Weekend road and rail: Planned weekend stops for I-66; single-tracking on Orange Line

This weekend could continue to see stops with slow rolls for Interstate 66 through Prince William County, Virginia, with utility work scheduled for early mornings.

In addition, the I-295/DC-295 corridor rehabilitation project has scheduled lane and ramp closures. Single-tracking is also set for the Metro’s Orange line maintenance.



For the past few weekends, motorists on I-66 traveling between Manassas and Haymarket have experienced a dreaded stop and slow roll of all lanes, with police escort, in both directions for a Dominion Power project to run cabling across the interstate.

This project, not listed in any of our correspondence with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), has been confirmed by a VDOT representative as something to be expected on weekends through October.

As the past couple of weekends have shown, both directions of I-66 between Route 234 Business (Sudley Road) heading westbound and heading eastbound from US-15 in Haymarket, all lanes of travel will come to a complete stop.

Also, all of the ramps at these locations and in the stretch of closure include Route 234 (Prince William Parkway) and US-29 Lee Highway/Gainesville will also be stopped and held for the duration of the closure.

Traffic at these locations are generally held a few minutes, with police physically blocking all of the lanes and then beginning a slow roll of all lanes with ramps held.

These closures have been happening at many different times, and randomly, both Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 6 a.m. and 1 p.m., catching many motorists by surprise. As always, any work is weather dependent and subject to change.

As a work around, in the early morning, US-29 between Centreville and Gainesville will remain unaffected. I say in the early morning, as it has been known to get more bogged down as the day burns on and backups build.

In Manassas, VDOT all week has had running overnight closures planned through Friday for the I-66 westbound ramp to Route 234 Business south, which is Sudley Road. This closure and detour, scheduled from 10 p.m. through 5 a.m. nightly, will as always be weather dependent and subject to change.

(Detour map courtesy of VDOT)

As a detour, traffic will exit before the closure point to Route 234 Business north, turn right at the traffic signal on to Battleview Parkway, turn right on Infantry Ridge Road, left on Battleview Parkway, and then left at the traffic signal on to Route 234 Business south.

In Centreville, there will be a new traffic pattern for Route 28 northbound to eastbound I-66 beginning on or about Saturday, Sept. 26.

The current ramp from northbound Route 28 is scheduled to close on Saturday, with a temporary ramp put into place about 250 feet farther north, according to VDOT.

With this changing pattern, the travel lanes on Route 28 and on the ramp from Route 29 (Lee Highway) will be shifted slightly. This new pattern will be implemented as the new northbound Route 28 thru-lanes and ramps are redesigned at this interchange.

These changes are all part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project.

(New ramp illustration courtesy of VDOT)

VDOT has projected this new Route 28 and I-66 Interchange will improve traffic flow and provide access to and from the future I-66 Express Lanes, which are projected to open in December 2022 and will span from Route 29 in Gainesville to the Beltway.

Also, continuing daily and overnight work on I-66 to be aware of:

  • I-66 east from Route 29 Gainesville to Route 234 Business (HOV closed indefinitely):

• Single and multilane closures will be implemented for paving.

• Between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. daily, one lane closed.

• Between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily, two lanes will be closed.

• Between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. nightly, only one travel lane open.

  • I-66 west from Route 234 Business to Groveton Road (HOV closed indefinitely):

• Single and multilane closures for paving operations.

• Between noon and 8 p.m. daily, one lane closed.

• Between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. nightly, one travel lane open.

• Between 6 a.m. and noon daily, two travel lanes open.

Be sure to stay tuned to WTOP for the latest.


The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is continuing its work on the I-295/DC-295 corridor project, with temporary ramp and lane closures scheduled through this weekend. As always, work will be weather dependent and subject to change.

Here is a list from DDOT of locations to watch out for through this weekend:

• I-295 northbound from Laboratory Road/U.S. Naval Research Lab (Exit 1) to I-695 to I-395 Downtown (Exit 5A)

Up to two lanes closed — 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Monday.

• I-295 southbound from I-695 (Exits 1B-C) to Laboratory Road/U.S. Naval Research Lab (Exit 1)

Up to two lanes closed — 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Monday.

• South Capitol Street, SE/SW from Firth Sterling Avenue, SE to N. Street, SE

Single lane closed both ways — daily through Sunday.

Up to two lanes closed each way from 8 p.m. through 5 a.m. Monday.

• South Capitol Street, SE/SW between MLK, Jr. Avenue, SE and Malcolm X. Avenue, SE

Single lane closed daily 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Suitland Parkway, SE between Firth Sterling Avenue and South Capitol Street, SE

Single lane closed daily 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sunday.

Up to two lanes closed overnights 8 p.m. through 5 a.m. Saturday.

• Firth Sterling Avenue between South Capitol Street and Howard Road, SE

Single lane daily 9:30 to 4 p.m. and overnights from 6:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Saturday.

Possible closures and detour on Saturday from 5 a.m. through 9 p.m.


(Project map courtesy of DDOT.)


In Clarksburg, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) was performing a traffic switch on MD-355 (Frederick Road) at West Old Baltimore Road in Clarksburg overnight Thursday into Friday at 6 a.m.

This traffic switch was to allow the workers to place pavement markings in preparation of a stormwater management structure, all part of the $9 million intersection improvement project at MD-355 and West Old Baltimore Road.

The work includes:

• Roadway widening and realignment

• New traffic signals

• A shared-use path along southbound MD-355

• Installation of sidewalks along northbound MD-355

MDOT SHA works hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones. Drivers need to stay alert, focus on the road and look for reduced speed limits and changing driving pattern changes. Their motto is, “Drive like you work here and slowdown in construction zones.”


(MD-355 project photo courtesy of MDOT.)

In Montgomery County, the rehabilitation work continues on I-495 (Capital Beltway) Outer Loop between MD-650 (New Hampshire Avenue) and MD-193 (University Boulevard) for permanent bridge joint repairs through late fall.

Expect intermittent single and multiple lane closures weekdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and overnight, between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

In case you missed it, earlier this week, construction for the Purple Line Project has been delayed as MDOT sorts out management solutions. Maryland transportation officials said Tuesday they will “take over day-to-day management of building the Purple Line, at least temporarily, as soon as construction crews pack up and depart,” a process that could come as early as next week.

They told the Prince George’s County Council there are firms eager to come in and guide the 16-mile rail project to completion, but they conceded that the demise of the state’s relationship with its original contractor, Purple Line Transit Partners, will lead to delays.


As the Metrorail has begun its normal service heading into the fall, riders will also begin to see the ever-changing maintenance work that gets scheduled for the weekends.

This weekend will see the minimal-impact platform rehabilitation project at Reagan National Airport continue, as it’s scheduled through December. But there will also be a grout pad fastener renewal project on the Orange Line, which will prompt single tracking.

This weekend, Metrorail will run normal service on all lines. All 91 stations will be open, with trains operating from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Sunday.

Weekend service summary:

• Red Line — trains are scheduled every 12 minutes.

• Blue, Silver, Green and Yellow Line — trains are scheduled every 15 minutes.

• Orange Line — trains will run every 18 minutes, with single-tracking between the Cheverly and New Carrollton stations due to scheduled work.

Since the coronavirus precautionary closures have all lifted, service is no longer reduced, but as always, due to continuing health concerns and for your safety and the safety of others, customers are required to wear face coverings or masks with using mass transit.

Mary DePompa

WTOP Traffic Reporter, Mary de Pompa has a great understanding of the D.C.-area gridlock, being a third-generation Washingtonian. If you see more than she says, call Mary on the WTOP Traffic Hotline at 202-895-5048 or email her at mdepompa@wtop.com.

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