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The week ahead in traffic and transit

Enjoy the week. It's usually one of the lightest of the year for traffic and transit. You won't have the holiday shoppers to worry about around the malls. Plus, we've got another three-day weekend coming in which temporary lane closings will be suspended. Keep an eye on the New Year's Eve forecast, which includes a possible storm.

Fixing NY Avenue
Preliminary construction is scheduled to start this week on the New York Avenue Bridge over the railroad tracks. Workers will start demolishing and removing the center median of the bridge. Temporary lane closings will be necessary.

During off-peak hours, two lanes rather than the usual three will be available for inbound and outbound New York Avenue traffic, between Florida Avenue and Penn Street NE. During the morning and evening rush hours, all of the travel lanes will be open for traffic in both directions.

This is just preparation for the more extensive construction scheduled for spring. That work will require more permanent traffic pattern changes. See more details on the D.C. project's Web site:

Metrobus route changes
Many routes across the region changed schedules on Sunday. Some highlights:

-- The Q2/Veirs Mill Road Line, which operates between Shady Grove and Silver Spring and has one of the highest riderships in the Metrobus system, will be split into two routes, and two new routes will be added.

-- The 28/Leesburg Pike Line, connecting King Street Station with Tysons Corner, is adding a limited-stop service to speed travel. The new 28X route will serve 13 stops on Leesburg Pike and Broad Street between Tysons Corner and Baileys Crossroads during peak periods weekdays.

-- Three D.C. routes are being restructured to improve service and reliability. These are the new lines: Glover Park-Federal Triangle Line (D1), Ivy City-Dupont Circle Line (D3) and Ivy City-Franklin Square Line (D4).

Three other bus routes -- D5, D6, and D8 -- are being adjusted to provide more frequent service in combination with the new routes.

Pennsylvania Ave. project starting
The District Department of Transportation is scheduled to begin construction on the Pennsylvania Avenue SE Great Streets project Monday. The reconstruction work will occur along two miles between 27th Street and Southern Avenue.

The first five months of the project will require only temporary, single-lane closures. The work hours during this phase will be 9:30 am. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. After that, the project will need to close some lanes around the clock.

Metro's hours for New Year's
New Year's Eve, Dec. 31: Metrorail will operate on a weekday schedule, opening at 5 a.m., and staying open two hours late, closing at 2 a.m. All trains will operate with six-cars. Metrobus will operate on a weekday schedule and will also operate until 2 a.m. to make sure rail and bus passengers catch their necessary connections. MetroAccess will operate normally.

New Year's Day, Jan. 1: Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. and close at 2 a.m. All trains will operate with six cars. Metrobus will operate on a Sunday schedule. MetroAccess will operate normally.

D.C. Circulator holiday plan
Additional night service will be provided on New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, on the Georgetown-Union Station route and the Woodley Park-Adams Morgan-McPherson Square Metro route. Both routes will operate on a weekend schedule that night:

Georgetown - Union Station
Extended Night Service between Whitehaven and 17th and K streets NW from 9 pm to 2 am.

Woodley Park - Adams Morgan - McPherson Metro
Extended Service, from 7 am to 3:30 am.

New Year's Day
The Circulator will operate on its regular Friday schedule on Jan. 1.

SoberRide New Year's
If you find you've celebrated too much on New Year's Eve, take advantage of this free-ride home program offered by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) and many of the region's taxi companies: SoberRide will be operating from 10 p.m. Thursday, New Year's Eve, through 6 a.m. New Year's Day.

Washington-metropolitan area residents can call the toll-free SoberRide phone number 800-200-TAXI to get a safe way home. There's no cost to the passenger, up to a $50 fare. Last New Year's Eve, 468 people took advantage of the service.

Leesburg Pike in Tysons
The right lane of both directions of Leesburg Pike (Route 7) between Westpark Drive/Gosnell Road and the Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) underpass will close from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through Wednesday. Crews will be performing utility work, placing barriers, and excavating in the area. Entrances to all businesses and shopping centers will remain open, but drivers should stay alert and also be aware of permanent service road closures along this stretch of Leesburg Pike.

Toll Road reminder
On New Year's Day, rates on the Dulles Toll Road will increase by 25 cents at the main toll plaza and 25 cents at the ramps. That means drivers will pay $1 at the main plaza and 75 cents at the ramps. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which controls the highway and is building the Metrorail extension through Tysons Corner to Dulles International Airport, approved the increase last month as part of the funding plan for the toll road and the rail line.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 28, 2009; 8:24 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Construction , Driving , Metro , holiday travel , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Next: Today's read: Top 10 transportation stories of 2009


i saw a sign on the SE/SW Freeway saying it's going to close on or about 1/9/10 - what's the deal with that?

Posted by: tmb98 | December 28, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

That is DC lingo for a temporary closure. Meaning on that date, the road will probably close for a few hours and then re-open. It will not close permanently, at least I sure hope not!

They use the same signs approaching the Beltway at I-66. "I-495 south to close on or about....." Clearly that is not permanently closing either. Confusing wording though, I agree.

Posted by: thetan | December 28, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

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