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Friday, September 04, 2009

D.C. Metro details work to be done during station closures

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Starting Sept. 4, at 9:30 p.m., until closing (midnight) on Sept. 7, Metro will undertake a complete track overhaul on the Blue and Yellow lines that will close the Pentagon City, Crystal City and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Metrorail stations. Customers using the Blue and Yellow lines should add 45 minutes to their travel plans to transfer to a free shuttle bus to get past the affected work area.

Metro will conduct six projects in the area of the closure during this time. Metro will replace four track switches at the Pentagon City Metrorail station, replace 2,000 feet of rail, 735 ties, perform concrete and deck joint repairs along the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Metrorail station aerial structure, conduct fire line maintenance and install cable to upgrade cell phone service in the Metrorail system.

The track switch replacement is work recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board and the cell phone service upgrade is a Congressional mandate. 

"By completing this work during the Labor Day holiday weekend, we will save more than $1 million in late-night maintenance costs that would have resulted in 150 days of single-tracking," said Gerald C. Francis, Metro's deputy general manager and chief operating officer. "People can still take Metro to get where they want to go. It will just take a bit longer to get there." 

While planning for the work to be done at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Metrorail station, Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority officials confirmed that Labor Day weekend is traditionally not a busy time for air travel.

"Metrorail ridership during Labor Day Weekend is relatively light, and we wanted to take advantage of this time to conduct major maintenance between Pentagon and Braddock Road," said Francis. "This safety-sensitive track maintenance work may inconvenience some riders, however, the silver lining at the end of the weekend is that when we replace the rail switches at the Pentagon City Metrorail station, we will not have to return there for another 25 years."

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