The weekend and beyond
How long will it take us to dig out from the snowstorms? As long as it took to dig the Panama Canal, only without the mosquitoes? Expect to see both heavy and light construction equipment on main roads and side streets this weekend.
Warmer temperatures are helping, but removing the hardened piles of snow still is agonizingly slow. You'll see more and more pavement, but your view of oncoming drivers and pedestrians will remain limited.
Tysons ramp closing
The ramp from southbound Route 123 to the outer loop (southbound I-495) will close from midnight Friday to 5 a.m. Saturday. Traffic will be directed to continue south on Route 123, turn right on International Drive, right on Galleria Drive, right on Tysons Boulevard, then make a slight left onto northbound Route 123 to reach the ramp to the outer loop. This is part of the Dulles Metrorail project.
The trains are back on their normal schedule, but so is Metro's weekend track work program. This weekend, it will slow travel on the Orange Line. Riders between New Carrollton and Cheverly should add at least a half hour to the normal trip time while Metro welds rails in that area. Trains in both directions will share a single track through the work zone from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Every other Orange Line train traveling toward New Carrollton will end its run at Cheverly and head back toward Vienna, to keep up service to the most crowded stations on the line.
Chinese New Year
The event most likely to affect traffic this weekend in downtown Washington is the annual Chinese New Year celebration on Sunday afternoon. The Year of the Tiger parade is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Chinatown. Parade participants assemble on I (Eye) Street NW between 5th and 6th streets.
Then they head west on I Street to 7th Street, turn south on 7th to H, go west on H to 8th, south on 8th to G, then east on G to 7th. They turn north on 7the to H, then east on H, disbanding in the 600 block of H Street.
Parking restrictions. No vehicles will be allowed to park on the parade route starting at 7 a.m. Sunday.
Street closings. These closings will begin at 9 a.m. Sunday:
-- H Street NW between 6th and 7th streets until 5 p.m.
-- I (Eye) Street NW between 5th and 7th streets until 3:30 p.m.
These closings will begin at 1:30 p.m. and continue until 3:30 p.m.:
-- 7th Street NW between Massachusetts Avenue and G Street
-- G Street NW between 7th and 9th streets
-- 8th Street NW between G and H streets
-- H Street NW between 8th and 6th streets
-- 6th Street NW between Massachusetts Avenue and G Street
Metrobus detours: From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Metrobus Routes 70, 80, P6 and X2 will be rerouted around the parade area.
D.C. street closing
A large construction crane will be operating during the day Saturday on 19th Street NW. That will close the street between C and E streets and require a detour around the area for Metrobus Route 80 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Va. road work delays continue
While some road projects have resumed following the storms, two programs that I've been telling you about still need more time for the snow to melt. One is the weekend work for the HOT lanes project at Braddock Road and the Capital Beltway. The other is the reconfiguration of the ramps from eastbound Interstate 66 to the Beltway's inner loop. Both are now scheduled for the first week of March, weather permitting.
Metro sales office hours cut
Metro has reduced the hours at four sales offices to save money and help balance its budget. These are the new hours:
-- The Metro Center sales office will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
-- The office at the Northern Bus Division will be open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
-- The Anacostia office will be open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
-- The Pentagon office will be open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Rest stops reopened
The Virginia rest areas on Interstate 95 in Dale City and on Interstate 66 in Manassas are scheduled to reopen on March 17. Four others reopened this past week: I-81 North Rural Retreat, I-81 South Smyth, I-81 South New Market and I-81 North Radford. All the 19 rest areas that were closed last year to save money will be reopened by April 15.
Fairfax bus surcharge
The Fairfax Connector buses will start charging a fare surcharge the same day Metro adds its surcharge. As of Sunday, Feb. 28, a Connector ride will cost an extra 10 cents. Here are the details:
-- The regular base fare will increase from $1.25 to $1.35 if you pay by SmarTrip card and from $1.35 to $1.45 if you pay cash.
-- Fares for seniors and people with disabilities will increase from 60 cents to 65 cents.
-- The surcharge will not be added to the express fares for routes 380D, 595 and 597.
-- The surcharge will affect transfer costs. A charge will be assessed for passengers paying by SmarTrip card who start their trip on a transit service on which the fare is less than that of the Fairfax Connector.
Transit Link Card price rising
Because Metro is adding the 10 cent surcharge as of Sunday, Feb. 28, the cost of Maryland's Transit Link Card will increase by $4 in March. The monthly card allows MARC and MTA commuter bus riders to pay their train or bus fares and to have unlimited use of Metrorail and Metrobus. The price change will now be reflected in the online order forms for the cards.
February 19, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories: Advisories , Commuting , Construction , Driving , Metro , transit | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond
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