Big Metro delays expected, MLK Day events, District lane closures


Tim Bracken, wtop.com

Weekend Wakeup Call – Friday, Jan. 13 to Monday, Jan. 16

The top weekend story in the traffic world concerns Metro track work on the Blue and Orange lines, with the Federal Center SW and Capitol South stations scheduled to be closed. There will be single-tracking on the Red Line as well, so read on for those details.

In the District: Bridge and tunnel inspections continue and paving could cause delays on Canal Road NW.

We also have info about some notable Martin Luther King Jr. day events, including a great concert at the Kennedy Center featuring Bobby McFerrin.

As with other federal holidays, drivers can park free at nearly all meters in the area. The exception is the New Carrolton garage.

MARC and VRE trains will be out of service.

Metro schedules major track work

Over the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Metro will advance major track work on the Blue and Orange lines, and employ single-tracking on the Red Line. The work will begin at 10 p.m. Friday night and continue through the system’s closing on Monday, Jan. 16.

On the Blue and Orange lines, crews will install new switches near Federal Center SW. On the Red Line, crews will continue to advance NTSB-recommended track circuit replacement, a critical key step toward restoring automatic train operations, as well as cable installation and station platform rehabilitation.

Blue/Orange Lines

  • Beginning shortly before 10 p.m. Friday and continuing through closing Monday, free shuttle buses will replace Blue and Orange line trains between L’Enfant Plaza and Eastern Market, making intermediate stops at Federal Center SW and Capitol South stations.
  • Two stations — Federal Center SW and Capitol South — will be closed.
  • Blue Line trains will operate every 16 minutes in two segments: between Franconia-Springfield and L’Enfant Plaza, and between Eastern Market and Largo Town Center.
  • Orange Line trains will operate every 16 minutes in two segments: between Vienna and L’Enfant Plaza, and between Eastern Market and New Carrollton.
  • At stations served by both Blue and Orange lines, trains will operate every eight minutes in each direction.
  • The last Orange Line train from New Carrollton will depart 15 minutes earlier than normal — at 2:22 a.m. on Saturday night (early Sunday) and at 11:22 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.  The last Orange Line train from Vienna will depart at its normal time.
  • The last Blue Line train from Largo Town Center will depart 10 minutes earlier than normal – at 2:16 a.m. on Saturday night (early Sunday) and at 11:16 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.  The last Blue Line train from Franconia-Springfield will depart at its normal time.
  • On Friday night, the last trains to operate through the work zone before busing will:

• Depart New Carrollton at 9:33 p.m., Eastern Market at 9:50 p.m., L’Enfant Plaza at 9:56 p.m. and arrive at Vienna at 10:30 p.m.

• Depart Vienna at 9:12 p.m., L’Enfant Plaza at 9:46 p.m., Eastern Market at 9:52 p.m. and arrive at New Carrollton at 10:09 p.m.

• Depart Largo at 9:22 p.m., Eastern Market at 9:40 p.m., L’Enfant Plaza at 9:46 p.m. and arrive at Franconia-Springfield at 10:26 p.m.

• Depart Franconia-Springfield at 8:59 p.m., L’Enfant Plaza at 9:39 p.m., Eastern Market at 9:45 p.m. and arrive at Largo at 10:03 p.m.

  • Customers traveling through the work zone should allow 20-30 minutes of additional travel time.

Red Line

Beginning at 10 p.m. Friday and continuing through closing Monday, Red Line trains will single-track in two areas:

  • Between Dupont Circle and Van Ness-UDC
  • Between Takoma and Forest Glen

Throughout the weekend, Red Line trains will operate between Shady Grove and Glenmont every 24 minutes. Between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, additional trains will operate between Fort Totten and Farragut North. Customers should allow additional travel time.

No track work is scheduled on the Green or Yellow lines this weekend.

Closures in the District

On Friday and Saturday between 10 a.m and 3 p.m., ongoing paving on Canal Road NW will block various lanes between Arizona Avenue and Foxhall Road. Delays are likely.

DDOT will continue daytime safety inspections on major bridges and tunnels. Here’s what’s in store for Friday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.:

  • On southbound I-295, there will be right and left alternating closures of the exit ramp to South Capitol Street followed by alternating right and left lane closures of South Capitol Street under the ramp
  • On northbound I-295/DC-295 over Pennsylvania Avenue, there will be a right lane closure followed by a right lane closure on the southbound side

For Monday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.:

  • On Pennsylvania Avenue SE under I-295/DC-295, there will be alternating lane closures in both directions

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so remember that parking enforcement will be suspended in the District. Here are some of the notable events that will take place:

  • The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University are presenting “Let Freedom Ring!” featuring Bobby McFerrin and the Let Freedom Ring Choir, with Music Director Rev. Nolan Williams Jr. Georgetown will award the 10th annual “John Thompson Legacy of a Dream Award” to Clarence Jones, Martin Luther King Jr.’s former attorney and speechwriter, who helped draft the now famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Scheduled for Monday at 6 p.m.
  • On Monday, the National Cathedral will host “King in Our Midst,” an annual event celebrating Dr. King’s legacy. The Malcolm X Dancers & Drummers, St. Augustine Gospel Choir, poet Tony Keith, Urban Nation H.I.P.–H.O.P. Choir, Washington Performing Arts Society’s Children of the Gospel Choir, and CityDance with singers from School Without Walls will “rock the nave” from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • On Monday at 8 a.m., there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial. The ceremony will include remarks by Harry E. Johnson, president and CEO of the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation; the Rev. Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network and host of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” and Robert G. Stanton, senior adviser to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. The memorial, officially opened in August 2011, honors the life, the dream and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Parade

The following streets in the District will be closed between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE between Milwaukee Place and South Capitol Street.
  • South Capitol Street SE between Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and 2nd Street SW
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SW between South Capitol Street and Chesapeake Street SW.

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