Dave Dildine, wtop.com
WASHINGTON – Fair skies and milder weather should lure more of Washington out of hibernation and onto the roads this weekend.
Weekend volume delays have been steadily intensifying through hotspots such as Interstate 66 in Fairfax, the Baltimore Washington Parkway in Greenbelt and Interstate 95 between Lorton and Dale City as springtime nears.
Road work should have a minimal impact on travel this weekend. But Metro has a full docket of track work planned and delays are likely on all five rail lines.
Saint Patrick’s Day revelry is also picking up across the region. In addition to the many pub crawls slated this weekend at various bars throughout the city, the Manassas Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will march down Center Street on Saturday.
Metro customers will ride through work zones on portions of all five lines throughout the weekend. Most of the track work will require single tracking, as inbound and outbound trains share the same set of tracks. As usual, the work begins around 10 p.m. Friday and will last through closing time late Sunday.
A portion of the Blue and Orange lines will be closed east of Stadium-Armory for rail and platform upgrades. Free shuttle buses will be available instead of trains.
Metro riders who are planning a night on the town Saturday will want to keep a close eye on the clock.
The last trains will depart before 1:59 a.m. because of Daylight Saving Time. At 2 a.m. Sunday, clocks will spring ahead to 3 a.m., which is Metrorail’s normal closing time.
Trains will also leave earlier than normal Friday and Saturday because of nighttime track work.
Old Town Manassas will host its 14th annual Greater Manassas St. Patrick’s Day Parade at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Parts of Quarry Road, Prescott Avenue, Center Street and West Street will be closed to travel during the parade. Follow the posted detour signs and police direction, if available.
Those who are driving to the event should use the city’s municipal parking lots located on Prince William Street, near Osborn High School, City Hall, and on Church Street.
The parade features the U.S. Marine Corps Base Quantico Color Guard, local elected officials, Prince William County law enforcement, American Legion Post 10, the Washington Scottish Pipe and Drum and many other local groups.
Road work is not expected to have a major impact on travel this weekend.
On Friday night, the eastbound Dulles Airport Access Highway will be closed between Dulles Airport and the Main Toll Plaza in Tysons Corner for work related to Metro’s Silver Line extension. The main lanes on the Dulles Toll Road will remain open. Late night air travelers who are driving away from the airport on Route 267 are expected to pay the $1.75 toll at the main toll plaza. The work starts at midnight and lasts until 5 a.m. Saturday.
The I-95/I-395 HOV lanes will be closed again this weekend between Dumfries and Duke Street for construction. Despite a few single-lane closures in the mainline along this stretch, delays are not expected as the work will not begin until well after the Friday evening rush winds down.
On Saturday morning work crews may block up to two lanes at a time on the outer loop of the Beltway in Maryland between I-95 and New Hampshire Avenue. The work is scheduled to take place between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m.
Highway crews are scheduled to inspect the Muddy Branch Road overpass above Interstate 270. On Wednesday, a dump truck struck an overhead sign on the bridge. Crews will block various lanes on southbound I-270 underneath Muddy Branch Road through noon Saturday. This work is not expected to cause delays.
In Northeast Washington, the recurring work zone on New York Avenue will again reduce traffic to a single travel lane each way east of Florida Avenue. The work is slated to last until 1 p.m. Saturday. Delays normally build shortly before noon on inbound New York Avenue and last until the work zone clears.
The St. Patrick’s Day 8-K Race will take place on Sunday morning in downtown Washington. Streets will begin closing around 5 a.m.
A stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed between Freedom Plaza and the U.S. Capitol. Portions of Constitution Avenue, Louisiana Avenue, D Street, 1st Street NW, 3rd Street NW and Independence Avenue near the Capitol will also be blocked. The numbered streets that cross Pennsylvania Avenue near Federal Triangle will also be affected.
All streets should be open by 1 p.m.