthy delays at the Paul McCartney concert in August.

The concerts draw thousands of people who are unfamiliar with the roads and parking around the Landover stadium, and that slows down everybody. Best advice is simply to leave home early. Check the map and other advice in our Commuter page feature from last Sunday.

The Arena Drive exit from the Capital Beltway is now open full time. But Maryland highway officials say the Route 214 exit (Central Avenue) is usually a good bet because it's less crowded.

[2:40 p.m. Update]
Transit users: The Blue Line's Morgan Boulevard Station is the closest Metrorail stop to FedEx Field. It's a walk along a sidewalk a little less than a mile. Metro announced this afternoon that its going to keep the station open an hour late, till 1 a.m., to accommodate people heading home from the concert. Once they're on the Blue Line, they'll be able to transfer to other lines. But Morgan Boulevard will be the only station where people can enter the system after the normal midnight closing.

ICC Meets I-95
Early Monday morning, the Maryland State Highway Administration will temporarily close all lanes of I-95 between Route 198 and Route 212 for 15-minute intervals. The closings will repeat periodically through the spring as the state builds three bridges over I-95 for the Intercounty Connector. See more details here.

I-270 Traffic Shift
This Monday, traffic on Interstate 270 at the bridge over Dr. Perry Road will shift to the new bridge section in the median. The shift is scheduled to occur overnight, in time for the Tuesday morning commute. Drivers will not lose any through lanes.

Purpose: The Maryland State Highway Administration is demolishing and replacing the northbound and southbound bridge spans on the interstate. It should be done next spring.

Franconia-Springfield Parking
There will be as many as 220 fewer parking spaces at the Franconia-Springfield Metro station starting next Thursday. It's the start of a garage rehab scheduled to last 18 to 20 months.

Alternatives: Park for free in the Macy's parking area at the Springfield Mall, at the Backlick Park and Ride, or at the Gambrill Park and Ride. Ride the Fairfax Connector to Metro stations. There are more details in this announcement from Metro. Also, see this announcement from Fairfax Connector about a route change designed to help commuters during the disruption.

VRE Schedule Change
As of next Thursday, the schedule for Fredericksburg Line train 307 and Manassas Line train 331 will be adjusted to clear the way for the new rail service between Lynchburg and Washington. Train 331 will operate five minutes later and train 307 five minutes earlier.

By Robert Thomson  |  September 25, 2009; 10:09 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Congestion , Construction , Events  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock  
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Next: Delays Occurring on the Blue and Yellow Lines


This does not specifically say the other stations will stay open to let people out. Normally, I wouldn't mention this, but ... well, you know.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 26, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

that's re: Morgan Blvd/Fedex concert.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 26, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

it's easy to leave out details.
could happen to anyone.
I don't judge.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 26, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

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