Weekend Road and Rail: Beltway reduced, stops on I-66, South Capitol Street closed; Metro single tracking

In the winter months, weather will always be a factor in what transpires with the roadwork forecast.

Weather permitting, crews will be on the Beltway overnights, stopping I-66 for bridge demolition and closing ramps, and closing South Capitol Street for the 295 Corridor work.

Here’s a look at what could be a factor this weekend.

Roadwork

Maryland

As part of its ongoing I-270/MD 85 interchange in Frederick County, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) performed a traffic shift this week.

For motorists coming off the northbound I-270 exit onto MD 85 (Buckeystown Pike) overnight on Thursday crews moved traffic from the existing ramp to the previous ramp located on the right near Francis Scott Key Mall.

This is for the new signal work, which will improve roadway operations, safety and access to both northbound and southbound MD 85. MDOT SHA expects to activate the new traffic signal later this month. This is all part of the administration’s $87.7 million I-270/MD 85 interchange project to improve safety and reduce congestion.

The project replaced two I-270 bridges and will widen MD 85 by adding a new travel lane in both directions between Spectrum Drive and Crestwood Boulevard and is expected to be complete in Spring 2023.

Aerial view photo looking south at MD 85 where widening work is taking place on the southbound side from 2021 (Photo MDOT SHA).

There continues to be overnight lane and ramp closures for the project from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Friday. The work expected to continue through the fall.

To learn more about the project, check out the MDOT SHA Project Portal.

On I-95 in Baltimore, the northbound weekend work with lane closures at the entrance to the Fort McHenry Tunnel has been postponed until further notice. Stay tuned to WTOP and we will keep you posted on the latest.

In other work that continues during off-peak times, including weekends, the I-95 / I-495 Beltway projects in Prince George’s County will continue through the end of the year. This work brings the possibility for lane closures between Allentown Road and MD 4 Pennsylvania Avenue for the Suitland Parkway bridge replacement. Also, there is paving on MD 5 Branch Avenue between the District Line and Curtis Drive and corridor work on U.S. 1 Baltimore Avenue through College Park. More on these and other ongoing projects can be found online.

As for the ongoing Purple Line construction, the upcoming week is set to see underground utility relocations on the north side of the CSX tracks between 16th Street and Fenwick Lane, which will take place daily and weekends as needed and a long-term lane closure on eastbound University Boulevard (MD 193) between Carroll Avenue and Riggs Road.

Check MDOT SHA’s website to stay up to date on all of the changes pertaining to the Purple Line work from Montgomery through Prince George’s counties.

Virginia

There is a long-term ramp closure planned for this weekend as part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project, weather permitting. Be sure to stay tuned to WTOP and traffic on the 8s for any up to the minute changes.

Beginning overnight Friday, and for the next three weeks, crews are set to close the ramp from I-66 westbound to Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metrorail station, which is the exit to Country Creek Road and Virginia Center Boulevard, for utility replacements.

This ramp closure is scheduled to begin at 11 p.m. on Friday. There will be a detour posted continuously over the next three weeks directing traffic farther west to exit at Route 123 Chain Bridge Road for a U-turn. As an alternate, exit early and workaround using Nutley Street.

Detour map for the I-66 ramp closure.

There are plans for other lane and ramp closures associated with the ongoing Transform 66 Project with a few notable locations listed here:

I-495 South at I-66

Friday, Jan. 21: 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Three lanes will be closed for overhead bridge work.

I-66 East from Cedar Lane to Gallows Road

Friday, Jan. 21: 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

Saturday, Jan. 22: 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Three lanes will be closed for overhead bridge work near Prosperity Avenue (about half a mile prior to Gallows Road) and overhead bridge demolition at Gallows Road.

  • Drivers should expect periodic stoppages approaching Gallows Road Friday and Saturday nights between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

I-66 West from Jermantown Road to Route 50

Friday, Jan. 21: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Two lanes will be closed for sound wall work.

Route 50 East from I-66 to Waples Mill Road

Friday, Jan. 21: 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Two lanes will be closed for ramp work.

Ramps from I-66 to Route 50

Friday night, Jan. 21: Midnight to 4 a.m.

The ramp will be closed and detoured.

Ramps from Stringfellow Road to I-66 East/from I-66 West to Stringfellow Road

Friday, Jan. 21, and Saturday night, Jan. 22: Midnight to 4 a.m.

The ramps will be closed for bridge abutment demolition.

  • Stingfellow Road will be reduced to a single lane of travel.

I-66 West approaching Manassas Safety Rest Area/east of Route 234 Business (Sudley Road)

Friday, Jan. 21: 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Saturday, Jan. 22: 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Sunday, Jan. 23: 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Two lanes will be closed through Friday nights for overhead bridge beam installation.

  • On Saturday and Sunday nights, I-66 West will be reduced to one travel lane near the Manassas Safety Rest Area (about 1.5 miles east of Route 234 Business).

I-66 West from Route 234 Bypass (Prince William Parkway) to east of Route 29 Gainesville

Friday, Jan. 21: 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Three lanes will be closed for overhead bridge work. Drivers should expect periodic stoppages of up to 20 minutes during the overnight hours.

I-66 East and West between Route 15 and Compton Road

Friday, Jan. 21: 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.

As a reminder, all work is weather dependent, stay tuned for the latest and be sure to call the Traffic Center 24/7 at 866-304-WTOP with any updates.

D.C.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT), as per usual on weekends and off-peak times, will have crews working on the I-295 / DC-295 Corridor Project with lanes and ramp restrictions between Laboratory Road / Naval Research Lab exit 1 through the Suitland Parkway. For a full list of locations and times, check the DDOT website.

This weekend, the project continues the temporary closure of eastbound Potomac Avenue SE and Northbound South Capitol Street between 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily.

Map of the eastbound Potomac Avenue closure and detour.

On South Capitol Street SE, the northbound side will be closed and detoured between Firth Sterling Avenue and the Suitland between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily all weekend as part of the New Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge Project.

Map of the South Capitol Street closure and detour.

Metro

This weekend Metro has radio cable installation planned, which will require single tracking on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.

Metrorail service continues to operate at reduced levels due to the ongoing 7000-series railcar investigation. For the latest information, check out the Metrorail 7000-series return to service update.

Metro will operate during normal weekend hours, 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to midnight on Sunday, serving all 91 stations with the conclusion of the Red Line Canopy Replacement Project.

Weekend service summary:

Red Line: Trains every 12 minutes.

Blue, Orange Lines: Trains single tracking between McPherson Sq and Smithsonian stations.

Silver Lines: Trains operating between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston only.

  • Transfer to/from Orange Line to continue trip.

Yellow Line: Trains operating between Huntington and Reagan National Airport only.

  • Transfer to/from Blue Line to continue trip.

Green Lines: Trains every 20 minutes.

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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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