The weekend and beyond
This weekend marks the return of Daylight Saving Time, not that we're going to see much daylight, according to the Capital Weather Gang's rainy forecast. Here are some other issues you need to know about as you travel in the D.C. area this weekend and next week.
With two to four inches of rain expected in the region this weekend, plans for construction and other work may change, depending on conditions.
Chain Bridge work postponed
Work scheduled for this weekend has been postponed. The bridge will be open. DDOT said the work will be scheduled for next weekend instead.
Metro weekend delays
Red Line riders between Fort Totten and Silver Spring should add at least half an hour to their travel time between 10 p.m. Friday and the midnight closing of the rail system Sunday. Trains will be sharing a single track while workers upgrade track circuits at the Takoma Station.
Blue Line riders between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road should add at least half an hour to their travel time from 10 p.m. Friday to the midnight closing Sunday. Workers will be replacing concrete slabs underneath the rails in that area.
Metro springs forward
If you're out late Saturday night, remember how Metrorail handles the start of Daylight Saving Time, when 2 a.m. Sunday becomes 3 a.m. Sunday. Metrorail moves all its clocks forward to 3 a.m. and shuts down, since that hour marks the weekend closing time. Night owls who forget to move their own clocks forward could be left without a ride.
Braddock Road/Beltway ramp
UPDATE: Due to the weather this work has been postponed.
Beginning at 9:30 p.m. Friday, VDOT will close the Braddock Road (Route 620) eastbound exit ramp to the outer loop until 5 a.m. Monday to allow workers to install a new waterline.
Detour: Continue east on Braddock Road, over the Beltway, and take the exit ramp onto I-495 north (the inner loop) and follow the ramp around onto Braddock Road west back over I-495 to exit onto I-495 south (the outer loop).
Drivers on Braddock Road may encounter delays approaching the Beltway, especially during peak day and evening hours.
St. Patrick's Day parade
The parade in the District will start at noon Sunday at Seventh Street NW and proceed along Constitution Avenue to 17th Street NW. The event should continue for about two and a half hours. The nearest Metro stations are Federal Triangle, Smithsonian and Archives, but note the Metro track work schedule above. The Trip Planner feature on Metro's Web site is very helpful, but does not account for time lost when trains share a single track around work zones on weekends.
15th Street lane change
D.C. commuters who use 15th Street NW should be extra alert this coming week. On Monday, the District plans to eliminate the reversible lanes between K Street and Massachusetts Avenue. The three-block stretch will be two-way at all times. Warning signs were posted this week, but drivers should watch out for motorists who haven't broken the one-way habit. Also, watch for pedestrians -- including jaywalkers -- who may be looking in the wrong direction when they cross.
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.
I-66 ramps to inner loop
The program to restore the exit ramps from eastbound Interstate 66 to the inner loop of the Capital Beltway was delayed several times by the February weather, but it's scheduled to go ahead this coming week.
That already congested area got worse when the ramp pattern was changed to accommodate construction of the High Occupancy Toll lanes along the Beltway. The Virginia Department of Transportation saw the problem where the HOV exit and the regular traffic exit come together, but a first fix didn't do enough to ease the traffic. The new one, the long-postponed one, will put the ramps back in their original configuration.
Weather permitting, the work will begin Tuesday night and should be done by the end of the week.
Maryland highway signs
The Maryland State Highway Administration has launched the second phase of its program to add travel time information to its overhead message boards.
The program, launched in January on Interstate 95 north of Washington, has expanded to Maryland's other interstates, including the Capital Beltway and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. The signs display estimated driving time to major roadways.
Here's the location of the 23 variable-message boards added to the system:
-- Seven along I-495/I-95 between I-95 and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge (the eastern side of the Capital Beltway).
-- Eight along I-95 between I-695 and I-495 (the Baltimore and Washington beltways).
-- Six along the Baltimore Beltway from Essex through Towson and into Catonsville.
-- Two along the BW Parkway between I-695 and I-195. (That's a portion of the parkway controlled by Maryland rather than the National Park Service.)
This summer, the travel information will be added to signs along I-83, I-270 and I-795. The system uses travel time information from GPS transponders in company fleet vehicles. The data is available to motorists between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. seven days a week.
D.C. pothole program
The District Department of Transportation has launched its second Potholepalooza campaign to attack the ruts created by the harsh winter. In last year's month-long campaign, the District patched more than 6,000 potholes that were either reported by the public or discovered by the city's crews of pothole patchers.
This year's campaign began over the weekend and will continue through April 5. The goal is to fix potholes within 48 hours after they are identified. People can add to the list by phone, online report, Twitter or e-mail.
Redesign at Fort Totten
The District Department of Transportation rescheduled its public meeting to discuss several proposed alternatives to ease access at the Fort Totten Metro station. The new date is March 22.
The project will redesign First 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 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Metro Transit Police substation, 5315 First Pl. NE, next to the Metro station.
I-270 bridge update
Construction on the I-270 bridge over Dr. Perry Road in Frederick County is scheduled to be done in late spring. It began early in 2009, and traffic shifted Sept. 23 to accommodate the project. The same number of through lanes on I-270 have remained throughout the project.
March 12, 2010; 6:00 PM ET
Categories: Advisories | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond
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