WMATA plans to reconstruct 20 platforms in three years

Written by Mischa Wanek-Libman, editor
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Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) unveiled a three-year capital project to reconstruct platforms and address structural deficiencies at 20 Metrorail stations on Monday.

WMATA notes that rebuilding platforms is a heavy construction activity that requires that tracks to be taken out of service to allow for demolition of existing structures, access to the construction area and concrete pouring. To add perspective to the ambitious nature of the program, WMATA reconstructed platforms at Minnesota Avenue and Deanwood stations took approximately three years to complete.

WMATA says its program was developed following extensive internal planning and consultation with construction contractors in an effort to minimize customer impact. There are three phases to the plan and WMATA will advance reconstruction of the platforms utilizing extended shutdowns during summer months. This will avoid the use of single tracking and provide contractors with 24-hour access to selected work sites.

“The approach improves safety while significantly reducing project duration because workers do not have to repeatedly set-up and break down their equipment. The approach also minimizes customer impact by allowing [WMATA] to continue to provide normal rail service elsewhere on the system,” said the transit authority.

The first phase of the plan will commence during the summer of 2019 when WMATA plans to demolish and rebuild the station platforms at Braddock Road, King Street and Eisenhower Avenue stations, resulting in a shutdown of rail service south of Reagan National Airport. Blue and Yellow line service will operate at regular intervals between the airport and Largo Town Center (Blue Line) and Fort Totten/Mt Vernon Square (Yellow Line). Six of WMATA’s 91 stations will be closed between Memorial Day and Labor Day 2019: Braddock Road, King Street, Eisenhower Avenue, Huntington, Van Dorn Street, and Franconia-Springfield.

WMATA says it will partner with the jurisdictions and other transportation agencies to develop traffic mitigations and customer travel alternatives. WMATA customers will be given at least three months of advance notice prior to any service change under the program.

Following the 2019 summer shutdown, WMATA will reconstruct the platforms at Van Dorn Street, Franconia-Springfield, Huntington and Reagan National Airport between September 2019 and May 2020. The location and configuration of these stations allows construction to take place while all rail stations remain open. During this phase, rail service is expected to operate normally except for the Blue Line in September 2019, which will be impacted by the reconstruction of Van Dorn Street Station.

The remaining 13 station platforms to be reconstructed in 2020-2021 are: West Hyattsville, College Park, Greenbelt, Rhode Island Avenue, Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church, East Falls Church, Cheverly, Landover, New Carrollton, Addison Road, and Arlington Cemetery. Service plans for these stations are being developed, including possible coordination with construction activity associated with the Purple Line in Maryland and the widening of I-66 in Virginia.

The project is estimated to cost between $300-$400 million and will be the first major construction project to benefit from dedicated capital funding recently approved by the legislatures in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Categories: Commuter/Regional, OFF Track Maintenance, Rapid Transit/Light Rail, Safety/Training