Weekend Road and Rail: 495 Next Project ramps up; I-295 transformation; Red Line shutdown

The Beltway expansion work, known as the 495 Next Project, continues to ramp up on the Virginia side of the American Legion Bridge. The ever-changing transformation of Interstate 66 will see more new ramp configurations come to fruition. The Interstate 295/DC-295 Corridor Project is expected to run continuous lane closures. And Metro adds a Red Line shutdown.

Here are things to watch for this weekend:



This week saw a ramp up in lane closures and construction as part of the 495 Next Project which will be continuing during off-peak hours this fall as weather conditions allow.

The joint repair work on southbound I-495, beginning in the vicinity of the Georgetown Pike Bridge and progressing to the south on the approximately 2.5-mile, requires multilane closures on southbound I-495 with at least one lane always remaining open to traffic. Most of this work and related-overnight closures will occur on weeknights, though some will occur during weekend overnights.

These repairs require crews to saw-cut each side of the joint and excavate the overlaid asphalt in order to access the joints. Repairs will be made to the joints, and new asphalt will be placed to match the elevation of the highway, which cannot be installed during cold temperatures.

Once the work on southbound I-495 is completed, work will begin on northbound I-495. This work is in preparation for the future widening of the Beltway. Any work that is not completed this fall will resume in spring 2023.

Joint repair work performed in the vicinity of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, which is anticipated to start on or about Monday, Oct. 24, will require the following detour:

Detour map courtesy of VDOT.

Motorists coming from George Washington Memorial Parkway heading for southbound I-495 will be directed to access the Beltway by staying right and taking the ramp up to Georgetown Pike, proceeding straight through the traffic light, and taking the ramp back down where traffic will then be able to merge onto the Beltway.

In work related to the Transform 66 Outside of the Beltway Project, here is a list of few locations to be aware of this weekend:

  • The closure of the ramp from Route 123 Chain Bridge Road North to I-66 West was rescheduled and was expected to reopen on 6 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21.
  • Immediately following the opening of that ramp, the ramp from Route 123 South to I-66 West will close beginning around 6 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21, and will remain closed continuously through 6 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 23.
Ramp closures from Route 123 South to I-66 West. from Friday, October 21 through Sunday, October 23.
  • The ramp will be closed from around 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21, through Saturday night, Oct. 22.
  • Traffic headed to I-66 West will be directed farther south, stay to the right, then turn right at the traffic signal onto the ramp to the future 66 Express Lanes West to merge onto the I-66 West general-purpose lanes.
  • Traffic on I-66 West should be aware of traffic merging onto the highway from the left.

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


The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) has started a project to significantly improve safety for bicyclists and motorists on nearly two miles of MD 187 (Old Georgetown Road) in North Bethesda. The improvements on MD 187, between south of I-495 (Capital Beltway) and Nicholson Lane, will convert one travel lane in each direction in order to add buffered bicycle lanes and the installation of flex posts to outline the new bicycle lanes. The new buffered bike lane will include green pavement markings as well.

Motorists can expect single-lane closures on MD 187 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and multiple lane closures from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., Sunday nights through Friday mornings. Motorists will be guided through the work zone with cones, barrels and arrow boards. Approximately 40,000 vehicles per day use the road, so drivers should plan extra commuting time during construction.

In the ongoing Metro Purple Line Project between Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties, there are almost always weekly changes and events. Be sure to check the site for up to the minute information.

For the month of October, motorists can expect weekend work for continued utility relocations along University Boulevard, Riggs Road and Piney Branch Road with utility relocations and lane closures between 7 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. weekdays and weekends, as needed and weather permitting.


The following streets will be closed to vehicle traffic for the Howard University Homecoming Parade on Saturday, October 22, 2022, from approximately 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.:
  • 6th Street from W Street to Fairmont Street, NW
  • Georgia Avenue from Columbia Road to Florida Avenue, NW
  • 7th Street from Florida Avenue to S Street, NW
  • Florida Avenue from Georgia Avenue to 4th Street, NW
  • 6th Street from Florida Avenue to U Street, NW
  • 5th Street from Florida Avenue to U Street, NW
  • 4th Street from Florida Avenue to McMillan Drive, NW
  • 5th Street from McMillan Drive to Hobart Place, NW

On Sunday, Oct. 23, the Adams Morgan Pedestrian Zone will take place in the 2300 and 2400 blocks of 18th Street, NW. In conjunction with this event, there will be parking restrictions and street closures that motorists should take into consideration:

  • There will be Emergency ‘No Parking’ from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on 18th Street from Columbia Road to Kalorama Road with the road completely closed to vehicular traffic starting at noon through 10 p.m.
  • There will be local traffic only will be allowed north from Florida Avenue to Kalorama Road.

Be sure to check the websites for the I-295/DC-295 Corridor Project and the South Capitol Street Corridor Project. There are usually various lane and ramp closures during off-peak times, including the weekends, between I-295 between Malcolm X Avenue and I-695, Firth Sterling, the Suitland Parkway and South Capitol Street.

This weekend, District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will temporarily close lanes for construction activities along the I-295/DC 295 corridor starting northbound between Malcom X Ave SE/JBAB to North of Malcom X Ave SE (Merge of I-295 northbound).

They’re requesting a road closure between Exit 2 to north of Malcom X Ave SE between 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. continuing through Oct. 25 in both directions there will be detours in place.

Northbound detours courtesy of DDOT.
Southbound detours courtesy of DDOT.


First responders, VRE staff and other stakeholders will participate in an emergency simulation involving the derailment of a train near the Spotsylvania Station on the Fredericksburg Line. There will be a high volume of activity at and around the station and brief traffic disruptions as emergency vehicles with lights and sirens arrive at and depart from the station. This training exercise is closed to the public and press.


There will be general weekend maintenance on Metro this weekend that will require a shutdown on the Red Line with no train service between Grosvenor and Medical Center for structural repairs. Trains will operate in two segments: Shady Grove to Grosvenor and Medical Center to Glenmont with free shuttle buses provided.

Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. and close at 1 a.m. on Saturday and midnight Sunday. Trains will serve 85 of 91 stations, operating normal service frequencies to most stations with scheduled maintenance on the Red Line.

The major construction on the Blue and Yellow lines continues to close six stations south of Reagan National Airport ­— Braddock Road, King St-Old Town, Eisenhower Avenue, Huntington, Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield — through Nov. 5.

In addition, there will be no Yellow Line service until May 2023 due to the rehabilitation of the Yellow Line tunnel and bridge over the Potomac River. Free shuttle buses are being provided.

The full weekend schedule with service adjustments can be found here.

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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