Dave Dildine, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - As the holidays near, weekend traffic patterns will become slightly less predictable as discretionary travel increases but highway volumes wane. The shopping mall parking lots will likely be congested, but delays on the major roads will be hit-or-miss.
Overnight construction on the roads will have a minimal impact on traffic and there will be fewer work zones on Metrorail system this weekend compared to last weekend. Traffic should move well through Landover Sunday afternoon as the Redskins will be away in Cleveland.
The ABC7 Weather Center is forecasting showers on Sunday, which means travel during the latter half of the weekend will likely be hindered by the wet weather. Last Sunday, the fog and mist contributed to numerous accidents on the Beltway in Maryland.
Although the Express Lanes on the Beltway have been open for a few weeks, there are still unfinished portions of the project that will continue to block various ramps during off-peak hours. On Friday night, the ramps from westbound I-66, Route 50/Arlington Boulevard, and Route 236/Little River Turnpike to the outer loop of the Beltway will be closed. The ramp from the outer loop to eastbound Route 236 will also be closed. Route 50 will be narrowed to one lane each way under the Beltway for bridge lighting.
Early Saturday morning, VDOT plans to stop southbound traffic on I-95 near Fairfax County Parkway (exit 166) between 3 and 4 a.m. to reposition a large piece of construction equipment. The I-395/I-95 express lanes will be closed overnight for the I-95 Express Lanes project.
In McLean, Route 123 southbound will be closed at Great Falls Street early Saturday morning for Silver Line rail work.
Track work will affect Metro customers traveling on portions of the Red, Orange, Green and Yellow lines.
The Red Line will remain open this weekend, but trains will share tracks between Friendship Heights and Van Ness and between Takoma and Forest Glen.
Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Archives and Waterfront for the second weekend in a row. There will be no Green Line service at L'enfant Plaza.
Trains will not run between the Fort Totton and Pentagon stations. Customers should take the Blue Line between Virginia and downtown Washington.
Trains will single-track between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly and through Falls Church.
The big weekend races, including the Jolly Fat Man's Run in Bethesda and Atlantic Parking-Koa Extreme 5 Mile Trail Run in Gaithersburg, will remain off the major roads.
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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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