Three Stations on Metro’s Red Line to Shut Down in December for ‘Critical Repairs’

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On December 18th, WMATA announces it will “begin a two-week construction project on the Red Line to perform critical safety repairs.”

On December 18th, the Metro announces it will “begin a two-week construction project on the Red Line to perform critical safety repairs to the tunnel and track infrastructure, upgrade signal and communications systems, and install new platform edge lights.”

Service on the Red Line will not be available at Gallery Place, Metro Center, and Farragut North stations. Alternative modes of transportation will replace trains at those stations from December 18th – 30th. Blue, Orange, and Silver lines on the lower level at Metro Center and Green and Yellow lines on the lower level at Gallery Place will be available while the Red Line is closed. WMATA added that from December 22nd-24th, Judiciary Square Station will be closed. 

Crews will “address structural issues in the tunnels which are nearly 50 years old and date back to the original stations.” They will also build “supports to repair a concrete beam overhead. . . [and] will need to remove the concrete and pour approximately 1,000 square feet of concrete for the new beam, reinforced with additional rebar.”

Metro Chief of Infrastructure Andy Off said: “We are proud of the important system improvements our team completed over the summer and are prepared to continue these upgrades on the Red Line during the holiday season. . . Thanks to our customers for their understanding of these service outages this year. Completing these critical repairs will improve the reliability of our system for years to come.”

First announced nine months ago, the Red Line shutdown is happening at a time when ridership levels are at a historic, down 40%. WMATA writes that “without the two-week shutdown, the same work would have taken at least three months of weekend closures to complete.”

Courtesy of WMATA

The work to be completed on the Red line includes “safety-critical infrastructure repairs and planned improvements, including the following below:

  • “Replacing the severely deteriorated concrete ceiling of a box fan shaft above both tracks between Farragut North and Dupont Circle.
  • Replacing a switch machine near Judiciary Sq that has reached the end of its usable life. Work on this machine has been deferred in the past. Switch machines allow trains to switch from one track to another and reroute around incidents that may lead to customer delays. 
  • Installing nearly 40,000 linear feet of fiber-optic cables. The upgrade to fiber-optic cables along the Red Line will provide a foundation for advanced communications-based train control (CTBC) technology to improve service reliability and efficiency. 
  • Replacing grout pads and leak repairs between Dupont Circle and Gallery Place. 
  • Installing new platform edge lighting at all stations between Farragut North and Judiciary Sq. 
  • Replacing rail fasteners and repairing rail joints. 
  • Adding extra third rail insulation for added safety during winter conditions.”

Signs reminding customers of the ongoing construction on the Red Line will be posted along the affected stations, and Metro staff will be onsite to answer questions. Metro is also “working with the District on additional measures that may help alleviate traffic for buses and minimize delays.” The Metro will provide more information on travel alternatives next month.

“Customers are also encouraged to sign up for MetroAlerts text and email messages to receive the latest service information, follow us on X, formerly Twitter, @wmata @metrorailinfo @metrobusinfo. Our customer service team is also available to answer your questions and assist customers weekdays from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., and weekends 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. via email, chat, social media, or calling 202-637-7000(automated information available 24/7).”

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