The Inner Scoop

Weekend Wakeup: County fairs, 95 work top potential delays

Posted on: Friday 8/9/2013 4:09pm

WASHINGTON - The biggest delays this weekend may come on Interstate 95 and near two local county fairs.

Lines of cars headed to the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair will likely back up on state Route 355 in Gaithersburg, and could lead to backups on Interstate 270 as well. The fair runs Friday night through Saturday, Aug. 17 at the county fairgrounds off of Frederick Avenue.

The Prince William County Fair includes a demolition derby, tractor pull and rodeo in addition to other traditional events. The fair opens at noon Saturday and Sunday. It also runs from Friday night through next Saturday. It's held at the county fairgrounds in Manassas about one mile off of the Prince William Parkway.

The Nationals host the Phillies this weekend with games Friday and Saturday nights and a rare 5:05 p.m. start on Sunday.

Metro

All Metro stations are open this weekend, but there will be delays due to track work on the Red, Blue and Orange lines.

Red Line trains will single-track along two stretches. Trains will run every 20 minutes all weekend with extra trains running between Dupont Circle and NoMa-Gallaudet from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Switching to the Yellow or Green line at Fort Totten could be a better bet than waiting to get to Gallery Place.

Orange and Blue line trains will run every 20 minutes all weekend.

Work that had been scheduled on the Green Line has been cancelled, so both the Green and Yellow lines will have normal weekend service.

I-95/395 work

Lanes will be closed overnight this weekend at several points on I-95 and I-395 in Northern Virginia as part of widening work.

In addition, the I-395/95 reversible HOV lanes will be closed from just north of Edsall Road to Route 1 Friday and Saturday night from 11 p.m. to 10 a.m. the next morning.

Next Week

Weather permitting, VDOT says three lanes of I-95 north will be closed at night from Monday, Aug. 12 through Saturday, Aug. 17 for bridge work tied to the 95 Express Lanes project.

Lanes will be closed one-by-one beginning at 9 p.m. north of the Pohick Road overpass near the exit for the Franconia-Springfield Parkway. All lanes will be open just past the Springfield interchange.

The I-95/395 reversible HOV lanes from Duke Street to Dumfries Road are scheduled to be closed next week from Monday through Saturday nights. During night time construction hours motorists will be able to access the I-395 HOV lanes north to D.C. at Seminary Road and Shirlington. All HOV lanes will be open to traffic by 5 a.m

Silver Line construction impacts roads

Lanes will be closed overnight on the Dulles Toll Road, Dulles Access Road, Route 7, Route 123 and other streets in the Tysons Corner and Reston areas because of Silver Line work this weekend.

Crews will start repaving Route 7 now that the Metro line's construction is wrapping up. Paving will beginning Monday between the Dulles Toll Road and Route 123. The work is expected to continue into the fall. The initial milling of the road could lead to some rough rides during daytime hours, but the majority of the actual work and lane closures will happen at night.

Other lane closures are expected over the next few weeks on Chain Bridge Road, the Dulles Access Road and the Dulles Toll Road. The lane closures will be overnight and in early morning hours, or in the middle of the day.

Other road work

In D.C., traffic will share a single lane along a short stretch of Oregon Avenue NW Saturday between Beech and Tennyson streets because of maintenance work.

DDOT has just given permission for streetcar construction to continue on Saturdays, so drivers can expect activity along H Street, Benning Road and at the Car Barn Training Center. Noise restrictions for the project have been waived from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, when the heaviest construction is likely to occur. The Saturday construction was authorized to help keep the project on schedule.

A planned closure of Maryland Route 97 north of Westminster this weekend has been postponed.

U.S. 50/301 interchange project

The ramp from northbound U.S. 301 to both eastbound and westbound U.S. 50 in Bowie and the ramp from westbound 50 to southbound 301 will be closed this weekend.

The closure starts at 9 p.m. Friday, and should be lifted no later than 5 a.m. Monday. The State Highway Administration says the paving project means drivers should use the Belair Road exit from 301 and follow the detour to eastbound or westbound 50. Drivers on 50 should make a left onto state Route 197 (Collington Road) and follow the detour to southbound 301.

Southeast/Southwest Freeway

Southeast/Southwest Freeway (interstate 695) lane closures could impact travel to Nationals games.

The left lanes in both directions are closed while crews install new signs. An additional left lane is scheduled to be closed Saturday morning. The right lane heading westbound approaching the Third Street Tunnel is scheduled to be closed until Sunday, with an additional lane closed Sunday morning. On Sunday, a right lane on eastbound 695 is scheduled to be closed from the South Capitol Street Exit to 6th Street SE.

Work begins Sunday night in Bethesda

Major resurfacing work on Wisconsin Avenue (state Route 355) in Bethesda begins Sunday night. The State Highway Administration says up to two lanes may be closed between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. from Sunday through Thursday, and one lane may be closed weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The work is scheduled to last through late fall. It focuses on a one-mile stretch of 355 from Montgomery Avenue to Jones Bridge Road, and the stretch from the D.C. line to Bradley Boulevard. The project also includes new traffic signals at Battery Lane and Wisconsin Circle.

The week ahead

In Seat Pleasant, the State Highway Administration has just started a two-year improvement project on the Martin Luther King Jr Highway (state Route704) from the D.C. line to Hill Road. The work will include some midday and overnight lane closures as new crosswalks are added along with other improvements.

In the District, there will be temporary closures of the northbound lane of Beach Drive near Harvard Street NW during the middle of the day from Tuesday, Aug. 13 to Friday Aug. 23.

Starting on Monday, Aug. 12 through Friday, Aug. 16, expect single lane closures on eastbound and westbound Maine Avenue SW between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Also during midday hours, lane closures will resume next week on Rock Creek Parkway from P Street to Beach Drive.

Waterside Drive will be closed in both directions from Massachusetts Avenue to Rock Creek Parkway on Thursday, Aug. 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for tree maintenance work

On Monday, Aug. 12, expect single lane closures on eastbound Suitland Parkway between Alabama Avenue and Southern Avenue and between Silver Hill Road and Meadowview Drive between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. for underground utility upgrades. One lane of traffic will remain open during the work period.

The next day, Tuesday, Aug. 13, expect single-lane closures on eastbound Suitland Parkway between Alabama Avenue and Southern Avenue between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Work will also occur westbound between Suitland Road and Meadowview Drive between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. for underground utility upgrades. One lane of traffic will remain open in each direction during the work period.

On Monday night, expect detours where I-270 meets Interstate 70 in Frederick. The SHA says a paving project means detours will be posted for traffic accessing southbound I-270 from eastbound I-70, and for traffic accessing eastbound I-70 from northbound U.S. 15/U.S. 340 or northbound state Route 351. Weather permitting, the detours will be in effect from 9 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12, to 5 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13.

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Weekend Wakeup: Expect I-95 Express Lanes construction

Posted on: Saturday 7/27/2013 3:25pm

WASHINGTON - The construction of Interstate 95 Express Lanes and Metro rail rebuilding work could alter travel plans over the weekend. The Express Lanes work started Friday, July 26, and will continue through Monday, July 29. Southbound traffic on parts of I-95 will be impacted.

I-95 South:

On Sunday and Monday, there will multiple lane closures and detours near exit 148, Quantico:

  • Single lane closed - Sunday and Monday 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m
  • Two lanes closed - Sunday and Monday between 11:30 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Full closure of all I-95 southbound lanes, detour in effect, Sunday and Monday between 1 a.m. - 3 a.m.

Detour: I-95 southbound traffic will be detoured to Exit 148, USMC Quantico, (Russell Road) east to Route 1 south to Garrisonville Road, (Route 610) and back to I-95 south.

High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes will also be affected by the I-95 road work.

Saturday morning by 10 a.m.:

  • HOV lanes open to southbound traffic from Washington, D.C. to the Turkeycock exit (Edsall Road) where all commuters must exit the HOV lanes and merge onto the I-395/95 south lanes.

  • HOV lanes closed between Turkeycock (Edsall Road) and Exit 161, U.S, Route 1.

  • Southbound 95 drivers may reenter the HOV lanes just south of Route 1 exit via a new dedicated temporary left lane slip ramp, which will be open only on Saturday mornings during construction.

Saturday afternoon by 2 p.m.: HOV lanes closed to reverse the direction of the HOV lanes.

Saturday afternoon by 4 p.m.: HOV lanes open northbound from Dumfries (Route 234) to Washington, D.C.

Saturday night by 11 p.m.: HOV lanes closed from Dumfries (Route 234) to Washington, D.C.

Sunday morning by 10 a.m.: HOV lanes open to northbound traffic.

The Washington Nationals play home games at Nationals Park both Saturday and Sunday afternoon, and the road work on I-395 coming from Virginia toward Nats Park could pose a traffic problem. Lanes on I-395 Northbound will narrow from three to two between the U.S. Capitol Exit and South Capitol Street.

On Metro:

The agency is continuing its $5.5 billion rebuilding work along each of the system's five service lines this weekend as well.

Four stations along the Orange Line will be closed through Sunday: Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and East Falls Church. Express bus service will replace trains between Vienna and Ballston.

Along the Green line, trains will operate at regular weekend intervals between College Park and Branch Ave stations. During the daytime hours, every other Green Line train will begin and end at College Park, rather than Greenbelt.

  • Blue Line: Regular service (no scheduled work)

  • Yellow Line: Regular service between Huntington and Fort Totten

  • Red Line: Between Shady Grove & Glenmont: Every 16 minutes throughout the weekend.

  • Additional trains between Van Ness and Silver Spring: Service every 10 minutes 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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How to escape a submerged vehicle

Posted on: Tuesday 7/23/2013 2:06pm

WASHINGTON - Survival experts say extreme luck allowed a young woman to escape when her car plunged off the Bay Bridge last week.

In an interview with NBC 4, Morgan Lake says she didn't want to drown and was able to swim out the window and then to the surface of the water last Friday night.

So what would you do if your car was suddenly in the water, sinking? Experts say to stay calm and help any children escape the vehicle first.

If the vehicle is still partially above water, open a window to escape. But if the vehicle is completely submerged, experts say the best option is to wait until the vehicle almost completely fills with water.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says the doors and windows won't open until the pressure inside the car matches the pressure outside the car.

AAA also says passengers should move to the rear of the car because the air pocket will be larger there while you wait for the water to rise.

Ken Burton with Stark Survival says drivers should keep a hand planted on the steering wheel and keep their seatbelt on to fight off disorientation in the dim light and murky water.

"Once its filled up, then you're good to go through that window," Burton says. "Wait until the water gets up about your chin. Take several deep breaths and hold it."

Then release the seatbelt, use your arms to pull yourself out of the car. Try not to kick to avoid becoming tangled in seatbelts or other floating objects.

AAA recommends pushing off the car to help speed your route to the surface, as Lake did. In deep water, swim with the current. If you can't swim, try to float.

Other tips from AAA:

  • Remove heavy clothing before attempting to swim to safety.
  • Keep a tool in the car such as a screwdriver to help break a window.
  • Unbuckle children or remove them from their car seats. Free older children first.
  • If side windows are blocked, try to break the front or rear windshield.
  • Most vehicles will float for several minutes before they start to sink.
  • Power windows will continue to work for as long 10 minutes

Fewer than .5 percent of all vehicle crashes involve a car submerged under water. But almost 10 percent of all drowning deaths in the United States can be attributed to being submerged in a car, according to AAA.

Related Stories:

WTOP's Kristi King contributed to this report. Follow @kingWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

Man in toga greets Beltway commuters

Posted on: Tuesday 7/16/2013 3:05pm

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A man dressed in a toga or white cloth walks along the Outer Loop of the Beltway Tuesday morning. (Courtesy of Brie Rizzo Hall)

WASHINGTON - Beltway commuters are used to traffic snarls in the morning and they hardly put anyone in a good mood. But Tuesday's backups offered a bit of levity even for a woman who was late to her first day at a new job.

A man dressed in a toga or wrapped in some sort of sheet or cloth, was seen walking along Interstate 495 in Prince George's County. His stroll included a police escort and caused traffic backups about eight miles on the Outer Loop, according to commuter Brie Rizzo Hall.

Hall tells WTOP that when she encountered the man, he was walking in the shoulder and was carrying a large stick. Maryland state troopers were following him.

"The traffic made me late for work on my first day at a new job but it made for a funny story," she says.

State police say they received a report of a man walking on the shoulder near Exit 15 about 8:15 a.m. He was claiming to be Jesus and officers planned to give him a ride off the Beltway. State police did not report any notes about traffic delays related to the man.

However WTOP's Traffic Center heard complaints of rubbernecking delays related to drivers spotting "toga man."

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Weekend Wakeup: Overnight 95 closures in Md. and Va.

Posted on: Saturday 7/13/2013 6:59am

WASHINGTON -- Construction will close Interstate 95 in both Virginia and Maryland over the weekend and motorists are urged to use alternate routes.

Also, Metro work could delay train riders on Red Line.

I-95 Closures, Virginia

Construction work will necessitate a full closure of southbound Interstate 95 in Prince William County overnight Friday and Saturday.

The work is part of the 95 Express Lanes project. Construction has been commonplace on overnight weekend hours, but the work this weekend is resulting in more extensive closures.

Weather permitting, the Virginia Department of Transportation will begin closing lanes at 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights on southbound I-95 near Dumfries at Exit 152.

All southbound lanes will be closed from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Saturday and 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. on Sunday.

Traffic will be detoured onto U.S. 1 and rerouted onto I-95 at exit 150.

VDOT says motorists can expect up to 20 minute delays.

I-95 Closures, Maryland

Interstate 95 at Van Dusan Road will be closed briefly starting on Saturday, July 13 to allow for the removal of the old bridge over 95. Weather permitting, officials hope the project will be finished by late summer.

Beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday, the two right lanes of northbound 95 will close overnight through Thursday. Crews will reopen lanes no later than 6 a.m. each day. Once work is completed about the two right lanes, the two left lanes will be similarly closed.

Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes U.S. 1, U.S. 29 or Md 295 to avoid backup.

Metro

There is no scheduled work on the on the Green or Yellow lines this weekend. Trains will operate on a regular weekend schedule.

On the Red Line, buses will replace trains between NoMa-Galludet and Silver Spring starting at 10 p.m. on Friday night through closing on Sunday.

Red Line trains will operate as follows:

  • Between Shady Grove & NoMa-Gallaudet - Every 10 minutes 9AM-9PM and at regular weekend intervals (15-20 minutes) at other times.
  • Between Glenmont & Silver Spring - Every 10 minutes 9AM-9PM and at regular weekend intervals (15-20 minutes) at other times.

Express buses will operate nonstop between Silver Spring and NoMa-Galludent stations. Add up to 30 minutes of travel time.

Local buses will operate between the two stations as well, with stops at Takoma, Fort Totten, Brookland and Rhode Island Avenue stations. Add 10 minutes travel time for one stop. Add 30 minutes travel time if traveling between Fort Totten and NoMa.

Takoma, Brookland and Rhode Island Avenue stations will be closed.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, the last train from Glenmont to Silver Spring will depart 47 minutes earlier than normal to allow for shuttle bus connections. The last train will depart Glenmont at 1:50 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and at 10:50 p.m. on Sunday.

Orange and Blue line

Trains will operate every 16 minutes throughout the weekend beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday through closing Sunday.

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Cone Zone: Progress on I-95 Express Lanes, 11th St. Bridge

Posted on: Monday 7/8/2013 4:55am

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The 11th Street Bridge Project today. The bridge spans have been completed. The old freeway bridge abutments have been dismantled. The old outbound bridge piers remain in the river. In the foreground, 11th Street SE is freshly paved. A new observation area is now open along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, seen in the lower right-hand corner of the image. Seen in the distance, the ramps to and from I-295, Kenilworth Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr Avenue SE have all been finished. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

WASHINGTON - Two of the region's biggest road improvement projects also produce some of the region's worst congestion.

The extension and expansion of the Interstate 95 Express Lanes in Virginia and the 11th Street Bridge Project in Southeast Washington are among the area's most expensive construction projects.

With an estimated price tag of $925 million, the construction projects on I-95 and I-395 in Virginia are on track to be completed in 2015. The ongoing rebuilding of the 11th Street Bridge and nearby freeways, with a cost of $390 million, is the District of Columbia's priciest road project to date.

I-95 Express Lanes Extension Project

On I-95 in Virginia, the 95 Express Lanes Extension Project is in full swing. The High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes are being converted into a dynamically tolled highway. The lanes will operate, like the 495 Express Lanes, as an all-electronic toll road with carpools exempted from paying tolls.

Over the past several months, midday drivers on I-95 and I-395 have been subjected to major slow-downs through the work area. VDOT allows for single-lane closures from mid-morning to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday along the 29-mile-long project area. Crews are required to clear all work zones by noon on Fridays.

The lane closures allow for the safe delivery of materials to the work sites and give workers space for the physical construction of the road foundation.

For the next two weekends, crews will be closing I-95 south in both Dumfries and Quantico to begin heavy-duty construction of two new bridges over the interstate. The project strives to improve access to and from Route 610, Joplin Road, the Prince William Parkway and Fairfax County Parkway by adding new ramps and flyover bridges that connect directly to the express lanes.

Weekend work has had less of an impact on traffic, but crews have been closing the Express Lanes on some Saturdays and Sundays over the past few months. These closures have lessened the highway's capacity, adding to delays on the mainline through Fairfax and Prince William counties.

11th Street Bridge Project

In Southeast Washington, the 11th Street Bridge Project marks the latest chapter in the evolution of the city's freeway system. The bridges that span the Anacostia River have been completely rebuilt, and all of the connections to Interstate 295, Kenilworth Avenue (D.C. Route 295) and Martin Luther King Avenue SE have opened. Still, many morning commuters from Maryland and Southeast Washington battle chronic delays on the freeway toward the Navy Yard where the project remains a work in progress.

Chain Bridge closed due to tractor-trailer crash

Posted on: Saturday 7/6/2013 1:52pm

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WASHINGTON - The D.C. Side of the Chain Bridge is blocked in all directions by a disabled tractor-trailer.

The truck has been towed away, but according to WTOP Traffic the truck leaked fuel which must be absorbed before the road can reopen. Authorities estimate that that will take several hours.

Follow @WTOPTraffic and @WTOP on Twitter.

Weekend Wakeup Independence Day edition

Posted on: Thursday 7/4/2013 5:01pm

WASHINGTON - Expect the mid-week holiday to alter traffic patterns throughout the region.

Area roads will be busy this week with a mix of vacationers traveling through town, event-goers traveling around town and locals going about their day-to-day business as usual. On Independence Day, a large influx of traffic into the city can be expected with numerous street closures on tap for the annual celebration on the National Mall.

For many in Washington, weekend plans are already afoot. AAA estimates that 46 percent of would-be travelers intend to begin their vacations prior to the Fourth of July holiday. The organization estimates that the bulk of the 34.4 million people who hit the roads for the holiday will depart on Wednesday.

Lighter than normal morning and afternoon rush hours are likely to continue through the end of the week. In place of two traditional rush hour periods, expect a gradual peak in traffic volumes around mid-afternoon. Friday and Saturday will likely be the easiest days to get around.

Motorists will see a reprieve from the routine road work through next week, including on Interstate 95 in Virginia.

Most vacationers will be heading home on Sunday. Volume delays are likely to form on Interstate 95 in Virginia and I-70 East and I-270 South in Maryland by late morning. In addition, westbound U.S. 50 on the Eastern Shore will likely be congested throughout the day as beach vacations draw to a close.

A Capitol Fourth

Expect one large rush hour late Thursday as thousands migrate into downtown Washington for the city's Independence Day celebration.

Numerous streets will be closed near the National Mall for the day's events. Some city streets will be blocked as early as 5 a.m. and many of the closures will last through 11 p.m. The Arlington Memorial Bridge will be closed from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Closures beginning at 6 a.m.

  • 4th Street from Independence Avenue SW to Constitution Avenue
  • 7th Street from Independence Avenue SW to Constitution Avenue
  • 15th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to Maine Avenue
  • 17th Street from Independence Avenue to E Street NW
  • 19th Street NW from C Street to Constitution Avenue
  • 20th Street NW from C Street to Constitution Avenue
  • 21st Street NW from C Street to Constitution Avenue
  • 22nd Street NW from C Street to Constitution Avenue
  • 23rd Street from Independence Avenue SW to C Street NW
  • Virginia Avenue NW from 18th Street to 20th Street
  • Constitution Avenue from 14th Street to 23rd Street
  • Independence Avenue from 14th Street to 23rd Street

Closures beginning at 11:30 a.m.

  • 14th Street from Independence Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue
  • 3rd Street from Maryland Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue
  • 9th Street Tunnel from Pennsylvania Avenue to the SE/SW Freeway
  • 12th Street Tunnel from the SE/SW Freeway to Pennsylvania Avenue (scheduled to reopen at 3 p.m.)

Closures beginning at 3 p.m. in Arlington

  • N. Meade Street from Marshall Drive to U.S. 50
  • Marshall Drive from Route 110 to N. Meade Street
  • Eastbound N. Fairfax Drive from N. Pierce Street to N. Fort Myer Drive
  • Exit ramp from westbound U.S. 50 to N. Lynn Street (Rosslyn exit)
  • Exit ramp from eastbound U.S. 50 to N. Meade Street (Rosslyn exit)
  • Long Bridge Drive from Boundary Channel Drive to S. 10th Street

Closures beginning at 8:30 p.m. in Arlington

  • Eastbound U.S. 50 at N. Pershing Drive
  • Columbia Pike between S. Orme Street and S. Joyce Street
  • S. Joyce Street from Army Navy Dr to Columbia Pike

The parade will run along Constitution Avenue from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Capitol Fourth Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol begins at 8 p.m. The celebration concludes with the fireworks display near dusk.

Driving into and parking near the city will become increasingly difficult through the day. As dusk nears, a surge of inbound traffic normally swells toward the Potomac River bridges.

The George Washington Parkway, Interstate 395, Interstate 66 and Route 110 in Arlington normally slow to a crawl as the fireworks display begins. The Metropolitan Police Department says that any vehicles that stop on the bridges will be immediately ticketed and towed. In years past, police have stopped all traffic on I-395 at the 14th Street Bridge during the fireworks show.

Authorities strongly urge those who plan on attending to take public transportation. Metro expects more than 500,000 riders on July 4 and will provide extra rail service to downtown Washington. More on rail service can be found here.

A bike corral will be set up by Capital Bikeshare at 10th Street and Constitution Avenue in Northwest for riders using Bikeshare to get to the National Mall. The corral will be available from 12 p.m. until an hour after the fireworks on the Mall are over.

The National Park Service has set up entry points to gain access to the National Mall:

National Mall and Memorial Parks Event Entrances:

  • West entrance, or George Washington Memorial Parkway side of Arlington Memorial Bridge;
  • Constitution Avenue and Henry Bacon Drive, NW
  • Constitution Avenue and 17th Street, NW
  • Constitution Avenue and 15th Streets, NW
  • West side of 14th Street, at Madison Drive NW
  • West side of 14th Street, at Jefferson Drive, SW
  • Maine Avenue and Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW (i.e. formerly 15th Street)
  • East Basin Drive, SW, at Inlet Bridge
  • East Basin Drive, SW, just south of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial (Access to Jefferson Memorial ONLY)

George Washington Memorial Parkway Event Entrances:

  • U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial and Netherlands Carillon (no access to National Mall)
  • Memorial Circle (access to National Mall via Arlington Memorial Bridge limited to pedestrians only)
  • Columbia Island/Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove (no access to Potomac Riverfront or National Mall)
  • Gravelly Point, north of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (no access to National Mall)
  • Washington Sailing Marina at Daingerfield Island (no access to National Mall)

View a map of the event access points here.

Other Fireworks Displays on July 4th

Fireworks will draw crowds and light up the suburban skies near the following towns during the evening: Alexandria, Annapolis, Bowie, Germantown, College Park, Columbia, Fairfax, Falls Church, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Greenbelt, Kensington, Laurel, Leesburg, Manassas, McLean, Poolesville, Reston, Rockville, Takoma Park, Vienna, and Waldorf.

Expect congestion and stay alert for pedestrians near these fireworks displays. Follow the direction of local police when available.

Finally, travelers on Thursday evening who are within sight of a large fireworks show should stay extra alert for drivers who may be pulled over on the shoulders or roadside. Often, drivers will slow down to watch the displays in open areas and near clearings.

Nationals Baseball

The Washington Nationals are home for the holiday weekend. The Nats will play the Milwaukee Brewers in a three-game series lasting until Thursday and will host the San Diego Padres on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Expect crowds on the Southeast/Southwest Freeway and South Capitol Street before and after the games.

  • Wednesday, July 5 vs. Brewers 6:05 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 4 vs. Brewers 11:05 a.m.
  • Friday, July 5 vs. Padres 7:05 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 6 vs. Padres 4:05 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 7 vs. Padres 1:35 p.m.

On Saturday, the Nats' Post-Game Concert Series kicks off with the husband-and- wife duo Thompson Square.

Other Holiday Road Changes

On Independence Day, the Rock Creek Parkway and Canal Road will run two-way all day long. The reversible lanes on Connecticut Avenue and 16th Street will remain in a non-rush hour orientation.

Rush hour parking restrictions will be lifted in the city. Parking at metered spots will be free on Thursday, except for in the area around Nationals Park.

Emergency No Parking signs will be in place on many streets downtown. Parking restrictions will be in effect from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the following routes:

  • 3rd Street from Independence Avenue to Constitution Avenue
  • 4th Street from Independence Avenue to Constitution Avenue
  • 7th Street from Independence Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue
  • 14th Street from Independence Avenue to Constitution Avenue
  • 15th Street from Constitution Avenue to E Street NW
  • 17th Street from Constitution Avenue to E Street NW
  • Constitution Avenue NW from Pennsylvania Avenue to 23rd Street NW
  • 10th Street NW between Constitution Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue
  • 14th Street NW between Constitution Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue
  • C Street NW from 17th Street to 18th Street
  • Virginia Avenue NW from Constitution Avenue to 21st Street

Metro Track Work

Following the festivities on Independence Day, Metro gets down to business with weekend track work on the Blue and Orange lines. There is no work scheduled on the Red, Green and Yellow lines this weekend. The work begins at 10 p.m. Friday and lasts through late Sunday.

Orange Line

  • Buses replace trains from Stadium-Armory to Cheverly
  • Deanwood and Minnesota Avenue stations are closed
  • Trains outside the work zone will run every 15 minutes

Blue Line

  • Buses replace trains from Stadium-Armory to Benning Road
  • All stations will remain open
  • Trains outside the work zone will run every 15 minutes

Metro: "10 things to know about taking Metro July 4"

  • Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. and close at midnight.

  • Trains will operate on a Saturday schedule for most of the day, ramping up to rush-hour service levels before and after the fireworks display. There is no scheduled track work on July 4.

  • Parking is free at all Metro-operated lots and garages.

  • Off-peak rail fares will be in effect all day. To avoid lines, load enough value on your SmarTrip or paper farecard for your entire round trip.

  • Each trip taken with a paper farecard costs $1 more than those taken with a SmarTrip card. SmarTrip cards are available at all Metrorail stations, as well as local CVS, Giant and Safeway stores and Metro sales offices.

  • We recommend planning your trip to a station on the same line as your starting point to avoid congestion at transfer stations. All Metrorail lines have stations within a short walk of the National Mall. Walk back to the same station at the end of the event.

  • Use stations other than Smithsonian or Federal Triangle. These two stations often see the heaviest ridership (and largest crowds) for National Mall events. Also note that Smithsonian Station will be "entry-only" at the conclusion of the fireworks display.

  • See something? Say something! While there are no specific or credible threats against Metro at this time, Metro Transit Police reminds riders to report any unattended items or suspicious activity to the nearest uniformed employee, or call Metro Transit Police at (202) 962-2121.

  • Metrobus service will operate on a Sunday schedule. Buses that travel near the National Mall may be subject to detours. Check wmata.com/alerts/bus for details.

  • No bicycles or large coolers on Metrorail. For safety reasons--and to make room for everyone--we restrict these large items on July 4. Collapsable bicycles are permitted.

Related Stories:

  • Live Blog: July 4 in Washington

    Follow Dave Dildine and @WTOPtraffic on Twitter.

  • Weekend Wakeup: Summertime means an increase in traffic

    Posted on: Friday 6/28/2013 1:51pm

    WASHINGTON - The usual summer traffic patterns will slow weekend drivers down for the next several months. Steady increases in highway volume have led to delays on Interstate 95 in Virginia and Route 50 toward the Bay Bridge as vacationers and weekenders take to the roads. Typical summer travel weather, including the occasional downpour, can also be expected this weekend.

    In addition to possible volume and weather delays, there are a few events and work zones to be aware of around town.

    Saturday races

    The DC Metro HBCU Alumni Alliance 5k Run/2k Walk will be held on Saturday at 8 a.m. on the Howard University campus, in front of the School of Medicine. The course will close parts of W Street, 5th and 6th streets and Gresham Street, but is not expected to have a major impact on travel.

    Runners in the Pacers Mini Relay will dart between Pacers Running Store locations in Alexandria, Arlington and Washington on Saturday afternoon.

    The relay begins around 4 p.m. near King Street and Payne Street, in Old Town. Runners will make their way north to Pentagon City, then into Washington toward a handoff location near Logan Circle, then back to Arlington. There are no road closures scheduled for the relay, but drivers should remain alert near crosswalks.

    The Run for Independence 8k course will be held at 7 a.m. on Saturday in historic Leesburg. The eight- mile race will affect travel through Leesburg on routes including Catoctin Circle, North King Street (Route 15) and Battlefield Parkway, where runners will be relegated to the curb lanes. Be careful winding your way around the traffic cones and follow police direction where available.

    Weekend sports delays

    DC United plays against the Vancouver Whitecaps at RFK Stadium at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Fans driving to the match from Virginia should by now be used to the new traffic pattern on the eastbound Southeast/Southwest Freeway (I-395/I-695). Since there is no longer direct access to Parking Lot 8 from the freeway fans should take the outbound 11th Street Bridge to D.C. Route 295 North toward Benning Road to arrive at the stadium lots.

    Normal traffic control during DC United home matches includes a lane closure on Route 295 south before the on-ramp from East Capitol Street. Although this lane reduction creates a safer merge for post-game traffic, it also tends to delay inbound traffic from Maryland and Northeast Washington on Kenilworth Avenue. Since this weekend's match is later than last weekend, delays should be relatively brief.

    I-95 express lanes construction

    Construction of the new I-95 express lanes is in full swing. Crews will close the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on Friday night as the process of transforming the express lanes into dynamically tolled lanes continues.

    On Saturday, the express lanes will serve southbound traffic through early afternoon, but a short segment will remain closed for work from south of Duke Street on I-395 to the Franconia-Springfield Parkway on I-95. When the work zone clears by mid-afternoon, the lanes are expected to open to northbound traffic.

    The lanes will again be closed late Saturday night through early Sunday morning.

    Delays are likely for southbound traffic on I-95 on Saturday morning. Although the express lanes will be accessible south of Newington, many motorists are likely to remain in the mainline, which will likely be heavy early toward Woodbridge.

    11th Street Bridge construction

    In Southeast Washington, the major overhaul of the 11th Street Bridge and its connections to and from the Southeast Freeway continue on Sunday. A section of 8th Street SE between Virginia Avenue and I Street will be closed between noon and 6 p.m. to begin construction of a new on-ramp to the eastbound freeway.

    Motorists may have noticed that construction of the new outbound freeway bridge has commenced. The demolition of the old outbound bridge was largely completed as of last week as the last bridge pier was dismantled near 8th Street.

    This new bridge will connect the eastbound freeway to the outbound 11th Street Bridge. Currently outbound traffic, in a temporary configuration, is traveling in what will eventually be the inbound lanes.

    Metrorail track work

    All Metro stations will remain open this weekend, but routine track work will lead to delays on all five rail lines. The work begins at 10 p.m. on Friday and lasts through the weekend.

    Red Line trains will operate every 20 minutes. Orange and Blue line trains will run at 24-minute intervals. Yellow Line trains will operate every 24 minutes between Huntington & Mt. Vernon Square.

    On the Green Line, trains will single-track through a work zone between Branch Avenue and College Park. Trains will otherwise run at normal intervals.

    You can find more on this weekend's track work here.

    Follow Dave Dildine and @WTOPtraffic on Twitter.

    Metro to boost service to handle July 4 revelers

    Posted on: Thursday 6/27/2013 4:21pm

    WASHINGTON - Metro will halt track work and add extra trains to handle the crowds this Fourth of July.

    Metrorail will operate from 7 a.m. to midnight on the nation's birthday and will offer service levels similar to the rush hour from 6 p.m. to midnight to accommodate the heavy traffic.

    In addition to the 9:10 p.m. fireworks display on the National Mall, the Washington Nationals play at home during the day. And more than 500,000 people are expected to travel on Metro to holiday events throughout the region.

    No track work will delay riders or trains and all stations will be open. However Smithsonian Station will be entry-only after the fireworks end.

    Riders are encouraged to avoid transferring once inside the system to avoid crowded transfer stations. And riders will not be allowed to bring bicycles or large coolers on Metro trains.

    "We start out running a Saturday service. But as you get closer to late afternoon, early evening, we get to almost full rush hour service. But only so many can fit through the station at once," says Metro General Manager Richard Sarles.

    Sarles encourages riders to purchase their fare card in advance to avoid long lines at the fare machines. And choose a station a little further from the National Mall to avoid crowded platforms and escalators.

    "Walk down from Gallery Place or L'Enfante Plaza or even frankly Metro Center. It's not that long of a walk," he says.

    Alternate stations include:

    • Foggy Bottom for Orange or Blue line riders
    • Metro Center for Red, Orange or Blue line riders
    • Archives for Yellow or Green line riders
    • Gallery Place for Red, Yellow or Green line riders
    • Union Station for Red Line riders
    • L'Enfant Plaza for Orange, Blue, Yellow or Green line riders
    • Capitol South for Orange or Blue line riders

    Metro has posted more details and fare information for the holiday on its website.

    WTOP's Ari Ashe contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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