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Posted on: Monday 9/2/2013 11:24am
WASHINGTON - Some Alexandria, Va., streets have reopened to traffic after a significant water main break caused closures for several hours Monday morning.
The water main break closed South Van Dorn Street just to the north of Eisenhower Avenue until 11:30 a.m. Police were on the scene blocking South Van Dorn Street to just south of Edsall Road.
Also, South Pickett was impassable at the intersection with South Van Dorn Street.
Below is a map of the location of the water main break:
Alexandria officials are advising motorists to avoid the area.
FYI - The intersection of S. Van Dorn & S. Pickett Streets has been closed due to water main break; motorists advised to avoid the area.— AlexandriaVAGov (@AlexandriaVAGov) September 2, 2013
Posted on: Friday 8/30/2013 3:42pm
WASHINGTON - The unofficial end of summer will bring a surge of getaway traffic to Washington area highways this Labor Day weekend as millions of Americans head for vacation destinations up and down the East Coast.
The American Automobile Association expects 34 million people to hit the highways and travel at least 50 miles between Friday and Monday. Summer heat is predicted so make sure your vehicle is up to the task. Check your fluids and tire pressure before venturing out.
Expect major volume delays on through-routes this weekend, especially Interstate 95 in Virginia. The Virginia Department of Transportation will keep the express lanes open all weekend long. Construction activities will be put on hold. The express lanes will operate southbound until midday Saturday and then reverse to aid northbound travelers from Saturday afternoon through Monday.
Delays are also likely to form on I-95 between the Laurel and Columbia exits in Maryland. Delays are possible near the Inner Harbor/Downtown Baltimore exits due to the Grand Prix. Significant travel volume is likely north of Baltimore through Harford and Cecil counties.
Traffic on Interstate 70 east and Interstate -270 south between Hancock and Frederick, Md., will likely slow in stretches beginning late Sunday afternoon as vacationers from mountain areas return home.
The Maryland Transportation Authority expects more than 333,000 vehicles to travel U.S. Route 50/301 at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge this Labor Day weekend. This represents about a 1 percent increase compared with last year's traffic. On Saturday, delays toward the toll plaza should gradually ease by early afternoon. On Monday, westbound traffic will likely be heaviest between Route 404 and Annapolis from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The primary routes won't be the only place where you may encounter congestion. The region's parks will be busy this weekend. Expect long waits on roads such as Georgetown Pike near Great Falls Park and Route 178 in Crownsville for the Maryland Renaissance Festival.
Traffic in the city should remain light after the Friday getaway and throughout most of the weekend. The Nationals take on the New York Mets at Nationals Park Saturday and Sunday evening. Brief delays are possible before first pitch on the Southeast/Southwest Freeway and South Capitol Street.
Weekend Work Zones
Nearly all major roadwork has been suspended throughout the region for the holiday weekend.
The District Department of Transportation announced that all construction crews are to keep non-emergency work off the road and behind barricades until noon on Tuesday, September 3rd.
VDOT is allowing for a few lanes closures on the Dulles Toll Road for Silver Line rail work but will otherwise keep all construction activities out of the travel lanes, including the I-95 Express Lanes Extension Project.
Maryland State Highway Administration says it will suspend non-emergency roadwork until 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Delays on Metrorail
Track work wears on as crews take advantage of the holiday weekend to continue their rebuilding efforts. A portion of the Red Line will be closed between Northeast Washington and Forest Glen. The wait to catch an Orange Line train will be a little longer due to maintenance. This work will take place between 10 p.m. Friday through late Monday.
On the Red Line, buses replace trains between Forest Glen and Rhode Island Avenue. Red Line service will not be available at the Silver Spring, Takoma, and Brookland stations. Two types of free bus service will be available. Limited-stop buses will make a single stop at Silver Spring with delays up to 25 minutes possible. Local buses will stop at all closed stations. Before boarding a bus, flag down a WMATA employee and ask which is the best option for you.
Orange Line trains will run every 24 minutes due to maintenance near a few of the stations in Prince Georges County.
Free shuttle buses will replace Green Line trains between Greenbelt and College Park on Saturday and Sunday for track testing.
Blue and Yellow line trains should run on a normal weekend schedule.
Labor Day Traffic/Transit Changes
The District does not require that meter fees be paid on Labor Day. Most parking regulations - including residential parking restrictions - will be suspended until Tuesday, September 3.
The reversible routes, namely Rock Creek Parkway and Canal Road, will operate two-way throughout the day.
HOV restrictions are lifted in Northern Virginia on I-95, I-395, I-66 and the Dulles Toll Road.
There will be no MARC or VRE service.
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- Backstage: Rundown of music events for Labor Day weekend
- VSP beefing up patrols for Labor Day holiday
Posted on: Wednesday 8/28/2013 4:09am
WASHINGTON - Area roads are likely to be busy over the long Labor Day weekend as local residents head out of town.
AAA Mid-Atlantic predicts 811,500 people in the Washington metro area will travel more than 50 miles over the holiday weekend.
The number of travelers would be a 2.6 percent increase over last Labor Day weekend and the biggest number of Labor Day travelers since the start of the recession four years ago.
For most, this will be a road trip. AAA says nine out of 10 vacationers will travel by car. And they will find that gas prices here and around the nation are lower than this time last year.
Pent up demand could be driving the jump in Labor Day weekend travel. The number of area residents who traveled during the first two major holidays of the summer, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, actually declined.
But AAA says the anticipated increased in Labor Day travel is more a result of economic factors, and is related to increased consumer spending and the improving housing market.
Posted on: Tuesday 8/27/2013 4:03pm
WASHINGTON - Commuting in and out of Washington Wednesday may be tricky, as thousands are expected to participate in a commemoration marking the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.
Events begin at 9 a.m and end at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Lincoln Memorial.
The National Park Service will close the following sites beginning at 4 a.m. Wednesday and lasting until 4 p.m.:
- Lincoln Memorial
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- Korean War Veterans Memorial
- World War II Memorial
- DC War Memorial
Those without tickets for the Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action Ceremony will be able to access the commemoration only by walking west into the area of the Reflecting Pool via the Elm walkway north of the World War II Memorial off 17th Street.
The following road closures will go into effect Wednesday at 3:15 a.m.:
- Arlington Memorial Circle will remain open, but Arlington Memorial Bridge will be closed.
- F Street traffic will be allowed to access the northbound lanes of the Rock Creek Parkway to eastbound Virginia Avenue.
- Rock Creek Parkway from Virginia Avenue to Parkway Drive - It is recommended that drivers utilize Connecticut Avenue or 16th Street as an alternate route.
- Parkway Drive from Rock Creek Parkway to Lincoln Memorial Circle
- Independence Avenue from 15th Street to 23rd Street
- Ohio Drive from Inlet bridge to Parkway Drive, including the A, B and C parking lots
- Theodore Roosevelt Bridge will remain open; however, users of the Ohio Drive exit will be forced to U-turn north onto the Potomac Freeway.
- Maine Avenue from 15th Street to Independence Avenue, including Tidal Basin parking lot
- North and southbound lanes of 17th Street between Independence Avenue and Constitution Avenue
- Daniel French Drive
- 23rd Street from Independence Ave to Constitution Ave
- Henry Bacon Drive
Road closures will include pedestrian closures. Commercial cars will not be permitted on Constitution Avenue between 1 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.
The following streets will close starting at 3 a.m. and should reopen by 6:30 p.m.:
- Westbound ramp from I-395 to Maine Avenue SW - All traffic will be diverted to the 12th Street Tunnel.
- Ramp from 9th Street tunnel to westbound Maine Avenue SW - All traffic will be diverted to outbound I-395.
- 200 block Maiden Lane merge with Maine Avenue SW - All traffic will be diverted to northbound 14th Street SW.
- Southbound Potomac River Freeway and ramp to Independence Avenue - Traffic will be diverted to the outbound Theodore Roosevelt Bridge.
- Ramp from eastbound Teddy Roosevelt Bridge to Independence Avenue NW
The March for Jobs and Justice begins at 9 a.m. with a crowd gathering beforehand in the 600 block of New Jersey Avenue NW near the Georgetown University law school.
Commuters should expect a lot of foot traffic and delays as marchers make their way down to the National Mall, rallying in front of the the departments of Labor and Justice before making their way to the Lincoln Memorial.
President Barack Obama and former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter are expected to speak, so commuters should expect increased security around the Lincoln Memorial circle. The event runs until 4 p.m.
The Office of Personnel Management is asking federal agencies to allow employees to telework to ease congestion.
"No parking" restriction signs have been posted on Constitution Avenue from 17th Street to 23rd Street on the north and south side of the street.
Morning traffic pattern
A modified traffic change will be in effect for the a.m. rush hour. All traffic changes on Rock Creek Parkway from Shoreham Hill to Virginia Avenue will be made in accordance with the Guideline Manual for traffic changes in the Washington Metropolitan area. All traffic from southbound Rock Creek Parkway will be forced to eastbound Virginia Avenue.
Evening traffic pattern
The p.m. traffic change will be made at the conclusion of the event.
As a security precaution, all items listed below will not be allowed onto National Park Service property in conjunction with this event. The Secret Service reserves the right to prohibit any other items that are determined to be a potential public safety hazard:
- Animals other than helper/guide dogs
- Bags and signs exceeding size restrictions (8"x6"x4")
- Glass or thermal containers
- Laser pointers
- Mace/Pepper spray
- Supports for signs and placards
- Weapons of any kind
Visitors are strongly advised to use public transportation. Metro stations near the National Mall and Memorial Parks, U.S. Capitol and President's Park that will remain open throughout the day include Smithsonian, Federal Triangle, Foggy Bottom, Metro Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Farragut North, Farragut West, Capitol South, L'Enfant Plaza, Union Station, Federal Center SW and Archives- Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter, Arlington National Cemetery and Pentagon.
For the assembly location at 600 New Jersey Ave. NW, take the Metro to Union Station or Judiciary Square. For the National Mall, take the Metro to Foggy Bottom, Farragut West, Farragut North or the Archives.
Arlington Cemetery is not a recommended station, because Memorial Bridge will be closed to pedestrian traffic by Park Police. The Smithsonian station is not a recommended station due to the potential for crowding.
To download the official Metro rider guide for the event, click here.
Metro riders please note:
If you choose to participate in the bell-ringing ceremony, you should not plan to use the Arlington metro stop. The closest stop will be the Foggy Bottom stop.
- Food, water and refreshments will be available for purchase at concession stands in the area.
- Portable restrooms, including ADA accessible restrooms, will be available.
Visitors should prepare for heat and sun. NPS recommends that visitors:
- Bring enough food and water for the entire day (water-bottle filling stations will be available).
- Drink plenty of water even when not thirsty.
- Wear weather-appropriate clothing.
- Use sunscreen.
- Minimize consumption of beverages containing caffeine or alcohol.
- Eat throughout the day.
- Take frequent shade breaks.
- Periodically get out of the heat and into air conditioning, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Reduce exertion during the hottest hours.
- Bring extra medication.
- First-aid stations will be located on both sides of the Reflecting Pool.
- Cooling tents will be located on the north side of the Reflecting Pool.
The USPP family reunification tent will be located on the south side of the Reflecting Pool between the D.C. War Memorial and the World War II Memorial. Lost persons should be reported to any uniformed USPP officer or NPS ranger. Lost persons will be taken to the USPP family reunification tent.
WTOP's Megan Cloherty and Alicia Lozano contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.
Posted on: Monday 8/26/2013 4:55pm
WASHINGTON -- Structural and maintence problems at Metro's Friendship Heights and Medical Center stations could force a weeks-long shutdown of a portion of the Red Line, NBC4 reports.
Metro tells NBC 4 the issue is with water seeping into the two stations as a result of natural, geological conditions.
Currently, metal drip pans fastened to the ceiling of the area near Friendship Heights station serve as a "Band-Aid" for the problem.
One source told NBC 4 the repairs could take up to six weeks, and that both stations could be closed for the duration.
Metro released a statement Friday acknowledging challenges along that portion of the Red Line.
"While this is not a safety issue, Metro engineers are considering comprehensive long-term solutions to improve the reliability of the Red Line for years to come," it read.
"Any decision around the appropriate long-term repairs, including timeline and possible effects on service, will be made only after final engineering designs are submitted in the coming months."
On Monday, Montgomery County councilmember Roger Berliner released a letter he sent to Metro General Manager Richard Sarles expressing his disappointment on learning about the issues in the media and asking Metro to discuss matters with Montgomery County moving forward.
"In my view, this possibility should not have advanced this far along without consultation with our County," Berliner wrote.
"Going forward, I have two requests: (1) that WMATA in fact consult with Montgomery County prior to making any final decision, including a full briefing after the engineering analysis is completed; and (2) that you instruct your engineers to explore all possible options for addressing this issue, with a particular emphasis on those options that would not result in a shut-down of this key segment of the Red Line."
For more information, check out NBC 4.
Follow @WTOP on Twitter.
Posted on: Saturday 8/24/2013 9:59am
WASHINGTON -- Expect crowded crosswalks, closed streets, and congestion downtown on Saturday for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Metro will accommodate expected crowds by keeping track work at a minimum.
In addition to congestion on the inbound roads, there are several major construction projects set to take place this weekend. New York Avenue will be closed in Northeast; Interstate 95 will be closed for overnight work in Virginia; and the Route 29 interchange project in Gainesville will reach a major milestone.
50th Anniversary of March on Washington
The Realize the Dream March, Rally, Global Freedom Festival and the "Let Freedom Ring" commemoration will cause delays and crowded conditions downtown on Saturday.
The National Park Service will block the Memorial Bridge between Memorial Circle and the Lincoln Memorial beginning at 6 a.m. Park police say they will keep access to Arlington Memorial Cemetery open by way of Route 110. Memorial Circle, they say, will be kept open from Washington Boulevard and the George Washington Parkway as long as foot traffic remains manageable.
Driving downtown will be difficult and in some cases impossible. As with any large event on the National Mall, the best way to get there is by taking Metro. Metro trains will be crowded, but WMATA says track work will be kept at minimum, delaying only customers departing Franconia-Springfield. Buying a fare card in advance may save you some time. The best stations for the day's events: Farragut North, Farragut West, Smithsonian and Arlington Cemetery for a scenic walk toward the Lincoln Memorial.
The day's events will close streets on the south side of the National Mall between the Potomac River and Maine Avenue to the east of the Tidal Basin. The streets and parking areas near West Potomac Park and the Jefferson Memorial will also be closed.
Constitution Avenue is expected to remain open but will likely be slow as Independence Avenue will be closed for the march itself.
All Potomac River bridges will remain open except for the Arlington Memorial Bridge.
For more on the 50th Anniversary March on Washington click here.
Interstate 95 Express Lanes
Heavy work this weekend will close the southbound lanes on I-95 Friday between Springfield and Newington, Va.
Michelle Holland, spokesperson for VA MegaProjects, says to expect delays late Friday.
"We are continuing to work steadily on the 95 Express Lanes. Tonight we're lifting a large steel girder that's going to support one of the flyover ramps that will be built to take traffic into the Express Lanes from I-95 south."
All southbound lanes will be shut down overnight Friday to safely hoist this material over and across the mainline.
"We will be diverting long distance traffic, or "thru" traffic, into the Express Lanes just south of the Franconia-Springfield Parkway. Drivers are encouraged to get into the HOV lanes earlier to avoid the congestion, to build in extra travel time and to expect delays," Holland says.
Crews plan to close one lane south of the Beltway (near mile marker 169) at 9:30 p.m., a second lane at 11 p.m. and all lanes at midnight. The full closure will be lifted by 6 a.m. and all lanes should be open by 9 a.m. Holland says the HOV lanes will be closed on Saturday and Sunday night, but she says that daytime closures of the facility will not take place.
"We will not have closures on the HOV lanes for the next two weekends due to the heavier end-of-summer travel."
New traffic pattern in Gainesville
VDOT warns that motorists could encounter major delays in Gainesville this weekend. Beginning at 9 p.m. Friday through most of the weekend, only one lane in each direction will be open on Route 29 near Linton Hall Road as crews prepare to shift traffic onto the new, highly anticipated elevated bridge over the railroad tracks.
Motorists can avoid delays of up to an hour through Gainesville by using I-66 and Route 15.
In addition to the traffic switch, crews will be paving and striping various segments of the connection to the new overpass. Police will be on the scene to assist with traffic control.
Consider bypassing the work zone by using Route 15 through Haymarket.
New York Avenue closure
New York Avenue will be closed both ways beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday for continuing bridge work. Crews will also be erecting a large sculpture on the north side of the overpass.
No major track work on Metro
Metro will not perform any significant track work this weekend. Only customers departing the Franconia-Springfield station will face delays with trains running at 24 minute intervals. All Metro stations will remain open throughout the weekend.
Metrorail information direct from Metro:
- Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. and close at 3 a.m.
- Trains will operate on a regular Saturday schedule throughout the day.
- The only scheduled track work will affect Franconia-Springfield Station, where trains will depart every 24 minutes, rather than every 12 minutes. The other 85 Metrorail stations will have normal service with no track work. Riders should consider using stations other than Franconia-Springfield. (Huntington or Van Dorn Street stations are good alternates for Franconia-Springfield.)
- For the safety and comfort of all Metro passengers, standard-frame bicycles will not be permitted on Metrorail between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
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Posted on: Thursday 8/22/2013 7:59am
WASHINGTON - A passenger died in a one-vehicle crash that closed the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at Route 198 for about two hours Thursday morning.
The crash, which occurred at about 6 a.m., closed the southbound lanes of the parkway. They reopened at about 8 a.m. after officials predicted the lanes would be closed through rush hour.
Officials say the vehicle overturned and caused a female passenger's death.
Emergency crews transported the passenger and the driver to an area hospital, but the passenger died from her injuries. The driver sustained minor injuries, according to officials.
Authorities have not released the names of the passenger who died or the driver. Officials are working to determine what caused the accident.
Traffic was detoured onto 198 as officials investigated the accident.
Posted on: Wednesday 8/21/2013 9:31am
WASHINGTON - Drivers experienced delays on Md. Rt. 32 through Wednesday morning.
The delays were on westbound Md. Rt. 32 from I-97 to Fort Meade.
There is no specific traffic issue causing the back up, but a military judge said she'll announce at a Fort Meade courtroom on Wednesday the sentence for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who gave reams of classified information to WikiLeaks.
A WTOP listener reported heightened security on the roadway.
To read more about the Manning case, click here.
Below is a map of where the delays occurred:
View Rt 32 to Ft Meade in a larger map
Posted on: Tuesday 8/20/2013 10:33am
WASHINGTON - All lanes of northbound Interstate-95 have reopened between I- 195/BWI Airport/Exit 47 and I-695/Exit 49 after a tractor-trailer crash and fire early Tuesday morning.
The accident occurred at about 3 a.m. between I-195 and I-695/Baltimore Beltway and all lanes reopened at about 10 a.m.
Maryland State Police say the blaze started after the tractor trailer hit a disabled tow truck being towed away by a second tow truck. A WTOP listener reported the truck struck a jersey wall as well.
The tractor trailer driver was able to get out before his vehicle was engulfed and no injuries were reported. Maryland traffic officials say the truck was carrying orange juice.
A Maryland Department of Environment hazardous materials crew responded to clean up gas and juice spilled on the highway.
Traffic was diverted onto I-195.
The southbound lanes of I-95 were also blocked so that traffic stopped beyond the I-195 exit can be turned around.
If you're heading to BWI Marshall Airport, give yourself extra time.
The Associate Press contributed to this report.
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Posted on: Saturday 8/17/2013 1:47pm
WASHINGTON - Travel volume on Interstate 95 through the Washington area is at its height. Weekend motorists can expect major volume delays and long stretches of slow moving traffic during the daylight hours on Interstate 95.
The monster Express Lanes Extension Project between I-395 and Stafford County has worsened summer delays in Virginia on the I-95 corridor, among the busiest thoroughfares on the East Coast.
The I-395/I-95 HOV highway is being converted into a dynamically-tolled expressway. Construction is expected to wind down by early 2015.
Weekend Express Lanes Construction
The Express Lanes will be closed for road work Saturday night. The lanes will open around 8 a.m. Sunday to southbound traffic from the 14th Street Bridge to Va. 236/Duke Street.
A section of the highway will remain closed on I-395 from Duke Street to near mile post 161 on I-95 in Woodbridge. Southbound drivers who wish to access the Express Lanes south should look for a new temporary slip ramp that exits the fast lane of the mainline after the exit for U.S. 1/Woodbridge. This ramp is difficult to spot and it will be the only opportunity to enter the Express Lanes on Saturday until they reverse to serve northbound traffic around 4 p.m.
All lanes on the mainline of I-95 will be open by sunrise, but delays are still likely by late morning since volume is generally on the higher side during the summer months.
The Express Lanes will be open to northbound traffic from Sunday through the Monday morning rush hour.
Metrorail Track Work
Red Line riders will catch a break this weekend as trains are expected to run on time. There will be rail reconstruction on the Orange and Blue lines.
Orange and Blue line trains will run at 24-minute intervals throughout the weekend. Crews will be fixing circuit modules between the Foggy Bottom and Smithsonian stations.
No work is scheduled on the Green or Yellow lines.
Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, Perry Parkway and Md. 355
The annual week-long event features carnival rides, live animals and a variety of food and entertainment runs through this Saturday. Anticipate heavy volume on Route 355 through Gaithersburg.
Jimmy Buffet at Jiffy Lube Live
Jimmy Buffet always draws a crowd so if you're planning a westbound ride on I-66 Saturday afternoon or early evening don't be surprised by the extra volume headed toward Bristow, Va. If you're attending the concert and haven't been to Jiffy Lube before just know that getting in and out (especially out) of this venue can be challenging and take longer than you may anticipate.