Weekend Road and Rail: Road closures planned for the holiday with limit on work zones and changes on Metro

Moving into a holiday weekend, our region is expected to see a dramatic increase in travel with pandemic restrictions loosening.

There will also be holiday road closures to and around the National Mall for pre-pandemic type fireworks and Independence Day celebrations. Metro will also be making holiday service adjustments, however their shut down continues. Here’s what you need to know:

Roadwork

Throughout our region, roadwork is generally suspended for a long holiday-weekend. That will be the case heading to Sunday’s July 4 celebration planned on the National Mall, as this Independence Day will see a return of fireworks, but also road closures and, of course, crowds to revel in the festivities.

This holiday weekend there is expected to be quite the increase of travelers, beachgoers and yes, the return of congestion to and through our Nation’s Capital. The AAA Mid-Atlantic report is expecting approximately 1.3 million people in our area to travel at least 50 miles from home this weekend.

D.C.

Street closures, restricted areas and pedestrian access points around downtown D.C. on Independence Day. (Courtesy MPD)

The National Park Service is anticipating a large crowd return to the National Mall this year for the Independence Day Celebration and fireworks display.

Because of that, they will be preparing for the festivities in pre-pandemic style with road and site closures going into place beginning Saturday. These closures will be in conjunction with earlier preparations, which closed Ohio Drive to the south of the Mall earlier this week.

Part of the holiday will include closing some of the memorials around the National Mall. These include the Franklin Delano Roosevelt, World War II, Potomac Park recreation centers and many more before and after the festivities.

Most of the bigger roadways heading toward the National Mall will begin to see closures going into place as well:

  • The Arlington Memorial Bridge and Circle
  • Rock Creek Parkway
  • Constitution and Independence Avenues surrounding the Mall and surface streets leading there

A full list of these closures and times can be found here.

Maryland

This Independence Day weekend should see increased travel to the Eastern Shore. There is rain in the forecast heading into this weekend, which will dictate travel patterns on US-50 crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. There is no two-way travel during inclement weather.

Be sure to stay tuned to WTOP and traffic on the 8s with the latest. Call the Traffic Center with any road hazards or tips to be part of the process at 866-304-WTOP.

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) has tips for travelers using US-50 at the Bay Bridge this weekend. Heavier traffic volumes should be expected Thursday toward the weekend, and again Monday with July 4 falling on a Sunday this weekend.

It does urge motorists to stay on US-50 on BOTH sides of the bridge to keep the local roadways open for first responders and residents.

Travel off-peak when heading to and from the Eastern Shore. The best times to travel the Bay Bridge this holiday period include:

  • Friday, July 2 – before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 3 – before 6 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 4 – before 8 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
  • Monday, July 5 – before 6 a.m. and after 5 p.m.

Metro

Metro will operate from 7 a.m. through 11 p.m. on Saturday, and 8 a.m. through 11 p.m. on Sunday, servicing 87 of the 91 stations for the holiday weekend.

On Saturday there will be normal service on the Red, Blue, Orange and Silver lines with the ongoing Platform Project and shutdown continuing on the Green and Yellow lines.

For Sunday, July 4, Metro plans additional service to accommodate the anticipated crowds for the fireworks display on the National Mall. They do have a service advisory for those using Metro for travel to the Mall for the festivities with specific details and tips.

And, as planned through September, the ongoing Platform Improvement Project on the Green and Yellow lines will continue to close four stations: the West Hyattsville, Prince George’s Plaza, College Park-U of Md and Greenbelt stations.

During this time, there continues to be free shuttle buses provided for customers to/from the closed stations. Check out the shuttle schedules and alternative travel options, parking and bus relocations here.

Shuttle service and station closure map. (Courtesy WMATA)

Weekend service summary:

The Red Line, Blue Line, Orange Line and Silver Line will see normal Saturday service, with additional service on Sunday to accommodate Fourth of July festivities.

Yellow Line: Due to the summer Platform Improvement Project

  • Trains operate between Huntington and Mt Vernon Sq only.
  • Travelers to stations north of Mt Vernon Sq should transfer to the Green Line.

Green Line: Trains 15–20

Due to the summer Platform Improvement Project:

  • Trains operate between Branch Ave and Ft Totten only.
  • West Hyattsville, Prince George’s Plaza, College Park-U of Md and Greenbelt stations closed.

Free shuttle buses replace trains as follows:

  • Limited stop service between Greenbelt, College Park- U of Md. and Fort Totten
  • Limited stop service between Prince George’s Plaza, West Hyattsville and Fort Totten
  • Local service between Greenbelt, College Park- U of Md. Prince George’s Plaza and West Hyattsville

Under federal law, and for your safety and the safety of others, customers are required to wear cloth face coverings or masks while traveling on Metro.

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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