Weekend Road & Rail: Bridge work, paving, stops on the Beltway and I-66; Metro maintenance on all lines

Weekend Road and Rail featuredThere will be work happening this weekend on the I-295/DC-295 Corridor with stops planned on the Beltway and I-66 as the Transformation Project continues, some changes take place to bridge construction projects, and Metro has maintenance on all lines.

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

Roadwork

Maryland

It’s not often that we use this space to mention work completing, but in this case, we going to let you know of a ramp reopening this past week after a one-year closure.

This past Wednesday morning motorists on the Beltway through Largo were treated to the new ramp opening on I-95/I-495 at Md. 214 Central Avenue. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) worked to remove the longstanding barriers and construction devices, reestablishing access from the Beltway to Central Avenue. This is due to the 96 percent completion status of the Bridges Project over Md. 214 on Central Avenue in Prince George’s Country.

I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway bridges over Md. 214 Central Avenue image (Courtesy MDOT SHA)

Crews here will still be adding an expansion lane to Md. 214 between the interchange ramps and other utility replacements.

On the Beltway, heading north on the Inner Loop over the American Legion Bridge, a tree crew will be blocking the right exiting lane and the ramp to the Clara Barton Parkway (exit 41) both Sat. and Sun. between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

In Howard County, MDOT SHA will begin moving concrete barriers overnight Sunday between Linden Church Road and I-70. There will be a single lane open, controlled by flaggers between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

On Friday, the Md. 193 University Boulevard Shared Streets Pilot Project and Survey will be completed. It was conducted to address increased demand for pedestrian and bicycle access.

The conclusion of this six-month pilot will restore use of all lanes for vehicular traffic, as the flex posts for the interim protected bike lanes and temporary line striping will be removed.

MDOT SHA’s next step is to evaluate motorist, bicycle and pedestrian operations and safety to gauge the effectiveness of the pilot project that temporarily allowed bicycles and vehicles to safely share 1.35 miles of Md. 193 University Boulevard from Amherst Avenue to Arcola Avenue in Wheaton, Montgomery County.

The results of the study will be available by early spring 2022 on the pilot project’s website.

In Montgomery and Prince George’s counties it continues to be all about the Metro Purple Line Project. This week there is planned utility relocations along Riggs Road and University Boulevard. Be sure to check the Purple Line construction website for specific details along with all of the ongoing changes.

And again, as many will be making holiday travel plans, it is worth mentioning the new project in Frederick on the northbound US-15 Catoctin Mountain Highway at the bridge over Md. 77 West Main Street and Hunting Creek in Thurmont. There will be continuous bridge rehabilitation reducing travel to one lane for the next six to eight months. For more on this project, check out their website.

Virginia

There have been overnight lane and ramp closures this week on I-495 North and I-66 East for overhead bridge work at the I-66/I-495 Interchange, which is all part of the continuing Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project. The project that is reconstructing 12 interchanges along 22 miles of I-66.

I-66 East to I-495 North detour map. (Courtesy VDOT)

The bridge work continues Friday night through 5 a.m. Saturday, and northbound I-495 will be reduced to two travel lanes approaching I-66, with the ramps from I-66 East to I-495 North, I-495 North to I-66 West, and I-495 North to I-66 East closed and detoured.

  • Ramp from I-66 East to I-495 North
    • The ramp will be closed nightly from 11 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.
    • Traffic will be directed to I-495 South, exit to Route 50 (Arlington Boulevard) East, stay to the right to Fairview Park, take the left fork to Fairview Park North.
  • Ramp from I-495 North to I-66 East
    • The ramp will be closed nightly from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
    • Traffic will be directed to continue north to Route 7
      I-495 Inner Loop to I-66 West detour map. (Courtesy VDOT)

      East, travel about one mile, then follow signs to I-66 East.

  • Ramp from I-66 East to I-495 North
    • Friday, Dec. 17: 11 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.
    • The ramp will be closed. Traffic will be directed to take the left exit to the 495 Express Lanes North. Drivers will not be charged for using the Express Lanes for the detour.
  • I-495 South approaching I-66
    • Friday, Dec. 17: 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
    • Three lanes will be closed for overhead bridge work with stoppages of up to 20 minutes.
  • I-495 North from Route 29 (Lee Highway) to I-66
    • Friday, Dec. 17: 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
    • Two lanes will be closed for overhead bridge work.
  • Ramp from I-495 South to I-66 West
    • Friday, Dec. 17 and Saturday, Dec. 18: 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
    • The ramp will be reduced to one travel lane for overhead bridge demolition at Gallows Road. All lanes will reopen by 7 a.m. weekends.
  • Ramp from the 495 Express Lanes North to I-66 West
    • Friday, Dec. 17, and Saturday, Dec. 18: 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
    • The ramp will be closed for overhead bridge demolition at Gallows Road. Overhead variable message boards will direct traffic to an alternate route.
  • I-66 East from Nutley Street to Gallows Road
    • Friday, Dec. 17: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
    • Two lanes will be closed for sound wall installation.
  • I-66 West from I-495 to Gallows Road
    • Friday, Dec. 17, and Saturday, Dec. 18: 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
    • Three lanes will be closed for overhead bridge demolition Friday and Saturday nights for overhead bridge demolition with periodic stoppages of up to 20 minutes.
  • I-66 West near Route 28
    • Friday, Dec. 17, and Saturday, Dec. 18: 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.
    • Two lanes will be closed for demolition of the old Route 28 bridge abutment.
  • Ramp from I-66 West to Route 28 South
    • Friday, Dec. 17, and Saturday, Dec. 18: 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
    • The ramp will be closed and detoured.
  • I-66 East and West between Route 15 and Compton Road
    • Friday, Dec. 17: 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 East from Groveton Road to Bull Run
    • Friday, Dec. 17: 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
    • Three lanes will be closed for a traffic shift.

All work is weather dependent, and with some rain in the forecast be sure to stay tuned to WTOP and Traffic on the 8s for any up-to-the-minute changes. And be sure to call the Traffic Center with all updates at 866-304-WTOP.

DC

For travelers of the Memorial Bridge, US-50, Va. 110 and the George Washington Parkway wanting to access Arlington National Cemetery, there is the annual Wreaths Across America event planned for this weekend, which will cause street closures and impact traffic. More on this event can be found online.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) began temporary lane closures this week on northbound D.C. 295 at Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue for milling and paving. These lane closures are expected to continue through next week, which will impact various lanes and ramps daily, weather permitting. This is all part of DDOT’s ongoing efforts to improve the I-295/D.C. 295 corridor. For more on this ongoing project, check their website.

There are other lane and ramp closures associated with this project continuing through the weekend along South Capitol Street, Suitland Parkway and I-295.

Firth Sterling Avenue closure and detour map. (Courtesy DDOT)

Firth Sterling Avenue will be closed on Saturday and Sunday between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. for bridge construction.

For more specific timing of other lane and ramp closures, you can check online.

Metro

There is scheduled maintenance on all Metro lines this weekend, which includes the ongoing Red Line shutdown between Twinbrook and Shady Grove for the Rockville Canopy Replacement Project. On the Red Line, the Rockville and Shady Grove stations are closed. For alternate modes of transportation, check the WMATA website.

Metrorail continues to operate at reduced frequencies through the end of the year with the removal of all 7000-series railcars from service due to the ongoing Blue Line derailment investigation.

For those traveling to the Wreaths Across America event on Saturday, Dec. 18, Metro has travel tips and information, which can be found online.

Metro will operate during normal weekend hours, 7 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday and 7 a.m.-midnight on Sunday, serving 89 of 91 stations.

Weekend service summary:

  • Red Line: Shady Grove and Rockville stations are closed.
    • Buses replace trains with free shuttle service between Shady Grove, Rockville and Twinbrook.
    • Trains operate between Twinbrook and Glenmont only.
  • Blue and Orange Line: After 10 p.m., trains will single track between Smithsonian and Federal Center SW.
  • Silver Line: After 9 p.m., trains will operate between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston only.
    • Transfer to/from the Orange Line to continue trip.
    • Those traveling to Wreaths Across America event Saturday at Arlington Cemetery should use closest station to your ticketed gate: Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery or Rosslyn stations.
  • Green and Yellow Line: After 10 p.m., trains will single track between U Street and Mt. Vernon Square.
  • Yellow Line: Travelers to Wreaths Across America event Saturday at Arlington Cemetery should use the closest station to your ticketed gate: Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery or Rosslyn stations.

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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