Weekend Wakeup: Downtown traffic pattern changes will affect holiday event-goers

Dave Dildine, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Construction work zones on the roads and rails are expected to have a moderate impact on travel this weekend. Meanwhile mild temperatures and wintertime events will coax many people downtown.

The Winter on the Water festival at the new Washington Harbour Ice Rink holiday shows at Downtown theatres and Alexandria’s Holiday Boat Parade of Lights all are expected to draw crowds.

Weekenders who venture downtown this weekend will see traffic pattern changes on a few of the routes leading from the Anacostia and Potomac river bridges.

The National Park Service says northbound George Washington Parkway will be closed this weekend at Spout Run Parkway for the ongoing rock wall work zone. In past weekends, this has led to heavy outbound, afternoon traffic on Spout Run Parkway, Lee Highway and Interstate 66 west of Rosslyn.

Thursday, DDOT permanently closed the westbound Southeast Freeway from Pennsylvania Avenue to 8th Street SE. Drivers who normally take the John Sousa Bridge into town will no longer be able to access the freeway toward Capitol Hill. Instead, motorists should consider using the 11th Street Bridge.

On Saturday morning, the Annapolis Half-Marathon will affect a few major roads to and through downtown Annapolis including Ritchie Highway, the Naval Academy Bridge, Rowe Boulevard, Bladen Street, and King George Street. The race kicks off at 7 a.m. and concludes near the Navy Marine Corps Stadium.

Metro Forward
Work continues on the Red, Orange, and Green Lines this weekend.

A portion of the Red Line between Fort Totten and Forest Glen will be closed. The Takoma and Silver Spring stations will be closed. Buses will ferry travelers around the closure. Metro says Red Line users who travel around this work zone should allow an extra 30 minutes of additional travel time. At system closing on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights the final trains will depart early to allow for these bus connections.

Orange Line trains will single-track between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly and between East Falls Church and West Falls Church. Trains will operate every 24 minutes between Vienna and New Carrollton this weekend.

Green Line trains will share tracks between College Park and Greenbelt for testing work. Trains will operate at regular weekend intervals between College Park and Branch Avenue.

Overnight Construction
Nighttime lane and ramp closures will continue on the Capital Beltway in Maryland and Virginia this weekend.

In Greenbelt, the Route 201/Kenilworth Avenue Bridge Project is nearing completion. Three right lanes will be closed on the Outer Loop under the bridge early Saturday morning. The Maryland State Highway Administration says lanes will reopen by 8:00 a.m.

A few work areas are scheduled for the I-495 Express Lanes on Friday night. Stay alert and be prepared for narrowed lanes, shorter merge areas, and ramp closures. Temporary stoppages of traffic are possible on the Outer Loop near Route 236/Little River Turnpike after midnight. There are no major closures scheduled for this section of the Beltway on Saturday or Sunday nights as the project is largely complete.

The eastbound Dulles Toll Road will be detoured onto the Beltway for rail work Friday and Saturday nights. Crews will be working above the Dulles Connector Road on the Silver Line flyover bridge near Route 123. West traffic on Route 267 from I-66 will not be affected.

The I-95 Express Lanes Extension work crews will close the I-95/I-395 HOV Lanes Friday night. Additionally, crews will block two right lanes on I-95 southbound near the Fairfax County Parkway.

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