Check vehicle’s fluids, expect local delays this weekend

WASHINGTON – Drivers will certainly be rolling the windows down or cranking up the air conditioning this weekend. The WTOP Weather Center is forecasting hot, muggy temperatures on Saturday and Sunday.

The summer heat can take its toll on your vehicle. And now is a good time to check the fluid levels under your hood, including your coolant and oil. Roadside breakdowns on sun-beaten, shadeless highways can be dangerous and frustrating.

And there will be plenty of events to keep the roads busy around the region Saturday.

In Arlington, the Corso de Santa Cruz Parade will step off from Shirlington Road near South 25th Street. The parade route will block various lanes on Shirlington Road, Four Mile Run Drive and Walter Reed Drive in Shirlington from noon to 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, a 15K race in Springfield will affect travel on some of the roads through the commercial district. The course includes part of Route 644/Old Keene Mill Road, Loisdale Road and Highland Street between Springfield Mall and Lake Accotink. The race begins at 8 a.m.

The ZOOMA Annapolis Half Marathon course includes a portion of Route 2/Ritchie Highway between Route 50 and the Naval Academy Bridge. There will also be street closures in downtown Annapolis between Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and City Dock. A portion of the race will close Rowe Boulevard. The half marathon begins at 7 a.m. and will likely cause some inconvenience to motorists heading through Annapolis.

Delays are not uncommon on weekends through Georgetown. But there may be more traffic than usual headed inbound on Canal Road and the Key Bridge this Saturday for Taste of Georgetown. Wisconsin Avenue will be blocked for this event between M Street and K Street. The festival, which features food and beer tastings, will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. But the closure of Wisconsin will be in place for several hours before and after the event.

In Fredericksburg, a soap box derby on William Street and an antique car show on Caroline Street may cause localized delays.

Interstate 95 in Virginia
The bigger headaches will exist on the region’s major thoroughfares including Interstate 95, which will handle heavier weekend volume as more summer vacationers hit the road. Expect southbound congestion to develop by midday on Saturday from Lorton to the Occoquan River after the express lanes are closed to southbound travel. Northbound I-95 normally begins slowing in Fredericksburg and through Stafford County by early afternoon, especially on Sundays.

Bay Bridge traffic
Last weekend was a long weekend for many and also the unofficial start of summer. The first significant delays of the season were observed on Route 50 between Easton and The Bay Bridge on Memorial Day as vacationers headed home from the Atlantic beaches and Eastern Shore. The potential of heavy traffic exists again this weekend on Route 50 although delays may not be as intense as they were last Monday.

Metro riders should expect longer wait times on all station platforms this weekend. Trains will run at 22 minute intervals with scheduled track work at various stations on all five rail lines. A section of the Red Line between Woodley Park and Metro Center will be closed for work. The Dupont Circle and Farragut North stations will both be closed. Free shuttle buses will route riders around the work zone. Delays of up to 25 minutes are possible.

Follow Dave Dildine and @WTOPtraffic on Twitter.

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