WMATA to begin major construction of Blue and Yellow linesWritten by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
In less than a month, WMATA will begin significant construction to repair the Yellow Line tunnel and bridge, as well as advance critical improvements needed to open the future Potomac Yard Station later this fall.
During the first phase, between Sept. 10 and Oct. 22, six Blue and Yellow line stations south of Reagan National Airport Station will be closed to connect the new Potomac Yard Station to the existing tracks. The closed stations include Braddock Road, King Street, Van Dorn Street, Franconia-Springfield, Eisenhower Avenue, and Huntington. Following the six-week shutdown, the six closed stations will reopen; however, the Yellow Line tunnel and bridge will remain closed for additional repairs through May 2023.
Yellow Line service will not operate for the duration of the project, and trains will be rerouted through Rosslyn instead. Metro and regional transit providers will provide free bus shuttles, free parking, and other convenient travel alternatives, including additional Blue and Green line service to keep customers moving. In addition to the free shuttle service, customers will have several other free options for getting around during the six-week shutdown.
Pre-construction activities are already underway on the bridge and tunnel. In the Potomac River, heavy barges are staged, and boaters are advised that a no-wake zone has been put in place in the construction area. At the L’Enfant Plaza Station, where Metro is relining the tunnel, demolition is scheduled to reinforce and waterproof the tunnel. A new steel liner will be installed requiring hundreds of steel plates to be welded together creating a protective shield.
Metro is investing in system safety, reliability, and the region’s economy through its 10-year, $15 billion capital program. For the first time in Metro’s history, the capital program is bolstered by dedicated funding from Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The capital program will improve the customer experience and keep the region’s infrastructure in a state of good repair by investing in new railcars and buses; improving stations and platforms; upgrading fire-suppression and emergency response systems; replacing and repairing tracks, tunnels, bridges, signals, and communications systems; rebuilding decades-old bus garages; and providing modern customer amenities such as passenger information systems. Local taxpayer dollars fund these important capital projects that allow Metro to reinvest in the regional economy, creating jobs and encouraging participation from disadvantaged, minority-owned, and small businesses in the region.
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