Weekend Wakeup: Bridge work, single tracking and cold temps

Dave Dildine, wtop.com

A road project in Arlington shifts into high gear this weekend. VDOT says the westbound side of Route 50, also known as Arlington Boulevard, will be blocked this weekend near Courthouse Road.

Crews will demolish the Courthouse Road bridge that spans the westbound lanes. The eastbound ramp to Courthouse Road will also be closed. The project aims to improve the efficiency of the interchanges that connect 10th Street and Courthouse Road to Route 50.

The construction closures will begin around 8 a.m. Saturday. Westbound traffic will be diverted onto 14th Street. The official detour attempts to deflect traffic away from the neighborhoods between Arlington Boulevard and Wilson Boulevard using 14th Street, 15th Street, Wilson Boulevard, Barton Street and 10th Street. Follow the orange detour signs. The demolition is expected to be completed by late Sunday and the road should reopen by 8 p.m.

During construction of the new interchange, eastbound motorists on Route 50 will not be able to access Courthouse Road. The outdated left exit will be permanently closed. Instead, drivers will need to use the next exit, a right off-ramp, marked “N Rhodes St/N Rolfe St/N Queen St” until the new interchange opens.

VDOT urges outbound drivers leaving Washington to avoid Route 50. Variable message signs near the project area have been warning motorists of the closure for several weeks. Consider using Route 29 or Interstate 66 instead.

Detour Map

View Route 50 Detour in a larger map

Rail work zones return

WMATA will resume track work on the Metrorail system beginning Friday night. The system was put to the test last Monday, offering 17 hours of consecutive rush hour service for the presidential inauguration. The work will affect passengers on the Red, Orange and Green lines through Sunday.

Red Line
Trains will single track between Farragut North and Judiciary Square. Customers should expect about a 10-minute delay. The work zone will be in place from 10 p.m. Friday until noon on Sunday.

Orange Line
Trains will single track between East Falls Church and West Falls Church. Trains will also single track between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly. Customers should expect about a 20-minute delay. The work zone will be in place from 10 p.m. Friday until closing-time late Sunday.

Green Line
Trains will single track between College Park and Greenbelt. Customers traveling through the work zone should expect about a 10-minute delay.

A slow thawing out…

The region’s bout with below-normal temperatures continues this weekend but the WTOP Weather Team says that temperatures may crack the freezing mark on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday’s coating of light snow may create isolated slick spots on small roads and neighborhood streets as long as temperatures remain below freezing. Drivers should use caution when driving on untreated road surfaces and remain alert for black ice.

With more cold weather to come, this weekend is a good time to make sure your battery is winter-ready and able to carry a reliable charge. The colder temperatures can also lower your tire pressure, greatly reducing the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Top off your windshield washer fluid and clean your windshield to make sure the de-icing agents leftover from Friday’s light snowfall don’t obscure your view.

Localized delays near weekend events

The “March on Washington for Gun Control” will take place on the National Mall Saturday morning. The march begins near the Capitol Reflecting Pool around 11 a.m. and will progress down Constitution Avenue, ending near 15th Street NW. Police will be on-scene helping to direct traffic.

The Polar Bear Plunge will take place on Saturday at Sandy Point State Park in Maryland. The ramps from Route 50 toward the parking lots may become congested by late morning but the impact on through traffic between the Bay Bridge and Annapolis should be minimal.

The Washington Capitals take on the Buffalo Sabres at the Verizon Center on Sunday at 3 p.m. Expect a surge of Caps fans at the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro and along the nearby streets before and after the game.

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(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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