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Bracing for a Rough Month on Metro

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Metro riders should prepare for continuing delays as long-planned summer maintenance work ramps up across the system this weekend and through the month. The routine work was planned before the June 22 crash that killed nine people and injured 80 and is necessary because there are not enough overnight hours to complete the upkeep. The ensuing delays will further frustrate riders, who are already contending with slow trips resulting from speed restrictions on at least 13 sections of track because of problems with track circuits across the system.

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Yellow and Blue Lines

During Labor Day weekend, Metro will finish a complete track overhaul between the Reagan National Airport and Pentagon City stations. Workers will replace the rail switch -- the area where tracks intersect -- at Pentagon City and will install rail and repair the bridge near the airport station.

THE IMPACT THIS WEEKEND:

A lot of work needs to be done to prepare for the overhaul, Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel said. Starting Sunday and continuing through each of the next two workweeks, Yellow Line trains will be single-tracked from Braddock Road to L'Enfant Plaza from 10 p.m. until closing. From Aug. 23 through Sept. 3, trains will be single-tracked from 11 p.m. until closing Sundays through Thursdays.

-- Yellow Line trains will operate once every 36 minutes between the Fort Totten and Huntington stations during the late-night track work.

-- During the work periods, Blue Line trains will not operate between Rosslyn and King Street. Metro will operate the Blue Line in two segments, from Largo Town Center to Rosslyn and from Franconia-Springfield to King Street. Blue Line riders who wish to travel to Braddock Road, Reagan National Airport, Crystal City and Pentagon City must transfer to a Yellow Line train. A free shuttle bus will run from Rosslyn to the Pentagon, where riders can catch the Yellow Line. They also can catch the Yellow Line at King Street.

Red Line

-- Metro is advising Red Line riders to allow an additional 30 minutes for travel this weekend. Workers will make tunnel repairs from Medical Center to Friendship Heights, forcing trains to share one track between the stations from 10 p.m. Friday until midnight Sunday.

Orange Line

-- Metro is advising Orange Line riders to allow an additional 30 minutes for travel this weekend. Trains will also share a track from Vienna/Fairfax-GMU to West Falls Church-VT/UVA from 8 p.m. Friday through midnight Sunday so that crossties supporting the track can be replaced.

-- Reporting by James Hohmann and Carol Hutchinson


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