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Weekend Wakeup: Express Lane closures and downtown D.C. events might cause congestion

Friday - 9/13/2013, 3:38pm  ET

WASHINGTON -- As the summer travel season begins to wind down, construction of the new I-95/395 Express Lanes is heating up. Full closures of the Express Lanes are set to begin this weekend. But unlike in weekends past, the lanes will remain closed all day Saturday and through most of Sunday.

Weekend drivers on I-95 should brace for delays during the daytime hours.

On Friday night, the Virginia Department of Transportation will close the reversible HOV lanes on I-95/395 from south of Route 236 to Dumfries. They will remain closed on Saturday. The lanes are expected to reopen to northbound traffic by 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Similar closures will take place every weekend this month. In October, as highway volume further wanes, the Express Lanes will be closed all weekend through to the Monday morning rush hour. Crews will use the extra work space to complete tasks like milling and paving the new road surface as well as overhead sign, drainage, and barrier installation.

In an effort to alleviate some congestion on the mainline, VDOT and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation will begin offering a Saturday bus service between the Potomac Mills Mall and the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station. The Saturday bus service will be free for a three-month period. Buses will also make stops at the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission Transit Center in Dale City, offering additional transfer opportunities. Here's the schedule.

Navy-Air Force Half Marathon

Expect street closures in Northwest Washington around 5 a.m. Saturday for the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon. The runners will hit the pavement shortly after 7 a.m. The Navy-Air force Half Marathon and Navy 5 Miler is hosted by Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

The entire length of the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway will be closed to traffic. Beach Drive will remain open but traffic south of the National Zoo will be diverted into Woodley Park.

Arlington Memorial Bridge, Memorial Circle, and Lincoln Circle will be closed to traffic for much of the morning. Arlington National Cemetery will be accessible from Route 110 and the southbound George Washington Parkway.

The race course includes Ohio Drive, Independence Avenue, Maine Avenue, and 15th Street NW near the Tidal Basin and Potomac Park.

Most streets will be open by 11 a.m. except in the area around the awards ceremony on the National Mall.

Metro will open its doors early at 6 a.m. for participants and spectators. The closest Metro stop to the start of the race is Smithsonian Station.

9-11 Heroes 5K Race Street Closures

There will be several street closures on Saturday morning in Crystal City for the 9-11 Heroes 5K Race. The run starts at 8:30 a.m.

A portion of South Glebe Road northbound will be closed between 8:15 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. Other streets affected include 23rd Street, South Eads Street, South Fern Street, and Arlington Ridge Road. Parking near the race course will be restricted.

Weekend Fairs and Festivals

Doug Hill in the WTOP Weather Center predicts picture-perfect weather for fairgoers this weekend. The Maryland Renaissance Festival and the Anne Arundel County Fair in Crownsville, the Charles County Fair in La Plata, and the Great Frederick Fair in Frederick will draw crowds. Expect some congestion on the routes near the county fairgrounds.

Frederick's 31st annual In The Street Celebration is this Saturday. Market Street, All Saints Street, Church Street and more will be closed. Patrick Street and 7th Street should remain open to traffic.

Follow police direction and expect some delay if you plan to travel through downtown Frederick. Pets or animals of any kind are not allowed at the event. Due to expected large crowds, bicycles will be prohibited inside the event area.

In Arlington Heights, the street fair known as Prio Bangla Potho Mela will block South 9th Street from Walter Reed Drive to South Highland Street on Saturday. Street parking in the area will be restricted. Expect localized congestion and plenty of foot traffic.

D.C. Roadwork

Repairs to the old Arizona Avenue Railroad Bridge over Canal Road will be conducted this weekend. Crews will block a lane of Canal Road between Arizona Avenue and Chain Bridge between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Work on the New York Avenue Bridge over the rail yard north of Union Station continues this weekend. A single lane will be blocked on the inbound side of New York Avenue between Penn Street and Florida Avenue Friday night until 12 p.m. on Saturday. For more on the new sculptures above New York Avenue, read this story.

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