Track Work Suspended for 4 Weekends

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Metro is temporarily suspending track work for the next four weekends to give riders a break from long delays as the transit system heads into its busy spring season. Metro will operate full weekend service this weekend and for the next three weekends.

Next weekend is the National Marathon and the opening of the Washington Nationals season and the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Since the beginning of the year, Metro employees have been performing maintenance on all five rail lines every weekend. They have replaced rail switches at Medical Center and Van Ness-UDC and completed platform repairs at Metro Center.

Track work often requires trains to share a single track, causing delays of at least 30 minutes at a time when service is less frequent than during rush hour.

Deputy General Manager Gerald Francis thanked riders for their patience and said the maintenance work is necessary for safety.

Metro will continue to perform track maintenance during the overnight hours when the system is closed.

Metro also will extend tomorrow's hours until 1 a.m. to accommodate the crowds expected to attend the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at the Verizon Center.

In anticipation of large crowds at the Gallery Place-Chinatown stop tomorrow and Saturday, Metro will run extra trains after the first, third and fourth games tomorrow and after both games Saturday.

Additional personnel will be at the station's entrance at Seventh and F streets NW to help customers.

The transit agency is encouraging commuters who work near the Verizon Center to use the other station entrances, at Ninth and G streets and Seventh and H streets, or to use the Judiciary Square stop at Fifth and F streets to avoid the crowds.

-- Lena H. Sun

© 2008 The Washington Post Company