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Metro hopes to reopen above-ground stations by 5 a.m. Monday

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By Sandhya Somashekhar
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 20, 2009; 4:18 PM

Metrorail's 39 above-ground stations remained closed Sunday afternoon as crews continued to dig out from Saturday's record-setting snowstorm.

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Officials say they hope to reopen the stations by 5 a.m. Monday but have struggled to remove the blanket of snow and ice from 57 miles of exposed track throughout the system. The system is also contending with a shortage of contractors because many workers were snowed in and unable to get to the work site.

Many of Metrorail's cars were stored in tunnels before the storm, but the hundreds that were left in rail yards were buried in snow during the storm and have to be dug out, Metro officials said.

"We are still in the process of cleaning the above-ground portions and running empty trains to make sure everything is good to go before we start to run trains through there," said Steven Taubenkibel, a Metro spokesman.

Just before 4 p.m., Metro announced that the bridge over the Potomac River along the Yellow Line had been cleared and was reopened. Earlier in the day, Yellow Line trains were terminating on the District side at L'Enfant Plaza, and Metro was running a short-distance service between the Pentagon and Crystal City stations.

Crews have been working since Saturday evening and will continue to work overnight Sunday into Monday in hopes of having the stations ready by the morning rush, he said. Those that open may have a shortage of parking spaces because of snow storage.

Metro also announced that it had reopened an additional 10 bus routes in the District as of 3 p.m., for a total of 23 resumed routes altogether. More information is available at http://www.metroopensdoors.com.



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