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The week ahead in traffic, transit

Cherry blossom crowds, baseball and road construction will make this an interesting week for those traveling in the Washington area.

Baseball today
Expect the area around M and South Capitol streets to be very crowded this afternoon as the Nationals play their home opener against the Phillies. The Green Line also will be crowded, as will the major transfer points at L'Enfant Plaza and Gallery Place.

President Obama is scheduled to throw the first pitch, and the Nationals are urging fans to arrive extra early, both because of crowding and because of the extra security at the gates. See more details here.

I-66 widening
Watch for the new traffic pattern in the westbound lanes between Manassas and Gainesville. The widening is done on that side, and drivers now have four lanes (three regular and one HOV). New overhead signs guide drivers.

11th Street paving
The District Department of Transportation is repaving 11th Street NW from L to O streets. Crews are scheduled to work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Permanent line striping will be done late next week or the week after.

DDOT says two-way traffic will be maintained at all times, but pay attention to the signs and be prepared for lane shifts.

New Hampshire Avenue paving
The Maryland State Highway Administration is starting a resurfacing project along New Hampshire Avenue between the District line and East West Highway in Takoma Park.

Drivers will encounter single-lane closings along northbound New Hampshire weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. On the southbound side, the hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. When the work reaches the grinding and resurfacing phase, there will be double lane closings overnight Sunday through Thursday between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Demolition in Tysons
The center concrete island near the main entrance to Capital One on Route 123 will disappear this week as construction continues on piers for the new Metrorail line. The demolition is scheduled to occur between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. Thursday and Friday nights.

Anyone who works at this building during the day shift will see no traffic impact, but there will be some turn lane closings overnight on Route 123 and Capital One Drive. Access to that entrance will always remain open.

Beltway ramp work
Overnight demolition of the old ramp from the Capital Beltway outer loop (I-95/495 north) to Telegraph Road north will finish up this week. Additional closings also are scheduled throughout the Telegraph Road interchange to prepare for an upcoming outer loop traffic switch.

Monday night through Friday morning, overnight demolition will continue over active travel lanes along the Beltway and Telegraph Road North. There will be some closings for safety. During this work, contractors will remove girders and saw and lift portions of the remaining ramp.

Cherry Blossom Festival
Expect heavy traffic near the Tidal Basin and at the downtown Metro stations closest to the blossoms and the Smithsonian museums.The festival parade is Saturday. The Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run is Sunday. Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. to accommodate the run.

For the festival, the National Park Service has changed the traffic pattern on Ohio Drive SW near the Tidal Basin to all northbound, from its intersection with East Basin Drive and Inlet Bridge up to the intersection with Independence Avenue and 23rd Street, on the south side of the Lincoln Memorial. See more cherry blossom travel information here.

Beltway shift this weekend
Motorists traveling on the outer loop (I-95/495 North from Virginia toward Maryland) are likely to encounter heavy traffic this weekend as the Beltway shifts outward between the Eisenhower Connector and the Telegraph Road interchange.

The shift, part of the Wilson Bridge project, will allow workers to reconstruct the former roadway to extend the Thru and Local lane configuration. A similar movement was performed in December for the inner loop lanes.

By Robert Thomson  |  April 5, 2010; 8:54 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Congestion , Construction , Driving , Events  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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