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Headaches on the horizon

Snow greets morning commuters
The Capital Weather Gang tells us to expect a dusting to around 2 inches. The snow should end before or during the morning commute. Across the Washington region, crews have been out pre-treating the roads in preparation for that.

The Virginia Department of Transportation, for example, pre-treated trouble spots on interstates 66, 95, 395, and 495, including the Springfield interchange, I-66 at Route 29 and the Capital Beltway interchange at Route 1.

Overnight, about 600 trucks are patrolling roads to monitor conditions and treat areas that may freeze overnight.

Do your part: Be careful overnight and in the morning since the road condition can change quickly with the surface temperature near freezing. Remember that if freezing does occur, it's likely to affect ramps and overpasses first.

The transit authority says that if the storm behaves as predicted, Metrorail will probably operate close to a normal schedule. The stations and trains may be somewhat more crowded than normal because some people will switch from driving to transit.
Metrobus and MetroAccess, on the other hand, could be thrown off schedule by the snow. Buses may have to detour around problem stretches of roadway.

Icing problem on Route 5
The Maryland Department of Transportation's State Highway Administration has temporarily closed the left lane on southbound Branch Avenue at Burch Hill Road/Earnshaw Drive in Brandywine because of a drainage problem. The standing water turned to ice.

SHA says it had been salting the lane nightly but will close one lane most of the day to ensure motorist safety. The left lane is open for afternoon rush hour only between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and will be salted, if needed, to ensure safe passage for drivers.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 7, 2010; 8:52 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Weather  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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