Weekend road and rail: Metro to add more service, Suitland Pkwy closures and I-66 stoppages

What should drivers, air travelers or Metro riders in the D.C. area expect this weekend?

Big changes are coming for Metro with the Silver Line set to resume service after a long summer shutdown and pre-COVID service transitions beginning Sunday, Aug. 16.

And there are full stops and road repairs scheduled for Interstate 66 this weekend. I-270 will see reconfiguring to an interchange in a longstanding restoration project.

Here’s what you need to know:

Metro

The Platform Reconstruction Project on the Orange and Silver lines, which has been going on since May, will see a few changes scheduled to take place this Sunday.

Currently, all nine Orange and Silver line stations west of Ballston-MU are closed, with no Silver Line trains, with the Silver Line stations being served by the Orange and/or Blue line trains.

This Sunday, the Silver Line service resumes reopening six stations, and seeing the West Falls Church station resume rail service for the first time since Memorial Day.

Orange/Silver Line summer platform work map (Courtesy WMATA)

The complete Silver Line shutdown and Orange Line platform project continues through Saturday, with the Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and East Falls Church stations remaining closed, and buses replacing trains.

On Aug. 23, new Metrobus schedules will take effect, including the restoration of bus service on routes that have not had service in months, and significantly more frequent service on almost every line.

Metro is extending service and hours beginning Sunday to pre-COVID status as the region continues a gradual recovery and more customers are expected.

More trains, more stations, more buses and more hours means thousands of front-line Metro employees will be transitioning back to new work schedules, adding 15 more service hours per week.

So, effective Sunday, Aug. 16:

  • Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. weekdays, 7 a.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. on Sundays, and close daily at 11 p.m.
  • Weekdays Red Line trains will operate every five minutes during peak periods and 12 minutes off-peak
  • All others lines operate every eight minutes during peak periods and 15 minutes off-peak
  • On weekends, Red Line trains will operate every 12 minutes; all other lines every 15 minutes
  • Six stations west of Ballston reopen: McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, Spring Hill, Wiehle-Reston East and West Falls Church
  • Arlington Cemetery station remains closed as Arlington National Cemetery is currently closed to the general public

For your safety, all customers are required to wear face coverings when riding mass transit.

Platform reconstruction work is now under way at Reagan National Airport.

The station will remain open during this construction and the report is not to impact rail service as this in one of the few stations in Metro’s system with three tracks.

This is now the 11th station to be addressed in Metro’s Platform Improvement Project, which is meant to address the much-needed structural issues and crumbling concrete.

Due to the existing platform conditions, this work has been accelerated from its previous fall to spring schedule, focusing on reconstructing the concrete and granite platform edges to install nonslip tiles, along with shelters and information screens to be completed at a later date.

This is now the 11th station to be addressed in Metro’s Platform Improvement Project, which is meant to address the much-needed structural issues and crumbling concrete. (Courtesy WMATA)

Airport traveler information

The station will remain open during platform reconstruction, but there will be full or partial platform closures. Both station entrances will remain open, with signs at the entrances and throughout the station to direct customers to their trains.

The tentative three-phase construction schedule* as follows:

  • Phase 1: Platform 1 (nearest the airport) will be closed for seven weeks (through late-September)
  • Phase 2: Platform 2 (nearest the parking garage) will be closed for seven weeks (from late-September to mid-November)
  • Phase 3: Portions of both platforms will be closed for six weeks (from mid-November to Dec. 25)

*Dates are approximate and subject to change

Roadwork

Maryland

In Frederick County, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration said that beginning Sunday, Aug. 16 at 10 p.m., the northbound I-270 exit ramp to southbound MD-85 Buckeystown Pike will be closed through Aug. 23 for underground pipe work.

During this time, drivers on northbound I-270 will be redirected.

At the beginning of August, this $82 million reconstruction project, which began in 2017, was deemed 60% complete as crews are set to begin what is considered Phase III.

The overall project is expected to:

  • Replace two poorly rated bridges on I-270 (built in 1954)
  • Construct a third bridge on southbound I-270 over MD-85 that will carry new exit lanes and have wider shoulders
  • Increase capacity on MD-85 between Spectrum Drive and Crestwood Boulevard by constructing an additional travel lane in each direction
  • Construct a new median and partial diverging diamond interchange on MD-85 to improve traffic flow and access to and from I-270.
This $82 million reconstruction project, which began in 2017, was deemed 60% complete as crews are set to begin what is considered Phase III. (I-270 reconstruction image via MDOT SHA)

Virginia

In Fairfax, VDOT has scheduled overnight lane closures and stoppages of up to 20 minutes on I-66 east at the I-495 Interchange tonight, August 14, for bridge beam installation for the new I-66 Express Lane ramps. These nightly lane closures and stoppages are also expected to be implemented overnights through next week, Monday through Thursday, with I-66 is both directions near I-495 reduced to a single of travel. With this bridge beam lifting work over I-66, crews will have to stop traffic for up to 30 minutes on I-66 west, and stoppages of up to 20 minutes on I-66 east each night.

Drivers can expect delays if traveling in this area during these times and should consider using alternate routes. And, as always, all work is weather dependent.

The I-66 Transformation Project is scheduled to continue this weekend with changes abound, weather permitting.

The Virginia Department of Transportation has released the schedule for this weekend to include the widening of I-66 inside of the Capital Beltway and road repairs beginning Friday night.

In Arlington, both Thursday and Friday nights will see the ramp from eastbound I-66 to Washington Boulevard/US-29 exit 69 closed and detoured between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

All traffic will be directed to Westmoreland Street, before this closure, where drivers will stay right on Westmorland Street, turning left at the stop sign onto Fairfax Drive, then stay right continuing on Fairfax Drive to reach US-29.

In Arlington, both Thursday and Friday nights will see the ramp from eastbound I-66 to Washington Boulevard/US-29 exit 69 closed and detoured between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. (Courtesy VDOT)

Also, in Arlington, a single-lane closure is expected for eastbound I-66 just before the bridge over US-29/Lee Highway exit 72, on or about 9 p.m. and continuing through 5 a.m. Monday for road repair. This work could have intermittent full stops of up to 20 minutes.

The scheduled includes:

  • Left lane closed, 9 p.m. Friday through 7 p.m. Saturday
  • There will also be intermittent full closures up to 20 minutes each on eastbound I-66 between 9 p.m. Friday through 9 a.m. Saturday
  • Right lane closed, 7 p.m. Saturday through 5 a.m. Monday
  • Intermittent full closures up to 20 minutes on eastbound I-66 from 8 p.m. Saturday through 9 a.m. Sunday, and from 8 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday

Drivers should expect delays and are advised to use alternate routes.

In Centreville, Route 28 has been reduced to one lane during the overnight and midday hours for paving.

This weekend will see Braddock Road continuing to be closed between Newton Patent Drive and Route 28, with detours posted to Westfields Boulevard to access Braddock Road and/or Route 28.

This weekend will see Braddock Road continuing to be closed between Newton Patent Drive and Route 28, with detours posted to Westfields Boulevard to access Braddock Road and/or Route 28. (Courtesy VDOT)

The schedule for closure, according to VDOT and weather permitting:

  • Friday 10 p.m. through 5 a.m. Monday, Braddock Road will be closed between Newton Patent Drive and Route 28
  • Route 28 southbound traffic will not be able to turn right onto Braddock Road
  • Drivers will be directed before the closure to take Westfields Boulevard westbound to reach Braddock Road
  • Braddock Road traffic will not be able to turn onto Route 28 South
  • Drivers will be detoured to Westfields Boulevard eastbound to reach Route 28 South

Also this weekend, on I-66 between Compton Road and Bull Run continuously between 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. Monday, single to multiple lane closures can be expected for bridge work, weather permitting.

Starting with a right lane on or about 9 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday, there will also be multiple lanes scheduled to be closed in the overnight hours.

D.C.

In Southeast D.C., a temporary closure of Suitland Parkway is continuing into Saturday.

The District Department of Transportation continues to close the Suitland Parkway between South Capitol Street SE/SW and Firth Sterling Avenue SE nightly from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

These closures are scheduled to continue through 9 p.m. Saturday.

These closures are necessary for construction activities associated with the South Capitol Street Corridor Project, which includes construction of the New Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge and the reconstruction of the I-295/Suitland Parkway interchange.

With this work, there is also a temporary closure of Howard Road under I-295 through Aug. 17.

The District Department of Transportation continues to close the Suitland Parkway between South Capitol Street SE/SW and Firth Sterling Avenue SE nightly from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. (Courtesy DDOT)

In the event of weather or other unforeseen delays, the Saturday closure will occur on the Sunday following the scheduled closure. A marked detour will be in place during these closures.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2020 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up