Weekend Road & Rail: Metro’s fall shutdown, I-66 changes and more

Metro’s major Phase One construction on the Blue and Yellow lines begins this weekend, complete with shutdowns and shuttle service. Changes and stops are planned for the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project and 20 miles of roadway closures are planned through the District for the annual DC Bike Ride. Here’s what you need to know.



Metro

Starting Saturday, Metro will begin work to connect the future Potomac Yard Station with the mainline rail system and to rehabilitate the Yellow Line tunnel and bridge between Pentagon and L’Enfant Plaza stations. This is the first phase of this fall’s Blue and Yellow line construction project.

Potomac Yard Prep Work

Metro will connect new tracks to tie the Potomac Yard Station to the Metrorail system and ensure proper signal integration. This six-week project will require the closure of six Blue and Yellow line stations south of Reagan National Airport through Oct. 22. The Potomac Yard Station is expected to open later in the fall.

Here’s what changes:

  • No rail service south of Reagan National Airport Station.
  • No Yellow Line service, but Yellow Line stations north of Reagan National will be served by the Blue or Green lines.
  • Additional Blue Line service, with trains departing every seven to nine minutes from Reagan National Airport and New Carrollton stations (every 15 minutes after 9:30 p.m.).
  • People taking the Blue Line between Pentagon and L’Enfant Plaza stations should plan on about 15 minutes of extra travel time.
  • Green Line trains will operate every eight minutes (every 10 minutes after 9:30 p.m.).
  • If 7000-series trains remain out of service, trains will operate less frequently.

Seven free shuttles will be offered during Phase One, including local and express shuttles in Virginia and three limited-stop shuttles crossing the Potomac River.

Local shuttles will be available during all Metrorail operating hours. For specifics on all shuttles and alternatives, check Metro’s website.

CLICK IMAGE TO EXPAND: A map of Metro’s free shuttles during the closures. (Courtesy WMATA)

The Phase Two segment of the project is scheduled to run between Oct. 23, 2022, and May 2023.

Through October, the Blue and Yellow lines will be shut down between Reagan National Airport and Franconia-Springfield/Huntington.

There will also be additional maintenance on the Red Line, which requires single tracking between Union Station and Rhode Island Avenue. The full weekend schedule with service adjustments can be found on Metro’s website.

Roadwork

Maryland

Sunday morning, the Montgomery County Parks Half Marathon will be taking place beginning in Rockville about 6 a.m. The race takes place through the Rock Creek Park with several main road crossings.

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) will begin overnight work in Howard County Sunday, to improve the safety and the driving surface on five highway ramps. The roadwork is expected to last until the end of September.

The project will remove the top layer of the roadway, repair potholes to smooth out the surface and install a new layer of asphalt on the following ramps:

  • Southbound I-95 ramp to westbound Md. 32;
  • Southbound U.S. 29 (Columbia Pike) ramp to westbound Md. 175 (Little Patuxent Parkway);
  • Eastbound Md. 175 (Little Patuxent Parkway) ramp to southbound U.S. 29;
  • Westbound Md. 175 ramp to northbound U.S. 29; and
  • Westbound Md. 216 (Scaggsville Road) ramp to northbound U.S. 29.

The project will begin at the southbound Interstate 95 ramp at Md. 32, with work crews scheduled overnights between 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., Sunday through Friday.

The ramps will be closed and detoured using signs, cones and electronic arrow boards.

For all other continuing MDOT SHA projects, check the project portal.

And, for any details on the continuing Purple Line construction between Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, be sure to check the Purple Line Project website.

Virginia

The Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project will close the ramp from Route 50 East to Interstate 66 West to implement a traffic pattern change with the opening of another new permanent ramp.

The schedule of closures:

  • Beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, continuously through 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 12, the ramp from Route 50 East to Interstate 66 West will be closed.
  • Overnight lane closures are planned on I-66 West near Gallows Road Friday through Sunday, for bridge beam installation of the new Gallows Road South Bridge over I-66.
  • Overnight Friday and Saturday, Gallows Road over I-66 will be reduced to a single lane in each direction for bridge beam installation.
CLICK IMAGE TO EXPAND: Map of the Gallows Road bridge spanning I-66. (Courtesy VDOT)

There are other work zones to watch out for this weekend. Here’s a list from the Virginia Department of Transportation:

I-66 West from Route 29 (Lee Highway) Centreville to Groveton Road

Two lanes will be closed Friday until 2:30 p.m. for flexible post delineator installation.

I-66 East from Route 234 Bypass (Prince William Parkway) to Route 29 Centreville

Two lanes will be closed for paving and flexible post delineator installation between 8 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday.

I-66 West at Route 234 Business (Sudley Road)

Two lanes will be closed for sign installation between 9 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday.

I-66 West from Stringfellow Road to Route 28

Two lanes will be closed for overhead bridge work and flexible post delineator installation between 9:30 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday.

I-66 West from (Route 608) West Ox Road to Stringfellow Road

Two lanes will be closed for a traffic shift between 9 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday.

I-66 East from Route 608 (West Ox Road) to Route 50

Three lanes will be closed for overhead bridge work and demolition between 9 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday, with periodic stoppages overnight.

I-66 East from Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) to I-495

Two lanes will be closed for milling and paving between 9 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday.

I-66 West from I-495 to Route 123

Two lanes will be closed for milling and paving between 9 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday.

I-66 East from Blake Lane to Nutley Street

Three lanes will be closed both nights to remove the traffic split between 9 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday, and again from 9 p.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Sunday.

Ramp from I-495 North to I-66 East

The ramp will be closed and detoured from midnight to 4 a.m. Saturday, for barrier work and a traffic shift.

I-66 East at I-495

Two lanes will be closed for a traffic shift between 9 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday.

Ramp from the 495 Express Lanes North to I-66 East

The ramp will be closed and detoured for a traffic shift from midnight to 4 a.m. Saturday.

Ramp from 495 Express Lanes North to I-66 West

The ramp will be closed and detoured from 11 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday and again from 11 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday, for overhead beam installation.

All work is always weather-dependent and subject to change. Be sure to call the WTOP Traffic Center, which is manned 24/7, with any updates or changes you may see at 866-304-WTOP (9867).

DC

This Saturday marks the return of the DC Bike Ride through the District of Columbia, ending in Virginia. Twenty miles of streets and roadways will be closed to vehicular traffic from the National Mall into Southwest, through Georgetown, across the Potomac River into Virginia twice, and ending at the Capitol.

CLICK IMAGE TO EXPAND: DC Bike Ride course map. (Courtesy DC Bike Ride)

In conjunction with this event, there will be parking restrictions and street closures. These closures and restrictions will be in place from 7 p.m. Friday through 5 p.m. Saturday.

Be sure to check for any work associated with the I-295/DC-295 Corridor Project and the South Capitol Street Corridor Project. There are always various lane and ramp closures during off-peak times, including on weekends, between Interstate 295, between Malcolm X Avenue and Interstate 695, Firth Sterling, the Suitland Parkway as well as on South Capitol Street.

For any locations related to the Pave DC Project, check out the project’s interactive map.

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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