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The weekend and beyond

The Capital Weather Gang forecasts a sunny weekend with temperatures in the 50s, but as you get out to enjoy it, watch for these traffic and transit delays. I've also included a few travel updates for the next two weeks.

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, March 6.

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.

Metrorail weekend delays
Orange Line riders between Vienna and West Falls Church should add at least half an hour to their normal travel time from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Workers will be welding new rail on the tracks, and the trains will be sharing a single track around the work zone.

To maximize service for the busiest stations, every other Orange Line train heading toward Vienna will terminate at West Falls Church and head back toward New Carrollton.

I-95 delays at Baltimore
The ramp from northbound Interstate 95 to Russell Street (Exit 52) will be closed for about two weeks starting at 9 p.m. Saturday, March 6. In addition, the right lane of I-95 between the Caton Avenue entrance ramp and the Russell Street exit ramp will be closed.

Northbound I-95's through lanes will remain open, except for temporary lane closings during off-peak hours. Periodic traffic drags, in which police will lead vehicles through the work area at a reduced speed, also will take place at off-peak hours.

This is one of the two exits to Baltimore's center that Washington area drivers are likely to take. This is the posted detour route:
-- Northbound I-95 to northbound Interstate 395 (Exit 53).
-- Stay to the right and exit at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
-- Stay right and follow signs to Russell Street.
-- Turn left at the traffic signal at the end of the ramp onto West Lee Street.
-- West Lee Street leads to Russell Street.

Expect delays along I-95 approaching I-395, along I-395 and on routes heading into the city, especially during morning rush hours. During the closing, BGE crews will be doing maintenance on the natural gas transmission pipeline that runs along the Russell Street ramp.

MTA bus stop moved
For about a week starting Monday, the Maryland commuter bus stop for Route 915 at 12th and E streets NW will be moved to the far side of the street, near Barnes & Noble by the Verizon Center sign, while the sidewalk is rebuilt.

Chain Bridge closing reset
The District Department of Transportation plans to completely shut Chain Bridge on the weekend of March 13-14. The bridge is a popular route across the Potomac, and travelers often ask about the status of the rehabilitation project that began last spring.

In January, DDOT began announcing schedules for two full weekend shutdowns of the bridge. But each time they were announced, they had to be rescheduled because of snow and freezing temperatures. Better weather is getting the project back on track.

The shutdown is now scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. March 12, and end by 5 a.m. March 15. The full shutdown is necessary for reconstruction work on the bridge deck, its steel beams and the approaches.

D.C. intersection reconstruction
The District plans this month to begin a 17-month project to rebuild the busy intersection at Riggs Road and South Dakota Avenue NE in the Fort Totten area. At times, the work will reduce the road to a single lane in each direction.

The District Department of Transportation will assign traffic control officers to the intersection at rush hour and the signal timing will be adjusted, but commuters should still expect delays. Drivers who normally travel through this intersection could avoid it by taking Eastern Avenue, to the east of Riggs/South Dakota, or North Capitol Street, to the west of the intersection. They could then connect with New Hampshire Avenue to get around the work zone.

Construction is scheduled to begin around March 15. Work hours will be 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. At first, the crews will be working in the median, and there will be some temporary lane closings. After a few weeks, concrete barriers will be in place, but drivers always will have at least one lane open in each direction.

Redesign at Fort Totten
The District Department of Transportation will host a public meeting on Monday March 22 [DDOT has rescheduled the meeting] to discuss several proposed alternatives to ease access at the Fort Totten Metro station. The project will redesign 1st Place and Galloway Street NE to improve circulation for pedestrians, bicyclists, buses and vehicles.

At the meeting, the public will be invited to comment on three design concepts and help identify a preferred alternative. The session is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Metro transit police substation, 5315 1st Place NE, next to the Metro station. See more information about the project here.

15th Street lane change
On March 15, the District will eliminate the reversible lanes on 15th Street NW between K Street and Massachusetts Avenue. The three-block stretch will be two-way at all times.
The change will not affect 15th Street north of Massachusetts Avenue, which will remain one-way northbound at all times with a separated contra-flow lane for bicyclists.

Prince George's road work
Watch for single lane and double lane closings from 8 p.m. to 5 p.m. weeknights at East West Highway and Queens Chapel Road.

By Robert Thomson  |  March 5, 2010; 12:10 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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