Metro to cancel major weekend work in late January

Metro said Friday it will cancel a major shutdown of a portion of the Red Line over the  weekend of Jan. 25-27.

Cellphone carriers were expected to do work along Metro’s tracks to improve coverage throughout the system, as part of a congressional mandate. But the carriers requested the shutdown be rescheduled, Metro said.

There will still be single-tracking between Dupont Circle and Rhode Island Avenue for Metro to do upgrades to its infrastructure, officials said, over the weekend of Jan. 25. But the major  work for cell phone carriers to improve coverage was going to close down several stations and platforms including Farragut North, Metro Center, Gallery Place, Judiciary Square, Union Station and NoMa Gallaudet U.

It was expected to a major disruption because it would split the Red Line where it runs through the middle of downtown D.C., leaving shuttle buses to navigate traffic.

Other work that cellphone carriers had planned for the weekend of Feb. 1 through Feb. 3 will also be rescheduled, Metro said.

A call was placed to a Verizon Wireless spokeswoman who represents the cellphone carriers group seeking a comment. We will update when we hear back.

[UPDATE: Verizon responded on Monday, Jan. 21. The work is being rescheduled because additional preparation is needed, according to Melanie Ortel, spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless. The rescheduled date has not been set yet, Ortel said.]

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.

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Dana Hedgpeth · January 18, 2013

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