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The weekend and beyond

While many are enjoying a long weekend, there's still plenty going on that can affect your holiday time, your commute and your shopping.

Friday is not a holiday. The regular weekday rules are back in effect. Watch the reversible lane indicators and pay those parking meters. However, you will not encounter any local road construction on Friday or through the weekend. Watch for congestion around the malls. On Monday Virginia and Maryland transportation departments allow highway work to resume.

Metrorail weekend work
There is none for Thanksgiving weekend. Your Metrorail trips will involve no scheduled delays.

Metro schedule
On Friday, the Metrorail system runs on a regular weekday schedule from 5 a.m. to 3 a.m. Trains on all lines will operate with six cars. Ridership is likely to be much lower than normal. On Saturday, Metrorail will operate its regular schedule, opening 7 a.m. and closing at 3 a.m. Sunday also is a regular day, with the rail system opening at 7 a.m. and closing at midnight.

Virginia traffic signals
The Virginia Department of Transportation has changed the timing on traffic signals around 14 big shopping centers in Northern Virginia to cut down on delays and maximize traffic flow on the main roads. (Maryland uses a different signal system.)

This re-timing affects how drivers get through 188 intersections across Northern Virginia. Here's the full list of shopping areas where the signals are being adjusted:
Tysons and Galleria shopping centers, Reston Town Center, Fair Lakes Shopping Center, Fair Oaks Mall, Potomac Mills Mall, Manassas Mall, Route 234 shopping centers, Springfield Mall, Cascades Town Center, Potomac Run Center, Dulles Town Center

Virginia HOV lanes
The HOV lanes on I-95/395 will run northbound on Friday until 11 a.m. Friday. They will run southbound from 1 p.m. Friday until 2 p.m. Saturday. They will re-open to northbound traffic at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Sunday bottlenecks
Not only is congestion likely around the malls, but we're also likely to have heavy traffic on these roads as people return from the Thanksgiving break, especially in the afternoon and evening.

In Maryland:
-- I-70 through Frederick heading toward Western Maryland
-- I-68 through Cumberland
-- I-95 across the Wilson Bridge
-- I-95 north of Baltimore
-- I-695 through Towson, Pikesville, Parkville and Catonsville
-- I-83 North toward Pennsylvania
-- Any roads parallel to I-95 between White Marsh and the Delaware line including Routes 1, 7 and 40
-- All of I-495 in Montgomery County

In Virginia:
-- I-95 between Richmond and the Springfield Interchange
-- I-66 eastbound and westbound in Northern Virginia
-- I-81/I-77 interchange near Wytheville
-- I-81 near Lexington to south of Roanoke
-- I-64/I-95 in the Richmond area

Route 90 bridge reopened
The Route 90 (Ocean City Expressway) bridge has reopened several weeks ahead of schedule, so drivers heading to and from Ocean City and shore points to the north no longer need to use the Route 50 detour. Chuck Gischlar, spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration, praised the contractor for getting the bridge deck repaved before the recent Nor'easter struck.

New York Avenue delays
Two lanes of New York Avenue NE are scheduled to close next week so workers can install girders for the new 9th Street Bridge over the avenue. The work should begin on Tuesday and be completed on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Two lanes on westbound New York Avenue will be closed to traffic each night from 7 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. The remaining lanes will be shifted so that there will be two lanes open to traffic in each direction. There will be additional, intermittent lane closings each night for about 15 minutes at a time.

Reconstruction of the 9th Street Bridge is one of several lengthy projects that will have a high impact on traffic along New York Avenue. The District Department of Transportation provides more details at

Rockville project starting
In early December, the Maryland State Highway Administration will launch a project to improve traffic flow at the junction of Veirs Mill Road and First Street, a major junction for neighborhood and commuter traffic. The work is scheduled to be done next summer.

This is the schedule of lane closings coming up on the routes that come together at the intersection.
Northbound MD 911 and northbound MD 28: single lane closures Monday through Friday between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Southbound MD 911 and southbound MD 28: single lane closures Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Eastbound MD 28 and eastbound MD 586: single lane closures Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Westbound MD 28 and westbound MD 586: single lane closures Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Stanton Road paving
The District Department of Transportation is scheduled to mill and repave Stanton Road SE next week from Suitland Parkway to Alabama Avenue. The work should begin on Monday and take six days to complete.

Stanton Road from the Suitland Parkway to Bruce Place will be open to southbound vehicular traffic only. Northbound traffic will be diverted to Alabama Avenue, west on Irving Street, then on to Suitland Parkway. Motorists can then return to Stanton Road by making a right turn. The detour is about 1.5 miles and should take 10 to 15 minutes.

Drivers traveling eastbound on Suitland Parkway will find the ramp to Stanton Road closed. They should continue on Suitland Parkway and take the Alabama Avenue exit. At the light, they will make a left onto Alabama Avenue and continue onto Stanton Road. This detour also is about 1.5 miles and should take 5 to 10 minutes.

Tysons work rescheduled
Some of the Dulles Metrorail work along Route 123 in Tysons Corner had to be rescheduled because of the heavy rains.

All this coming week, the right‐turn lane of southbound Dolley Madison Boulevard (Route 123) to Capital One Drive will be closed so crews can remove poles in the adjacent work area. Right turns to Capital One Drive will be allowed from the right through lane.

A short stretch of the southbound right lane of Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) will be closed between the Capital Beltway ramps.

Crews will continue the utility relocations along the entire stretch of the Frontage Road that runs adjacent to southbound Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) then curves around to westbound Leesburg Pike (Route 7). Watch for intermittent closures of Frontage Road throughout the week.

Fix at Farragut North
Metrorail riders at one of the system's oldest stations, the Red Line's Farragut North, will see a work zone along the platform near the L Street/Connecticut Avenue side. Maintenance crews are fixing part of the concrete ceiling, which was deteriorating.

"We do not yet know if that repair work will be able to be completed when our system is closed at nights or whether we may need to temporarily close the tracks to make repairs," said Deputy General Manager Gerald Francis. "Our engineering group must thoroughly evaluate the condition of the deterioration of the concrete."

A routine inspection on Tuesday revealed a 15-foot by 4-foot crack in the ceiling above the platform. Further checking uncovered other smaller cracks, one of them over the tracks. The inspectors also found that moisture was seeping into the cement ceiling. They don't know the source, although there is a 27-inch sewer pipe above this area.

National Tree lighting
The National Christmas Tree lighting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday on the northeast quadrant of the Ellipse, south of the White House. Many people really enjoy this moment, but many commuters absolutely hate it because it disrupts traffic for hours in downtown Washington.

Regular daytime parking won't be allowed on the curb lanes of Constitution Avenue between 15th and 17th streets NW, both sides of 15th Street between Constitution
and New York avenues and both sides of 17th Street between Constitution and Pennsylvania avenues.

By Robert Thomson  |  November 27, 2009; 9:22 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The Weekend and Beyond  
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Oh, boy. Christmas tree lighting and a Caps home game on the same night. I might even take the Metrorail to that one.

Posted by: 1995hoo | November 27, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

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