I-95 Road Work, Downtown Metro Shutdown, Climate March Could Snarl Weekend Travel

WASHINGTON — Weekend plans across the region could be slowed by extra traffic jams, Metro track work and protests in D.C.

I-95 work

Drivers should expect delays in both directions on Interstate 95 in Virginia on Sunday for the first part of urgent bridge repairs.

As WTOP was first to report, the work will narrow I-95 to two southbound lanes near Dale City from 9 p.m. Saturday night through 6 a.m. Monday, close the ramps from Dale Boulevard to southbound I-95, and is expected to keep the 95 Express Lanes pointed southbound all day Sunday.

While the southbound lane closure over Neabsco Creek in Dale City could contribute to additional southbound delays, especially on a weekend where warm weather is likely to add to the number of people on the road, some of the biggest backups are expected to be in the northbound lanes.

Drivers have settled into a Sunday afternoon routine of sitting in traffic up to the Express Lanes entrance near Garrisonville Road, where the additional lanes often allow things to open up for a stretch.

This weekend and next, with the Express Lanes expected to remain pointed southbound during the work barring any significant incidents, the cars that have been using the toll lanes will instead remain with the rest of the traffic.

Next weekend, the bridge repair work is scheduled to run from 10 p.m. Friday May 5 to 6 a.m. Monday, May 8. Both weekends, the Express Lanes are scheduled to run northbound as usual on Monday morning.

The work is meant to provide a longer term fix for the crumbling concrete bridge deck. The Virginia Department of Transportation said the bridge remains safe, but drivers should avoid I-95 this Sunday and next weekend due to the expected traffic issues.

DOT released this map of potential alternatives:

Metro weekend shutdown

Blue, Orange and Silver Line riders face significant disruptions this weekend due to a shutdown of a stretch of tracks downtown that was rescheduled from last weekend.

There are no trains between Foggy Bottom and Federal Triangle on Saturday or Sunday. Farragut West and McPherson Square Stations will be closed, and there will be no Blue, Orange or Silver Line service at Metro Center.

Metro plans to have shuttle buses between Foggy Bottom and Federal Triangle, but they could add significant travel time. Many riders may be better off walking than using the shuttle buses given how close Federal Triangle is to Metro Center for Red Line transfers, and how close Foggy Bottom is to Farragut North. The entire walk between Federal Triangle and Foggy Bottom stations would be about 1.5 miles.

Orange Line trains are scheduled only every 20 minutes between Vienna and Foggy Bottom and every 15 minutes between Federal Triangle and New Carrollton.

Blue Line trains are scheduled between Franconia-Springfield and Foggy Bottom only every 20 minutes, and between Federal Triangle and Largo Town Center every 15 minutes.

Silver Line trains are only scheduled to run between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston stations on Saturday and Sunday. To reach the rest of Arlington, D.C. or Maryland riders must transfer to an Orange Line train.

The last trains from the ends of the Blue and Orange Lines also leave even earlier than usual Saturday and Sunday nights. The last Blue Line train from Franconia-Springfield to Foggy Bottom is scheduled to leave at 10:59 p.m., 30 minutes earlier than usual. The last Orange Line train to Federal Triangle is scheduled to leave New Carrollton at 11:25 p.m. (11 minutes earlier than usual) and the last train from Vienna to Foggy Bottom is scheduled to leave at 11:15 p.m. (10 minutes earlier than usual).

Metro has closed at midnight every day of the week for nearly a year. Around July 1, hours are scheduled to change again.

On the Red Line, riders should expect significant delays as trains are scheduled to single-track between Judiciary Square and Farragut North from 8 p.m. Friday through 3 p.m. Saturday. On Sunday, single-tracking is scheduled from opening until two hours before the start of Game 7 for the Wizards, if the game is necessary.

The Red Line single-tracking was added Friday for follow up testing on the issues that led to a shutdown of the tracks during Thursday morning’s commute.

Follow up testing on the issues that led to a shutdown of the tracks during Thursday morning’s commute.

Metro 24/7 shutdown

Metro’s current round-the-clock work zone shifts this weekend, but continues to have an impact on Green Line riders.

Through closing Saturday, Greenbelt and College Park stations are closed.

On Sunday, College Park station is scheduled to reopen. Greenbelt Station is scheduled to remain closed through May 14. Shuttle buses are running for the closed stations.

This weekend, Metro has scheduled Green Line trains every 20 minutes on the rest of the line.

Yellow Line trains also have reduced service this weekend, only running every 20 minutes and only between Huntington and Mt. Vernon Square rather than Fort Totten.

Climate March

On Saturday, thousands of people are expected to gather at the U.S. Capitol and march to the White House and Washington Monument as part of what is billed as the “Peoples Climate March.”

The rolling street closures are scheduled to block Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 15th St. NW and 17th St. NW at some point between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, D.C. Police said. That would include closures of the streets crossing Pennsylvania Ave., so drivers attempting to cross or get around downtown should consider using I-395 and I-695 or Rock Creek Parkway.

March organizers plan to begin lining marchers up on Pennsylvania Ave. between the Newseum and the Capitol around 11 a.m., with the march scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m.

A National Park Service permit indicates march organizers expect 50,000 to 75,000 people to attend, Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst said.

A map of the march route is below.

The March route for the “People’s Climiate March” scheduled for April 29.

w Line to Archives or L’Enfant Plaza, Capital BikeShare from Arlington, or walking or biking from Foggy Bottom Station are among the alternatives.

From the north, people driving to the Green Line should park at Prince George’s Plaza or West Hyattsville or use the Red Line to avoid the round-the-clock work zone.

Other events and impacts

Nationals, Capitals (and possibly Wizards) fans should also plan ahead for the weekend.

The Nationals host the Mets Friday night and Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and the Capitals host the Penguins in the second game of the Eastern Conference semifinals Saturday night.

Nationals fans in Virginia who want to avoid driving to Nationals Park Saturday or Sunday can consider driving to Yellow Line stations, using the water taxi from Alexandria, or driving across the Wilson Bridge to park at Metro stations on the southern end of the Green Line among other options.

Capitals fans considering taking Metro need to factor in the midnight closing time for the system in addition to the track work. The last trains are scheduled leave Gallery Place-Chinatown as early as 11:55 p.m. and Metro Center as early as 11:53 p.m.

While that may not be an issue since the game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m., the Capitals did go to overtime five times in their six game opening round series against the Maple Leafs.

Off the rails, drivers can expect other construction work around the region this weekend too.

For example, there are detours and lane closures scheduled all weekend on the Dulles Access Road as crews take down the big crane that has been building the new Herndon Metro Station as part of the 11.4 mile second phase of the Silver Line.

The post I-95 road work, downtown Metro shutdown, climate march could snarl weekend travel appeared first on WTOP.

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