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The weekend and beyond

The Capital Weather Gang says travelers should watch out for showers late Saturday and into Sunday. The big construction bottlenecks over the weekend are at Chain Bridge and on the Beltway's inner loop west of the Wilson Bridge. But there are plenty of other traffic and transit issues in this weekend's alerts.

Chain Bridge
The bridge is scheduled to close completely this weekend. Workers will remove the concrete barriers, repave the bridge deck and restripe the three lanes. The lanes are scheduled to reopen no later than 6:30 a.m. Monday. After that, the traffic pattern will be the same as it was before the rehabilitation project began almost a year ago. There will be two lanes for inbound traffic during the morning rush and two lanes for outbound traffic during the evening rush.

Beltway/Telegraph Road
This weekend, stay away from the Capital Beltway's inner loop near Telegraph Road, just west of the Wilson Bridge. Workers have narrowed the inner loop to a single lane through 5 a.m. Monday for emergency repairs to the Beltway bridge over Cameron Run. Only the left lane will be open. Ramps from Telegraph Road to the inner loop also will be closed.

For long-distance travelers heading south, the best option is to swing around to the western side of the Beltway and cross the American Legion Bridge.

Metro weekend delays
Keep these track maintenance delays in mind if you're riding the Red, Orange or Green lines to Nationals Park or to the DC 101 Chili Cook-Off at RFK Stadium on Saturday.

Red Line: Add at least 20 minutes to a trip between Grosvenor and Medical Center from 10 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing on Sunday. Workers will be replacing old rail fasteners to stabilize tracks. Add at least 20 minutes to a trip between New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue from 10 p.m. Friday through closing Sunday. Metro will be doing maintenance on the elevated tracks outside the Rhode Island Avenue Station.

On Saturday and Sunday, trains will leave Shady Grove at about one minute past the hour and at about 31 minutes past the hour. They will leave Glenmont at about seven minutes and 37 minutes past the hour.

Every other train in the direction of Shady Grove will turn around at Medical Center. Every other train in the direction of Glenmont will turn around at New York Avenue. That means trains will arrive at the stations between Medical Center and New York Avenue about every 15 minutes.

Orange Line: Add at least 20 minutes to trips between East Falls Church and Ballston from 10 p.m. Friday through closing time on Sunday. Workers will be replacing old cross ties and welding new rail on the tracks.

Green Line: Add at least 20 minutes to a trip between College Park and Greenbelt from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Workers will be welding new rail.

Metro Memorial Day weekend
Watch the blog for more information about big disruptions coming up on the Orange Line as the Dulles Rail project works on the area where the new line will join the Orange Line in 2013. This will split Orange Line service between East and West Falls Church on Memorial Day weekend and on the first two weekends in June.

Metrobus weekend detours
Various weekend events, including the District 6 Beat the Streets Initiative, the National Asian Heritage Festival, Bike DC and construction projects, will require Metro to detour more than two dozen bus routes.

Route U6 will detour from 1 to 7 p.m. Friday around Brooks Street and Banks Place NE for the District 6 Beat the Streets Initiative.

Routes 32, 34, 36 and P6 will detour from 2 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday around Pennsylvania Avenue NW between Third and Seventh streets for the Asian Heritage Festival.

Routes H2 and H4 will detour from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday around Michigan Avenue NW between First and Wader streets for construction.

Routes 3A, 3E, 5A, 7A, 13F, 13G, 16G, 16K, 23A, 32, 34, 36, 38B, 54, 64, 70, 80, A42, A44, A46, D6, P6, S2, S4 and V8 will detour at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday around 15th Street NW between Constitution and Pennsylvania avenues for Bike D.C. The event will also force Metrobus detours around Pennsylvania Avenue NW between Seventh and 14th streets.

Intercounty Connector/Notley Road
On Saturday, the Maryland State Highway Administration plans to shift traffic along Notley Road to a temporary alignment between Royal Forest Lane and Paula Lynn Drive. This will clear room to build the Notley Road bridge over the Intercounty Connector.

Crews will shift traffic between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. During the shift, Notley Road will go down to one lane. A flagger will direct traffic. This traffic pattern will remain for about a year as the new bridge is built.

Bike DC on Sunday
The popular annual biking event follows a 19-mile course that begins in the District and ends in Arlington. The ride includes a section of the George Washington Parkway and the area near the Marine Corps and Air Force memorials. Many roads will close temporarily between 5:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sunday then reopen as the bikes pass. See a route map.

There's an accompanying event called Pedalpalooza on Pennsylvania, which will close Pennsylvania Avenue between Seventh and 14th streets NW to motorized traffic from 7 to 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

MARC service changes
The next phase of Amtrak's track work project means changes in the schedules for MARC's Penn Line riders will take effect Monday. See a list of the changes here.

I-95 widening work
The replacement of an overhead sign structure that I told you was scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday nights has been postponed. When it does happen, probably in June, it will cause significant overnight delays on southbound I-95 around Lorton, so when I get exact dates, I'll post a new warning.

Braddock Road/Beltway
Westbound traffic on Braddock Road will be shifted to the new bridge over the Capital Beltway during the day on Thursday and eastbound traffic will be shifted overnight on June 3 or 4, weather permitting. This is part of the High Occupancy Toll lanes project.

By Robert Thomson  |  May 21, 2010; 8:50 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Biking , Congestion , Construction , Driving , Events , Metro , Weekend Work  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Next: Maryland seeks rail upgrades


As a commuter who started to use chain bridge *after* the construction started, I'm wondering if someone can tell me how the traffic is on Arizona in the morning when there are two inbound lanes.

Right now, 1 inbound lane restricts the flow from Chain Bridge to Canal, thus, the amount of cars on Arizonia heading up to Macarthur is pretty low.

Does Arizona back up all the way down to canal?

New Commuter

Posted by: jiji1 | May 21, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Hello jiji1
It will be a BIG relief to have 2 inbound lanes on Chain Bridge again.
The left inbound lane on Canal, going up to Arizona, may back up halfway between Chain Bridge and Arizona, at the most.

Posted by: vuthebao | May 23, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Washington area drivers have been the Ninth Circle since at least the 1960s, largely because the yo-yo's paid then to "plan" for future traffic didn't ... about the same as things are today, I'm sure, although we won't know how much worse the future will be until we get there.

Happy motoring, all.

Oh, and don't believe all the bull from politicians -- or commentators -- about how the traffic situation is going to be "fixed."

"It's insoluble!"

-- Patience & Prudence

Posted by: perryneheum | May 23, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

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