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The week ahead for traffic and transit

Here are some things travelers should know about traffic and transit in the D.C. area as they being the work week.

Transit fares increased
Most riders on Metrorail, Metrobus, MetroAccess, Montgomery County Ride On and the Fairfax Connector are paying an extra dime per trip starting this week. See more details about the new fares on the Commuter page.

Arlington Boulevard project starting
From now till July, the left travel lane of westbound Arlington Boulevard is closed from Courthouse Road to 10th Street. The closing, for a utility relocation, is the first step in a lengthy project by the Virginia Department of Transportation to make the intersection safer at Arlington Boulevard/Courthouse Road.

Arlington officials consider this one of the most dangerous intersections in the county, and they have a YouTube video that clearly shows the alarming maneuvers drivers must perform.

But during the project, worse than normal traffic congestion is quite likely, and project managers recommend that drivers consider alternative routes or take transit.

Beltway lane shift
Commuters on the Capital Beltway's inner loop will encounter a new lane configuration between the Eisenhower Avenue Metrorail overpass and the Beltway bridge over Cameron Run.

The lane adjustments, part of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge project, prepare space for more construction in the Telegraph Road area. In the new configuration, the four traffic lanes that had been open in that area become three traffic lanes and a merging lane.

HOV ramp closing
The Virginia Department of Transportation is closing one lane on the ramp from the I-95 HOV reversible southbound lanes to Route 1 every weekday morning for several weeks.

This lane, one of two on the ramp, will be closed from 6 to 11 a.m. so workers can rebuild the Route 1 overpass bridge. Construction will be on the southbound overpass but the HOV lanes will be heading north at that time so the disruptions will be limited, VDOT says. The Route 1 off ramp from I-95 South will remain open.

Parkway sound walls
Construction is beginning to create two sound walls along the Fairfax County Parkway (Route 7100) extension, which itself is under construction. The sound walls will be intended to minimize the noise when this final section of the parkway opens late this year.

The walls stretch for 1,360 feet along Rolling Road on either side of the Richfield Road entrance. During the sound wall construction, drivers on Rolling Road will encounter temporary lane closings. These may add five to 10 minutes to a trip through that area. Work on these sound walls is scheduled to be done by summertime.

Caisson testing
Contractors working on the Dulles Metrorail extension are scheduled this coming week to perform more structural integrity tests on caissons along the northwest side of Route 123 (Dolley Madison Boulevard) in Tysons Corner.

The next test is scheduled for Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. near the southeast corner of the old MITRE property, by the exit ramp from the eastbound Dulles Toll Road. Another is tentatively scheduled for March 15, in the same location.

State police will halt traffic along Route 123 and at the exit ramp from the Connector Road/Dulles Toll Road for less than 10 minutes while the tests occur. Flaggers and police also will briefly stop traffic from entering adjacent roads during the testing.

Route 123 lanes closing
All northbound lanes of Route 123 near the Dulles Connector Road (Route 267) between McLean and Tysons Corner will be shut down for 14 hours beginning at 8 p.m. Friday. The lanes will reopen by 10 a.m. Saturday.

All northbound through traffic from the Tysons Corner area toward McLean and the Chain Bridge will be detoured for less than a mile. Signs will direct drivers to turn right on Anderson Road, left on Chain Bridge Road, left on to Great Falls Street, then right on northbound Route 123.

The ramp leading from northbound Route 123, just north of Anderson Road, to eastbound I-66 via the Dulles Connector Road will remain open. In addition, the ramp from the eastbound Dulles Toll Road/Dulles Connector Road to northbound Route 123 will be open.

Residents of the communities along Anderson and Old Chain Bridge Road and Great Falls Street should be alert for additional traffic during the closing of northbound Route 123. Also, eastbound Dulles Toll Road/Dulles Connector Road drivers from Dulles Airport and the Reston area who use the southbound 123 exit ramp to cross Route 123 to Anderson Road/Old Chain Bridge Road will experience additional traffic on those roads.

By Robert Thomson  |  March 1, 2010; 8:53 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion , Construction , Driving  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Dr. Gridlock, are there new dates for closing Chain Bridge on the weekend(s) for whatever work they need to do? Thanks.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | March 1, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

According to the front page, your chat is at 13 O'clock...

"Local: Dr. Gridlock on traffic/transit
13 "

Why is 123 closing Friday night?

Posted by: wiredog | March 1, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

123 is closing for utility relocation work for the Dulles Metro construction.

Posted by: thetan | March 1, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

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