Construction will begin within the next two weeks on two Wisconsin Avenue Metro subway stations, at Tenley Circle and Friendship Heights, which will provide 14-minute rides to downtown Washington when the subway line to Rockville and Shady Grove opens in 1982.
The underground stations, to be blasted out of solid rock more than 100 feet beneath Wisconsins Avenue, will take three years to build. The construction will cause some vibrations for residents in the area and minor traffic problems along Wisconsin and Western Avenues, according to Metro officials.
The six-lane avenues, will be reduced to four narrow, 10-foot lanes during much of the construction period around Tenley Circle and for part of the construction period in the Friendship Heights section. Some sections of roadway will be placed on raised decks, particularly along Western Avenue, to allow for construction machinery below.
The subway tubes themselves already have been tunneled under much of Northwest Washington, with one tube now complete under Wisconsin Avenue to the Beltway.
There will be some noise and dust problems around both stations, primarily from heavy trucks removing rocks and dirt from the underground excavation, but Metro contractors will use no purely residential streets as hauling routes.
The $60.5 million construction contract limits noise levels. However, Metro officials are alerting residents that "vibrations may be felt from blasting, but these will be kept at a safe level to avoid damage to nearby houses and buildings."
While construction will continue 24 hours a day on the stations, blasting is permitted only between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 2 to 10 p.m. on Sundays.
Access to all businesses and homes will be maintained during construction although a few parking spaces, primarily along Wisconsin and Western Avenues, will be eliminated Metro officials says.
Both stations will provide above-ground "kiss-and-ride" unloading areas for counters - 18 "kiss-and-ride" spaces at Friendship Heights and 41 at Tenley Circle - and loading bays for Metrobuses.
The stations are expected to be used by 25,000 to 28,000 riders daily by 1990, according to Metro estimates.
The Tenley Circle station will have entrances on either side of Wisconsin Avenue, with escalators carrying passengers down to a mezzanine just above the subway platforms. An elevator entrance is to be built north of Albemarle Street on the east side of Wisconsin.
The Friendship Heights station will have one main escalator entrance at the northeast corner of the intersection of Wisconsin and Western Avenues, where buses and "kiss-and-ride" cars can stop. Three additional subway entrances are planned, one from each of the remaining three corners of the Wisconsin-and-Western intersection, but these are designed to serve stores and businesses in the area and will not be built by Metro.