Weekend drivers hibernate during the winter — or so it would appear. Whereas summer weekends are abuzz with rush-hour-like-traffic, the roads go quiet during the dreary winter months in Washington.
Even recurring congestion like on I-66 and the predictable sluggishness on the B/W Parkway in Maryland diminishes, with any delays amounting to little more than a nuisance. Barring icy weather or accidents, the wintertime weekend commute is usually a breeze.
There are challenges this time of year: It’s pothole season. The last freeze-thaw cycle has left many of the roads around the region pot-marked. Highway crews will be out this weekend repairing these road hazards.
Temperatures this weekend are expected to be 10 to 15 degrees above winter norms, so drivers won’t have any ice or snow to worry about. The roads will be slick with rain, especially Saturday afternoon. Big puddles are likely. Slow your speeds and turn your headlights on so other drivers around you can see where you are.
Most of the long-term road projects across the region will put work on hold until the weather improves. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has postponed Friday’s overnight closure of I-395 North at Edsall Road until next weekend. Other previously scheduled work zones along the 29-mile-long project area will likely be scrubbed.
Skies should begin to clear by the latter half of the weekend.
VDOT and the Federal Highway Administration Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division are scheduled to close lanes on I-95 South and Backlick Road south of Springfield, for steel beam placement on Saturday night. If the weather cooperates, all lanes will be closed on Backlick Road and three of the four lanes on I-95 South will be closed starting at 10:30 p.m. Temporary stoppages of traffic are possible on I-95. In the case of inclement weather, the work may be delayed until early morning or put off until Sunday night.
On Sunday morning, Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) and the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) plan to close a lane on eastbound and westbound Route 50 (John Hanson Highway) between the Capital Beltway and Route 410 in New Carrollton, Prince George’s County. The lane closures are necessary for BGE contractors to relocate utility poles and overhead power lines. Crews may hold traffic for up to 15 minutes at a time. The work should be completed by 10 a.m.
Plan for some delays if you’re taking Metro this weekend but all stations are expected to remain open. The track work starts at 10 p.m. on Friday and will last through Sunday night.
Red Line trains between Shady Grove and Glenmont will run every 16 minutes throughout the weekend. Trains between Shady Grove and Union Station will run more frequently during the daytime hours.
Orange Line trains will operate every 20 minutes due to continued reconstruction near the Minnesota Avenue and Deanwood stations.
Blue Line, Yellow Line, and Green Line trains will also run at 20-minute- intervals.
There are no events this weekend that pose the potential to cause widespread, major delays. The Washington Wizards will host the Houston Rockets at the Verizon Center at 7 p.m. on Saturday.