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Cracks found in ceiling of Farragut North Metro station

By Clarence Williams
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 26, 2009; B04

A Metro maintenance crew discovered cracks in the ceiling of the Farragut North Station during a routine inspection, transit officials announced Wednesday.

Inspectors noticed the loose tile Tuesday as part of the agency's preventative maintenance program. After engineers removed the cement tile, they found a 15-foot-by-4-foot crack above the platform on the north side of the station, near the Connecticut Avenue and L Street NW entrance. As workers removed more ceiling tiles, additional small cracks were discovered, extending from the platform onto the tracks, along with a "seeping of moisture," Metro said in a statement.

No debris has fallen at the station. Engineers were investigating whether a 27-inch sewer pipe above the crack might have produced the moisture and ceiling damage.

Metro officials have set up a work zone along the platform.

"Our initial estimate is that the repair work is likely to take two weeks," said Gerald Francis, Metro's deputy general manager and chief operating officer. "However, the time frame may change based on what is discovered as it relates to the water intrusion."

Officials said they expect to make repairs during the Thanksgiving holiday, weekends and at night after the station closes.

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