Metro Plan for $177 Million Red Line Overhaul Will Take Years to Complete

By James Hohmann
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 10, 2009

Metro's Red Line riders aren't likely to get relief from what has become a painful commute anytime soon.

The transit agency is planning to begin a major overhaul of the line in early 2010 that will last years.

The $177 million project, intended primarily to rehabilitate the oldest and busiest part of the aging rail system, was already in the works before the June 22 crash that killed nine and injured 80. Yesterday, Metro officials told a board committee that they might shift some funds to areas identified by federal investigators looking into the cause of the accident. The current spending plan covers some work on train control systems, an area being probed by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The plan is expected to be approved by the full board Thursday and includes:

-- New escalators at the south entrance of Dupont Circle.

-- Rehabilitation of the platforms at Shady Grove and Rockville.

-- Track repairs from Grosvenor-Strathmore to Medical Center.

-- Upgrades to the train power system and automatic train controls.

-- Modernization of air conditioning and ventilation equipment.

-- Retrofitting tunnel ventilation and fire equipment.

-- New escalators, a staircase and a canopy at Foggy Bottom station on the Orange Line.

The first phase will focus on the area of track between the Dupont Circle and Silver Spring stations and will take 48 months to complete, said Metro spokeswoman Taryn McNeil.

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