Weekend Road and Rail: Full closure on Outer Loop, Suitland Parkway to close; Metro work brings single tracking

We have rain in the forecast with full closures planned on the Outer Loop of the Virginia Beltway, Suitland Parkway and ramps from the Beltway to the Clara Barton Parkway. Metro continues its shutdown with Saturday maintenance bringing single tracking.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re traveling in the D.C. region this weekend.



Unstable weather was in our forecast this weekend, so be sure to stay tuned to WTOP traffic on the 8s for any abrupt changes. There are plans to have full closure of the Outer Loop of I-495 at I-66 during the overnight hours starting Friday and through Sunday.

For this weekend, weather permitting, The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) said there are plans for bridge beam installations at the I-66/I-495 Interchange. This would require a full closure and detour of I-495 south at I-66. Traffic would be detoured around the closure using I-66 West and Nutley Street.

The 495 Express Lanes South would also be closed along with the ramps from I-66 West to I-495 South, the outer loop, and several other 495 Express Lane ramps.

These closures are necessary for crews to install beams for the new flyover ramp from I-495 North to I-66 West as part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project. The schedule for the closure and detour is as follows:

Oct. 8-10:

  • I-495 South approaching I-66:
    • Two lanes will be closed Friday, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.; Saturday, from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.; and Sunday, from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
    • All lanes of I-495 South (Outer Loop) will be closed Friday and Saturday nights from midnight to 5 a.m., and Sunday night from 11:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.
    • Traffic will be detoured to I-66 West, exit to Nutley Street South, stay to the right to the new loop ramp to I-66 East, then follow signs to I-495 South.
Click to enlarge: Detour of the I-495 Outer Loop ramp to I-66 West to Nutley St. (Courtesy VDOT)
  • Ramp from I-66 West to I-495 South:
    • Ramp closed Friday and Saturday, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and Sunday from 11:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.
    • Traffic will be directed to continue farther west to Nutley Street for a U-turn.
  • 495 Express Lanes South approaching I-66
  • Ramp from I-66 East to the 495 Express Lanes South
  • Ramp from the 495 Express Lanes South to I-66 West
  • Ramp from I-66 West to the 495 Express Lanes South:
    • The Express Lanes and the ramps will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.
    • Overhead variable message boards will direct traffic to alternate routes.

All work is weather dependent and will be rescheduled if inclement conditions occur.

In other work planned for this weekend as part of the Transform 66 Project, various lanes and ramps will be included between the Beltway and Gainesville. Here are few on the list to watch for:

  • I-66 both ways between US-29 Gainesville and US-29 Centreville.
    • Friday: Eastbound 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. / Westbound 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
    • One lane will be closed for lighting and utility work.
  • I-66 West from Groveton Road to Route 234 Bypass (Prince William Parkway).
    • Friday and Saturday: 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
    • The left travel lane will be closed for paving.

These are just a few of the work zones that are planned. Be sure to stay tuned to WTOP traffic on the 8s for any updates or additional closures.

To be part of the process, call the WTOP Traffic Center, which is manned 24/7, at 866-304-WTOP.


The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) has a planned project this weekend to improve visibility along I-495 (Capital Beltway) in Montgomery County.

The department will improve visibility by trimming trees and other vegetation on the Inner Loop ramp from I-495 to exit 41 (Clara Barton Parkway). MDOT SHA expects the trimming operation to occur between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For the safety of work crews and the traveling public, the work requires a full ramp closure with motorists detoured to use exit 39 for MD 190 River Road and southbound I-495 to access Clara Barton Parkway. Be sure to allow extra time traveling.

In Howard County, MDOT SHA is performing preservation work on the Watersville Road bridge over I-70. The bridge, located between the MD 94 (Woodbine Road) exit and the MD 27 (Ridge Road) exit, is being painted to protect the structure from corrosion.

In work that started this week, crews are working overnight Sunday through Thursday from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following day. Because this project requires scaffolding, the height restriction of vehicles traveling under the Watersville Road bridge has been temporarily reduced to 14’ 6″ during the work.

In Newburg, US-301 southbound on the approach to the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge has a new travel pattern, which will remain in place through the fall to implement the new cashless tolling gantry and signage. More details can be found online.

In Prince George’s County, MD 5 Branch Avenue from the District Line to Curtis Drive there continues to be off-peak paving with lane closures, which continues through the weekends from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. with intermittent single to multiple lanes closed.

There will continue to be off-peak work on the Maryland side of the Beltway in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. Between Arena Drive and Richie Marlboro Road through the fall, and on both sides of the Beltway near the Suitland Parkway motorists can expect lane reductions and ongoing traffic barrels.

Milling and paving on the Beltway before and after Georgia Avenue is also a work in progress during off-peak times. Motorists can expect rough and uneven pavement to reduce speeds through that stretch of roadway in both directions.

The Purple Line work saw a new closure this week of the westbound right lane on Annapolis Road (MD 450) between 76th Avenue and the Glenridge Shopping Center entrance for utility relocations. This work will take place between 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for approximately one week, weather permitting.

Be sure to check the posted link for any changes and completions that may take place with this everchanging, perpetual project.


On Saturday, from 4 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Run for the Badge 5K is taking place between Judiciary Square and Federal Center, SW. There will be various street closures and parking restrictions associated with this event.

There is also a Snallygaster beer fest, which will close portions of Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues between 3rd and 7th Streets, NW, and all north / south crossings along the Mall from Madison Drive through Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th Streets. These street closures will be in place from 8 p.m. Friday until 2 a.m. Sunday.

There is work scheduled through this weekend as part of the I-295/DC-295 Corridor Project. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) says various lanes, ramps and even roadways have closures scheduled, weather permitting. There are daily lane closures scheduled along I-295 between Laboratory Road and I-695, South Capitol Street, and full closures nightly of Howard Road. The full list and schedule can be found online.

Click to enlarge: Map of the Suitland Parkway detour during Saturday’s closure. (Courtesy DDOT)

On Saturday, between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., DDOT plans to close and detour the Suitland Parkway between Firth Sterling Avenue and South Capitol Street. This closure will include the ramps to and from I-295. Detours will be posted.

The work has been continuing this week on I-295 southbound between South Capitol Street and Malcolm X Avenue / JBAB with a right lane closed between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. This closure is expected to continue through Monday, weather permitting.

This is part of the continuing corridor project, and more information can be found online.

This week has also seen lane closures associated with bridge and tunnel inspections. DDOT will continue its ongoing Bridge and Tunnel Inspection Project through Oct. 14 during the off-peak hours.


The Red Line shutdown continues between Twinbrook and Shady Grove for the Rockville Canopy Replacement Project. This project continues to close the Rockville and Shady Grove stations through December 4. There is a list of alternate travel options, which can be found online.

Click to enlarge: Photo of free shuttle bus services provided for Metro users with stops between its Twinbrook and Shady Grove metro stations. (Courtesy WMATA)

There is switch maintenance planned for the Blue, Orange and Silver Lines this weekend, which will require single tracking between Foggy Bottom and Clarendon/Arlington Cemetery on Saturday.

Metro will operate from 7 a.m. – 1 a.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. – midnight on Sunday, serving 89 of 91 stations with normal weekend frequencies on the Red, Yellow and Green lines.

In observance of Columbus Day, Monday, October 11, Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. and close at midnight. Trains will operate on a Saturday schedule, with service adjustments on the Blue Line after 9 p.m.

Weekend service summary:

  • Red Line: Shady Grove and Rockville stations closed.
    • Buses replace trains with free shuttle service between Shady Grove, Rockville and Twinbrook.
    • Trains operate between Twinbrook and Glenmont only.
  • Blue Line: Saturday only, single tracking between Foggy Bottom and Arlington Cemetery.
    • Monday, after 9 p.m. single tracking between Braddock Rd and Van Dorn St.
  • Orange Line: Saturday only, single tracking between Foggy Bottom and Clarendon.
  • Silver Line: Saturday only, trains operate between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston only.
  • Yellow and Green Lines: normal service.
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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