Metro track repairs may slow down Labor Day weekend travel plans

August 31, 2018

Labor Day travelers will have to contend with Metro maintenance delays and major traffic across the greater Washington area this weekend.

Mid-Atlantic AAA predicts that as many as 850,000 D.C.-area residents will hit the road for the holiday and maybe more, given that some school districts in Maryland and Virginia haven’t started yet.

The car owners association says, based on data from previous years, holiday traffic in the District and Northern Virginia is likely to begin around noon Friday and hit its peak between 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Similar patterns are expected again on Labor Day.

“We just encourage people to use public transit wherever possible,” said Terry Owens, spokesman for the District Department of Transportation. “Try to take advantage, especially around the holiday, of things like Capital Bikeshare and of course Metro and the DC Circulator.”

Maintenance track work is scheduled on Metro’s Red, Yellow and Green lines all weekend. The Green Line will single-track between the L’Enfant Plaza and Navy Yard stations, with a train every 15 minutes. The Yellow Line also will have a 15-minute wait between trains and will operate only between Huntington and Mt. Vernon Square.

The Red Line’s Brookland and Rhode Island Avenue stations will remain closed as the transit agency concludes its six-week platform repair project, meaning riders should continue taking shuttle buses between the NoMa-Gallaudet and Fort Totten stations.

All Metrobuses and trains will operate on a Sunday schedule on Labor Day, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The transit agency announced Thursday that all scheduled MetroAccess trips for Monday are canceled and riders will need to reschedule trips for the holiday.

U.S. Capitol Police are closing two streets for Sen. John McCain’s memorial procession to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda and then down to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

In Northwest, East Capitol Street (from Second Street to First Street) and First Street (from Constitution Avenue to Independence Avenue) will be closed from 11 p.m. Thursday to 11 p.m. Saturday.

AAA spokesman John Townsend said heavy congestion is expected on Virginia’s Interstate 95 Express Lanes and Maryland’s Bay Bridge.

Mr. Townsend and a representative of Interstate 95′s Express Lanes recommended those traveling Friday or Saturday to do so in the “off-peak hours” before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. and to be aware that tolls may spike.

In an attempt to relieve traffic, Express Lanes on I-95 will reverse to northbound starting 2 p.m. Saturday and remain northbound until 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

On Monday, the Interstate 395 HOV restrictions will be lifted.

Metro also announced track repair plans for the Blue, Orange and Silver lines over the weekend, after switches at the Rosslyn station misdirected two trains this week onto the wrong tracks.

But on Thursday morning. the transit agency changed its plans, saying the work would not occur during the holiday weekend.

A Metro spokeswoman declined to share why the plans changed Thursday afternoon.

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