Dave Dildine, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - Warm temperatures may lure more people into Downtown over the weekend, and many might opt to take Metro. But better to stick with the roads rather than the rails as Metro moves forward with its scheduled track work.
Rail work is scheduled on all five Metrorail lines this weekend. Travelers headed to or through Downtown Washington on Metro from Alexandria or Wheaton should expect potentially complicated detours and delays depending on their destination.
Five Red Line stations will be closed in Maryland beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday. The Takoma, Silver Spring, Forest Glen, Wheaton, and Glenmont stations will be shut down through Sunday night. Free buses will replace Red Line trains between Fort Totten and Glenmont. Red Line users who plan to navigate around the work zone by bus should give themselves up to an hour of additional travel time.
Yellow & Green lines & L'Enfant Plaza
Two additional projects on the Yellow and Green Lines will take place this weekend. Both sets of tracks will be closed south of L'Enfant Plaza.
The Yellow Line railroad bridge across the Potomac River (near the 14th Street Bridge) is due for its annual inspection. Metro will also be conducting a switch replacement outside the L'Enfant Plaza Station.
On the Yellow Line, the bridge inspection north of the Pentagon will force all Yellow Line trains to be routed onto Blue Line tracks between Eastern Market and Huntington. Metro says Yellow Line trains will operate every 24 minutes on this route. Yellow Line customers traveling between Alexandria and Washington will have to ride through the detour because buses will not be replacing trains.
Additionally, there will be no Yellow Line service between Fort Totten and Archives but the Green Line will be available.
There will not be any Green Line service at L'Enfant Plaza this weekend due to a separate project. Metro will provide free bus service for travelers between the Archives and Waterfront stations. Green Line users who connect by bus should add 20 minutes to their travel time.
Yellow Line trains will service the L'Enfant Plaza station but trains will arrive on the lower level on Blue Line tracks. There will be no train service on the side platforms on the upper level.
On the Orange Line, trains will share tracks between East and West Falls Church. Outbound orange and Blue Line trains will single-track from Stadium-Armory. Trains will operate every 24 minutes and delays of up to 15 minutes are possible.
Road construction should not be a major hindrance to weekend commuters headed Downtown for winter- and holiday-themed events including The National Christmas Tree and Pageant of Peace.
On the George Washington Memorial Parkway, the rock stabilization work near Spout Run Parkway has been completed ahead of schedule. All lanes of the parkway will remain open going forward.
The Kenilworth Avenue Bridge project in Greenbelt is nearing completion but lane closures are scheduled on the Inner Loop of the Beltway under the bridge on Friday night. Crews will reopen lanes by 8 a.m. Saturday.
Construction will block a northbound lane of North Capitol Street near Hamilton Street through the weekend.
The street improvement project in Glover Park on Wisconsin Avenue will block various lanes between Massachusetts Avenue and Hall Place on Saturday.
In Kensington, the Connecticut Avenue work zone will be active on Saturday. Single lane closures are scheduled on the southbound side through the afternoon.
On Sunday morning, the Jingle All The Way 8K Race will take place in Downtown Washington. Street closures begin at 4 a.m. and will last until about noon. Streets affected include Pennsylvania Avenue and Constitution Avenue east of Federal Triangle; Louisiana Ave north of the U.S. Capitol; 1st Street NW south of Columbus Circle; 3rd Street NW; and Independence Avenue east of the Air and Space Museum.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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