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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 04:19 PM ET, 02/22/2012

Metro to suspend track work during cherry blossom season

Metro said it will suspend its aggressive schedule of track work during the cherry blossom season.

Metro has been pushing to repair tracks, switches and other equipment as part of its aggressive $6 billion capital improvement plan. Much of the work is done on weekends and in the evenings, but has left customers frustrated with delays.

Starting, March 24 through April 15, there will be no scheduled weekend track work on Metrorail, given the National Cherry Blossom Festival events and increased tourists in the area.

On weekdays, there will be no track work during the day from March 26 through April 13. Scheduled track work will take place after 10 p.m. during the cherry blossom season.

Metro General Manager Richard Sarles said in a press release that with ”hundreds of thousands of visitor to the Tidal Basin each spring, . . . we will take a short hiatus from our aggressive rebuilding efforts.”

Metro officials said the delaying of some work will not affect its long term plans to repair the system.

During the cherry blossom festival, Metro ridership is typically up by 15 percent over its roughly 660,000 weekday passengers and 220,000 on weekends.

More eight-car trains will be added during off-peak hours and on weekends to accommodate the higher ridership.

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By  |  04:19 PM ET, 02/22/2012

 
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