The transit authority plans to shut four Metrorail stations along the Blue and Orange lines for the entire Memorial Day weekend, even as thousands of visitors head for events in the nation’s capital. The closings will include the station adjacent to RFK Stadium, site of Stars & Stripes & Spokes, a four-day festival of motorcycle enthusiasts.
Stadium-Armory Station will be shut Friday night, May 27, through Monday night, May 30, along with Capitol South, Eastern Market and Potomac Avenue. There will be no service on the Blue and Orange lines between Federal Center SW and Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road.
Jim Hughes, Metro’s planning director for such maintenance activities, said today that the RFK festival is a new factor with an unknown impact on transit and traffic. But he was confident in the ability of the free shuttle bus system that Metro sets up to bridge interruptions in service on long weekends. Rail service on the western side of the disruption, the Mall side will be as it normally is on weekends.Trains on the eastern side of the lines are scheduled to run 25 minutes apart.
The centerpiece of the long-planned Memorial Day weekend work is the replacement of four track switches at the Eastern Market Station. Such projects are so complex that they require three days of continuous work to complete. The logistics of creating a safe work space, setting up the train lines to operate in separate sections and providing shuttle buses to bridge the gaps result in the closing of more than one station.
When the transit authority schedules such a big shutdown, it also crams in as much other work as time and space allow. So crews will be replacing 700 track fasteners, making repairs to the aerial structure outside the Stadium-Armory Station and fixing 25 escalators and eight elevators in the work zone.
The two lines will be split from 10 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing Sunday.
The Orange Line will operate between Vienna and Federal Center SW about every 15 to 20 minutes and between New Carrollton and Minnesota Avenue about every 24 minutes. The Blue Line will operate between Franconia-Springfield and Federal Center SW about every 15 to 20 minutes and between Largo Town Center and Benning Road about every 24 minutes.
Metro will operate free shuttle buses to bridge the gaps between the stations in the work zone. The shuttles will be scheduled to meet each arriving train. Riders planning on using the shuttle buses from end to end should add about 40 minutes to their schedules, Metro says. But it’s going to be particularly challenging getting through the RFK Stadium area with its festival traffic.
Orange Line shuttle. The buses will operate between Federal Center SW and Minnesota Avenue, making stops at Capitol South, Eastern Market, Potomac Avenue, Stadium-Armory and Minnesota Avenue stations along the way.
Blue Line shuttle. The buses will operate between Federal Center SW and Benning Road, making stops at Capitol South, Eastern Market, Potomac Avenue, Stadium-Armory and Benning Road.
Throughout the weekend, trains will leave the ends of the line at Shady Grove and Glenmont about every 24 minutes. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, service will be more frequent through the interior portion of the line. Trains are scheduled to arrive about every 12 minutes between Friendship Heights and Judiciary Square. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Memorial Day, trains will arrive about every 12 minutes between Friendship Heights and Silver Spring.