Dave Dildine, wtop.com
WASHINGTON – Travel by train, bus and car will be difficult in Washington this weekend. On Saturday, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon will block a number of streets throughout the city. On Sunday, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on Constitution Avenue, closing streets between the U.S. Capitol and the Ellipse.
The forecast of wet weather may curb spectator turnout but the street closures on Saturday and Sunday alone are enough to cause heavy traffic and headaches behind the wheel. Routes in Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast Washington will be affected by the race on Saturday. Motorists should follow posted detour signs and obey police direction.
Bus route detours during the race, track work on Metrorail and road work on New York Avenue will further complicate the trip through downtown Washington.
Formally known as the National Marathon, the 2013 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon will take place on Saturday morning. Police will begin blocking various streets along the race route throughout the city as early as midnight. The marathon is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. The Metropolitan Police Department may reopen some streets as early as 9:30 a.m. and all affected streets should be open by 2 p.m.
Click on the automobile icons in the map above for impacts on specific travel routes
Of the many closures that will be put into place for this event, the major road closures include Constitution Avenue, Rock Creek Parkway, Memorial Bridge, Calvert Street, Columbia Road, North Capitol Street, Maine Avenue, South Capitol Street (including the Frederick Douglass Bridge) and East Capitol Street (including the Whitney Young Bridge).
Motorists on I-66 eastbound using the Roosevelt Bridge to access the city will be forced onto the Potomac River Freeway toward the E Street Expressway during the event. United States Park Police plan to keep the Memorial Bridge and Rock Creek Parkway closed until about 11 a.m.
The Chain Bridge, Key Bridge, and 14th Street Bridge will remain open throughout the event. The Southwest Freeway and 3rd Street Tunnel will remain open, but the freeway exit to Maine Avenue will be closed.
Drivers headed into the city from Southeast on I-295 and Kenilworth Avenue should use the 11th Street Bridge. The Frederick Douglass Bridge and East Capitol Street Bridge will be closed through early afternoon for the second leg of the marathon.
Both races will start simultaneously on Constitution Avenue at 14th Street in front of the Washington Monument. The runners will head toward the Lincoln Memorial after a short jaunt up Virginia Avenue. The race course takes participants back and forth across the Arlington Memorial Bridge, then north on the Rock Creek Parkway toward Woodley Park.
Runners will head east toward Adams Morgan on Calvert Street and Columbia Road. They will run through Columbia Heights toward McMillan Reservoir then south on North Capitol Street through Bloomington and Eckington. As they near Union Station they will head east toward the H Street District.
Both races will bend south on 13th Street, then east toward RFK Stadium. The Half Marathon will conclude at RFK while the full marathoners will head west toward the U.S. Capitol on East Capitol Street.
From the National Mall, the 26.2 mile-course follows 9th Street SW to the Southwest Waterfront. The course routes the marathoners past Nationals Park on South Capitol Street and then across the Frederick Douglass Bridge. Runners will head north through Anacostia Park toward Minnesota Avenue. Finally, the participants will again cross the Anacostia River on the Whitney Young Bridge, concluding at RFK Stadium.
The Metropolitan Police Department says that delays are likely in the vicinity of the event and urges motorists to consider alternate routes. Increased pedestrian traffic is likely near the race course through the city as well.
For a complete list of roads affected for the race, see the event website.
St. Patrick’s Day falls on a weekend this year. While many other towns have already hosted their own parades over the past few weeks, the Nation’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Washington D.C. is scheduled to take place this Sunday on Constitution Avenue between noon and 3 p.m.
Constitution Avenue will be closed between 7th Street NW and 17th Street NW through mid-afternoon. The numbered streets, including the 12th Street Tunnel, will be closed to traffic between 9:00 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The parade will include local law enforcement, marching bands and will feature many Irish-themed floats.
Motorists near the National Mall should stay alert for heavy pedestrian traffic and expect delays.
Track work continues for one more weekend before a month-long reprieve, scheduled to accommodate the large crowds expected during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Riders on sections of the Orange and Red lines will experience delays this weekend. There is no scheduled work on the Green, Yellow, and Blue lines.
Metro will open at 5 a.m. on Saturday, two hours early, to accommodate the runners headed into the city for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon which begins at 7:30 a.m.
About three dozen Metro buses will be detoured around the Saturday event closures. These detours are expected to result in service delays.
WMATA says the closures put in place for the marathon will have a significant impact on the following routes: 32, 34, 36, 38B, 42, 52, 54, 64, 70, 74, 80, 90, 92, 96, A42, A46, A48, B2, D4, D6, D8, G2, G8, H2, H4, L2, M6, N6, P6, S2, S4, U2, U6, V8, X2 and X8.
The New York Avenue bridge that spans the train tracks north of Union Station continues this weekend. The work zone will reduce New York Avenue between Florida Avenue and 4th Street/Penn Street to a single lane each way.
Unlike past weekends, however, the work zone is scheduled to last all weekend long. The duration of the work, closure of two Anacostia crossings and event traffic headed downtown will put extra demand on the inbound side of New York Avenue. Delays are likely to result from the work zone on New York Avenue during the day on Saturday and, to a lesser degree, on Sunday.