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The week ahead in traffic and transit

The weather looks good for the next few commuting days. Here's a look at some of the other difficulties you may encounter along the way.

Capital Beltway night work
Some lanes and ramps in the Beltway's Telegraph Road interchange area will be closed nightly for overhead bridge work. These closings, part of the Wilson Bridge project, are likely to cause traffic delays, so consider an alternative route if one is available.

9 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday:
Telegraph Road north ramp to the outer loop. Detour: Huntington Avenue east to Route 1 north to the ramp to the outer loop.

Tuesday through Friday, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.:
The outer loop will be reduced to one lane between west of Telegraph Road and the Metro overpass.

D.C. street parking
The changes in the meter charges, the hours of operation and the days of operation are occurring right now. The District Department of Transportation expects all the street signs and meters to reflect the new regulations by Jan. 19, but the new rules are in effect wherever the signs have been changed. So look to see if the meter requires $2 per hour, if the payment rules are in effect until 10 p.m. and if you must pay on Saturdays.

Night maintenance on Metro
Metro will be doing track work Sunday through Thursday nights during January, which will increase travel times where trains share a single track to get around the work. (The schedule is subject to change each night.)

-- Red Line riders between Medical Center and Grosvenor should add at least 20 minutes from 8 p.m. through the midnight closing.
-- Blue Line riders between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road should add at least half an hour to their travel time from 9:30 p.m. through closing.
-- Blue and Orange Line riders between Foggy Bottom and Clarendon and Arlington Cemetery should add at least half an hour to their travel time from 9:30 p.m. through closing.

Traffic shift at Randolph Road/Montrose Parkway
A major change in the traffic pattern at the junction of Rockville Pike, Montrose Parkway and Randolph Road in North Bethesda occurred this week. Traffic heading west on Randolph Road in the direction of I-270 can now move directly to Montrose Parkway. The $7.2 million interchange construction project is scheduled to be done in late fall.

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.

Closing on Route 1, Fredericksburg
On Friday at 8 p.m., Route 1 in Fredericksburg will be closed to traffic between College Avenue and Alvey Drive (just south of Mary Washington Boulevard) during the erection of a pedestrian bridge connecting the University of Mary Washington campus with the Eagle Village development. Route 1 should be open again by noon Sunday.

Beltway merge shortened
Beginning at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, the merge lane for Little River Turnpike (Route 236) traffic entering the Beltway's outer loop toward Braddock Road (Route 620) will be shortened. A section of the merge lane between Little River Turnpike and Braddock Road will be closed for six to nine months.

This will allow crews room to construct a retaining wall and reconstruct the shoulder as part of the High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes project.

Metro on MLK Weekend
The transit authority has scheduled an intensive track maintenance program for the long holiday weekend. The target zone is the Red Line between White Flint and Medical Center. From 10 p.m. Friday through the midnight close Jan. 18, the line will be split in two, with the Grosvenor Station closed. Free shuttle buses will bridge the gap. Allow 40 minutes of extra travel time to get through the work zone. The Red Line will be whole again at 5 a.m. Jan. 19.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 11, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion , Construction , Driving , Metro , transit  | Tags: DC traffic, DC transit, Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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