Weekend Road and Rail: I-66 stoppages, Beltway bridge work; Metro has two shutdowns and single tracking

Since spring has almost sprung, at least for this weekend anyway, the work planned for Interstate 66 in Fairfax and Gainesville will likely continue, which is the same for the Capital Beltway and D.C. Route 295/Interstate 295.

Metro has another planned shutdown on the Red Line to go along with the Blue Line’s continued closure. Riders can expect single-tracking on the Yellow Line.

Roadwork

Virginia

This weekend, the weather is expected to be welcoming amidst the perpetual work zones that take up many lanes and ramps on I-66, as various interchanges and bridges transform I-66 outside the Beltway project.

All week long, travelers through this interchange have seen stops on I-66 and the U.S. Route 50 interchange overnight, which is expected to continue into this weekend. The bridge overhaul at this interchange sees I-66 westbound to Route 50 reduced to a single lane of travel on the approach from the Waples Mill Road overpass, with random stops of up to 10 minutes at a time. All traffic at the point is detoured off of the interstate toward westbound Route 50.

This work also closes the ramp from Route 50 westbound to I-66 west with Route 50 being reduced to a single lane and periodic stops up to 20 minutes.

This bridge beam installation project generally occurs nightly, weather permitting, between the hours of 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. with the work into Saturday morning possibly extending to 9 a.m. The full stops are generally scheduled between midnight and 4 a.m.

There has also been continued work this week on I-66 westbound near the Prince William Parkway (state Route 234 Bypass), which includes lane reduction and overnight stops. With the transformation project, it is VDOT’s plan to have Express Lanes run between the Beltway and Gainesville, which means expanding transit and carpool use on the I-66 corridor by adding a new Park and Ride lot in Gainesville at University Boulevard and U.S. Route 29 (Lee Highway). Crews have been working here nightly at the University Boulevard bridge, which spans I-66 just to the east of Route 29 in Gainesville.

This work is scheduled nightly, through midday Saturday, with travel being reduced to a single lane westbound on I-66 between the Prince William Parkway and Route 29 (Gainesville). Also, only one lane is open on University Boulevard starting on or about 6 p.m. nightly with two-way, alternating travel controlled by flaggers.

There is a new project taking place overnight this weekend for the transformations that includes the ramp from Interstate 495 Capital Beltway toward westbound I-66. In the overnight hours, both Saturday and Sunday, crews will close the ramp from the Outer Loop (I-495 south) to implement a lane shift.

The work and closure will be each night with traffic being detoured farther south to Route 50 for a U-turn. On Saturday night the work is from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., with Sunday night from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

As this ramp reopens Monday morning, there will once again be two lanes available for travel, which is an upgrade since there’s only been one lane open since January.

As these work zones are everchanging between the Beltway and Gainesville, and with weather disrupting many planned events, a lot of changes can happen during off-peak hours.

Be sure to tune into WTOP News and Traffic on the 8s for the latest. If you’re experiencing something that we’re not reporting, please be part of the process and give us a call at 866-304-WTOP.

Maryland

In Frederick, this week saw a new off-peak project kick off state Md. Route 180 (Jefferson Pike) between U.S. Route 340 and Md. Route 17 (Burkittsville Road) roundabout. This includes highway maintenance with roadway patching causing single lane closures 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with Saturday work possible on a two mile stretch of state Route 180. According to the Maryland State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) this project is projected to be completed by May.

There also continues to be the nightly work on Interstate 270 at the exit ramp for Md. Route 85 (Buckeystown Pike). With pipe installation, crews close the ramps to I-270 to northbound Md. 85 nightly Sunday through Friday. And on I-270 southbound between Md. Route 121 (Clarksburg Road) and Md. Route 109 (Old Hundred Road) there also continues to be single to double, off peak, lane closures.

On Interstate 70, there are two bridge repair projects taking place over the Patapsco River and the CSX Rail Line bridge. This work is scheduled daily between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., plus overnight between Sunday and Thursday, weather permitting. Motorists at these locations can expect single to double lane closures during working times.

In Howard County, there’s a new paving project on Md. Route 32 (Patuxent Freeway) at the Burntwoods Road intersection. This nightly project with see travel alternating between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., with full road closures possible between 12 and 4 a.m. This is all work for the upcoming, planned traffic shift, scheduled for the next two weeks, weather permitting.

MDOT SHA also has a new resurfacing project in Prince George’s County on Md. Route 5 (Branch Ave) between the District line and Curtis Drive. This project is expected to intermittently close lanes on off-peak hours daily in both directions, including weekends between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m., and overnight.

The work on the Beltway in Montgomery County between Georgia and Connecticut avenues will experience off peak bridge rehabilitation with daily lane closures, overnight triple-lane closures and full stops – which will likely continue through late fall.

That’s the same scenario for the Beltway’s bridge replacement project at the Suitland Parkway in Prince George’s County. Crews there continue to work during off-peak times between Md. Route 4 (Pennsylvania Avenue) and the Allentown Road/Joint Base Andrews exits. There are daily single-to-multiple lane closures permitted both midday and during the overnight hours.

There is an upcoming traffic disruption starting Monday that will impact two Bethesda roads in a new project expected to last through April.

These off-peak daily lane closures can be expected on Sangamore Road between Massachusetts Avenue and Walhonding Road for pipe installation. Massachusetts Avenue at Sangamore Road is expected to be detoured for the duration.

Also in a look ahead to next week, work continues on I-895 Harbor Tunnel Throughway. Beginning next week, the Southbound Tunnel is scheduled to be closed at 8:30 p.m. nightly Monday through Thursday for scheduled work. Two-way operations will be in the northbound tunnel. Re-opening is scheduled to take place at 4:30 a.m. the following morning.

DC

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has plans to temporarily close roadways, lanes, ramps, and shoulders for construction activities along the I-295/D.C. 295 corridor throughout the weekend, weather permitting.

Between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. there is permitted work with lane closures possible on I-295 between Laboratory Road/U.S. Naval Research Lab and Interstate 695/11th Street Bridge with double lanes possible overnight. There will be message boards placed to guide motorists in these areas.

Also, expect work on South Capitol Street SE/SW between Firth Sterling Avenue SE and N Street SE, and on Suitland Parkway SE between the Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE overpass and South Capitol Street SE. Daily and nightly there will be lanes closed as well as these ramps:

  • I-295 to South Capitol Street / Nationals Park / Downtown and southbound to Suitland Parkway
  • Northbound Firth Sterling to I-295 North
  • The ramp from MLK Jr. Avenue to I-295 North (continuously)

The nightly full closure of Howard Road SE between WMATA Parking and Firth Sterling Avenue will continue this weekend from 8 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday morning.

Firth Sterling Avenue will also be closed during this time between South Capitol Street southeast and St. Elizabeth’s Avenue southeast with a detour posted.

Travel on northbound South Capitol Street will be closed and rerouted around Nationals Park again this weekend between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

And DDOT’s sign replacement project has been occurring nightly with lane closures possible on Interstate 395 and I-695, scheduled into Saturday morning. Motorists overnights could find temporary lanes, ramps, and shoulder closures, weather permitting.

Metro

This weekend sees the Arlington Cemetery (Blue Line) and Addison Road (Blue and Silver) stations closed due to the ongoing platform work – with no Blue Line services.

There will also be a shutdown on the Red Line between Grosvenor-Strathmore and Shady Grove for switch replacements, which closes the White Flint, Twinbrook, Rockville and Shady Grove stations.

There will also be switch replacement on the Yellow Line with single tracking at Franconia-Springfield.

This weekend hours of operation remain from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. on Saturday and 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. on Sunday. And with the schedule maintenance, trains will serve 85 of the 91 stations.

Weekend service summary:

  • Red Line: Trains run every 12 to15 minutes between Grosvenor-Strathmore and Glenmont only
    • Shady Grove, Rockville, Twinbrook and White Flint stations closed
    • Free shuttle buses replacing trains
  • Blue Line: No service
    • Arlington Cemetery, Addison Road stations closed
    • Free shuttles provided
    • Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn St. stations served by additional Yellow Line trains operating between Franconia-Springfield and National Airport
    • Travelers to and from Virginia and D.C. via the Yellow Line may transfer at King Street-Old Town, Braddock Road or National Airport
  • Orange Line: Trains run every 15 to 20 minutes
  • Silver Line: Trains run every 15 to 20 minutes
    • Addison Road station closed
    • Free shuttles between Capitol Heights and Addison Road
      Yellow Line: trains run every 15 to 20 minutes
    • In two segments, between Huntington to Greenbelt and Franconia-Springfield to Braddock Road
  • Green Line: Trains run every 15 to 20 minutes

Beginning Sunday, March 14, Metrobus riders will see more service every day of the week as bus ridership continues to outpace rail during the pandemic’s recovery. Changes will be implemented on 59 Metrobus routes serving the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, offering improved service, enhancing reliability, and helping to alleviate crowding.

For your safety and the safety of others, customers are required to wear cloth face coverings or masks while traveling on Metro.

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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