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The week ahead for traffic, transit

Have you used the car air-conditioner yet, or curtailed walking and biking in the middle of the day? It's the season for such questions, according to the forecast from the Capital Weather Gang. Here are some traffic and transit projects that could slow your travels during a week when temperatures will be in the 80s.

HOV time change
The weekday schedule for the I-95/395 reversible lanes has been slightly modified to help ease delays stemming from construction projects.

Until Nov. 1, the northbound HOV lanes will close at 10 instead of 11 a.m. and the southbound HOV lanes will open at noon rather than 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The Virginia Department of Transportation says the temporary schedule change should ease delays on southbound I-95, where one lane is closed between the Fairfax County Parkway and Route 123 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to noon Fridays. The lane closing is part of the I-95 widening project.

Rhode Island Avenue Station
Don't plan on parking at the Metrorail station for the next year and a half. A construction project has closed the park-and-ride lot. The bus stops and the kiss-and-ride area remain, but some of the bus stops will be relocated during a later phase of the project.

I-95 lane closing
Beginning Monday night, the right lane of I-95 south will be closed from a point just south of the Backlick Road exit (Exit 167) to the Fairfax County Parkway (Route 7100) for exit ramp reconstruction at Alban Road (Exit 166B). It will remain closed until early October. I-95 south already narrows from four to three lanes at the Fairfax County Parkway. With this lane closing, the narrowing will occur three-quarters of a mile sooner.

Tysons detour
The westbound lanes of Tysons Boulevard are closed temporarily. Workers on the Metrorail project are starting construction of caissons and piers to support the foundation of the Tysons Central 123 Station on the northwest corner of the Route 123/Tysons Boulevard intersection.

Northbound traffic on Route 123 will not be able to turn left onto Tysons Boulevard. Northbound drivers instead will be detoured to a left turn at International Drive, one block before reaching the westbound Tysons Boulevard intersection, because the left-turn lane will be closed for approximately two months.

Traffic will be detoured onto International Drive to a right on Galleria Drive. Drivers can then turn left on Tysons Boulevard or proceed straight. Drivers heading for Tysons Galleria from northbound Route 123 should stay on International Drive or use Tysons Boulevard. Drivers heading for Westpark Drive and the Westpark Bridge to Tysons Corner Center should continue on Galleria Drive, which becomes Westpark Drive.

Roosevelt Bridge repair
The District plans to do overnight repair work on ramps on the D.C. side of the Roosevelt Bridge through Tuesday night. One travel lane per ramp will be closed after the evening's rush period and reopened each day before the morning rush.

Telegraph Road/Beltway
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, the outer loop will be narrowed to two lanes between the Eisenhower Connector and Telegraph Road.

During those same weekday hours, Telegraph Road North will be narrowed to one lane between Huntington Avenue and Pershing Avenue. The ramp from Telegraph Road North to the outer loop will be closed. Detour: Traffic should take the ramp from Telegraph Road North to the inner loop to the ramp at Telegraph Road South to the outer loop.

Woodfield Road closures
Watch for single-lane closings from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays on Woodfield Road between Airpark Road and Rosewood Manor Lane. Airpark Road will be closed at MD 124 from 9 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday. Detour onto Muncaster Mill Road.

MD 201/Beltway
Drivers may find the shoulders closed on the Beltway as crews work on the Kenilworth Avenue (MD 201) bridge above. There may be temporary lane closings on both Kenilworth and the Beltway.

Metropolitan Branch Trail
A new section of the trail is opening up. This is between New York Avenue and Franklin Street. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. Monday at Fourth and S streets NE. A section between Franklin Street and Rhode Island Avenue is already open. When complete, the trail will be an eight-mile north-south route between Silver Spring and Union Station. See map.

By Robert Thomson  |  May 3, 2010; 8:25 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , Construction , Driving , Metro , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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Doc: I want to report back that Glebe leading to Chain Bridge seemed fine today, even after the closing. One day of data isn't enough to make a judgment, but at least they huge issues that resulted from the traffic timing changes after the last closure do not appear to have come back.

I'll report back tomorrow my findings as well.

Posted by: member8 | May 3, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: Thanks very much for the Chain Bridge report, and please do keep them coming.

Posted by: Dr_Gridlock | May 3, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know anything about the Ohio Drive closures? I got caught last week trying to get to Rock Creek Parkway at 8:00 p.m. It was a nightmare. The Post interactive map says closures are 10:00 pm to 5:30 a.m., but a roadside sign on Ohio Drive this morning says they start at 7:00 p.m. Can't find anything on DC DOT website about the project. I commute from Capitol Hill to Mass/Wisconsin. This is turning my 20 minute drive into an hour.

Posted by: mytmini | May 3, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

All of us who take I-95 south to Ft. Belvoir are truly screwed. Did VDOT realize that traffic exiting I-95 to get on 7100 already backs up onto I-95 every morning? It's a dangerous situation that will be made far worse by this lane closure.

One of my co-workers was rear-ended last year waiting to get onto 7100, but thankfully wasn't hurt. Imagine if it had been a semi that rear ended her? I shudder to think!

Don't think it's a tiny amount of cars. There's quite a few of us who live in Annandale, Fall Church, Arlington, DC and Maryland who hop on I-95 south to get to the Parkway and Fort Belvoir.

Posted by: HokieAnnie | May 3, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I saw the signs too, they all seem to have said 10 PM to 5:30 AM for Sunday night, but now were all switched to 7PM to 5:30 AM for the weeknights. So I would plan on it being closed at 7PM.

You will not find anything on DDOT's website, as Ohio Drive is not a DC roadway, it is a National Park Service roadway (all the roads around the Mall are). I give the Park Service credit for posting all the signs and attempting to post all the detour routes, but its still a huge mess. And Ohio Drive connects so many different routes and combinations of routes that its impossible to post every single permutation of detour sign. I didn't realize just how critical a link in DC's transport network Ohio Drive was until it was closed.

Let me say that the officially posted detour routes are a huge mess. Don't follow them if you have to get anywhere fast. Especially if you are headed outbound on Independence, don't wait until 17th Street to detour. 15th Street was much better...hardly any traffic and only had to wait 2 cycles of the light to get onto Constitution, which was a huge improvement over 17th.

But the real good shortcut...just go through Virginia. No traffic, and only a few minutes more than Maine/Independence/Ohio Drive. From Capitol Hill, get onto I-395 south towards Virginia. Stay in the main lanes and take the ramp onto 110 north towards Rosslyn. Take that all the way to I-66 west in Rosslyn, but take the very first exit off of 66 into Rosslyn. Turn right at the top of the ramp, cross the Key Bridge, turn right onto the Whitehurst Freeway. At the end of the Whitehurst, turn right onto 27th Street, then right at the end of that onto I/Virginia Ave, then right onto Rock Creek Parkway. That might add 5 to 10 minutes to a normal drive, but should not add 40+ minutes.

Going the other way is a little bit easier. Stay on Rock Creek Parkway to the closure point where you'll be forced onto the Memorial Bridge. Get into the left lane on the bridge, and go halfway around the circle as if you are going into Arlington Cemetary. Take the ramp on the right onto Route 110 south. Then take the exit onto I-395 north into DC. If you want to skip the construction at the inbound 14th Street Bridge, then as you take the ramp from 110 onto I-395, bear left at the little fork towards Pentagon City. Turn right at the first light, then right immediately again and you'll end up on the HOV bridge.

Posted by: thetan | May 3, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

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