Labor Day weekend: Tips for getting around on the roads, rails

WASHINGTON — A major Red Line shutdown and two other scheduled work zones will slow Metro riders over the long Labor Day weekend.

On Monday, riders also need to be aware that the rail system will run on a Sunday schedule from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. The rail system is open until 1 a.m. now on Fridays and Saturdays.

Red Line

The Red Line will be shut down between Friendship Heights and Twinbrook all day Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Bethesda, Medical Center, Grosvenor-Strathmore and White Flint stations will be closed.

Shuttle buses will be available over the approximately eight-mile stretch, but it could take up to an hour to go the length of what is usually supposed to be about a 20 minute trip.

Because of that, the last trains will leave Shady Grove 40 minutes earlier than otherwise scheduled (11:45 p.m. Saturday, 9:45 p.m. Sunday and Monday).

The same shutdown is scheduled again for next weekend, Sept. 9-10, to fix more leaks and other track work.

The Red Line was already shut down between Grosvenor and Friendship Heights for four consecutive weekends in late July and early August. The new pair of shutdowns was not announced with the same fanfare.

Riders who want to avoid the shutdown this weekend and next weekend can consider using the Silver Spring-Glenmont side of the Red Line.

Blue, Orange and Silver lines

Blue, Orange and Silver line trains are scheduled to run only every 24 minutes each Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The Blue Line will be single-tracking between Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield due to work on the station platforms, fences and tracks.

The Orange and Silver lines will be single-tracking between Clarendon and East Falls Church all weekend due to cable installation work.

The Yellow and Green Lines are scheduled to have normal weekend service, and could provide an alternative for some riders.


On highways, most road work takes the weekend off even if traffic jams do not.

The Virginia Department of Transportation’s historic travel trend data shows backups tend to begin to build on Interstate 95 south through Stafford and on U.S. 29 approaching Warrenton starting by 11 a.m. Friday, after separate backups Thursday night.

By early afternoon, I-95 South can turn into a parking lot, with additional major delays on other major highways in the region

Traffic tends to ease somewhat on Virginia highways by Friday evening, with Saturday morning traffic that is closer to a normal weekend.

Major traffic tends to build again in the early afternoon Monday, with bumper to bumper traffic on I-95 North through Fredericksburg becoming the norm from around 1 p.m. to 8 or 9 p.m.

On I-81, northbound traffic backups just before I-66 tend to be worst between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday.

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