UPDATED 4:35 p.m. A Metro spokesperson this afternoon attempted to tamp down a Friday afternoon report from NBC Washington that water seepage issues in the Red Line metro tunnel might cause WMATA to shut down the line for up to six weeks.
Metro spokesperson Caroline Lukas said no determination has been made on how WMATA will deal with “water infiltration issues” near the Medical Center and Friendship Heights Metro stations.
The NBC Washington report says a permanent fix of the problem would require weeks-worth of maintenance work that would shut down the system’s oldest line.
Lukas said Metro has no plans to shut down the section of the Red Line, which includes the Bethesda Metro station, and is still in a final engineering design stage.
The NBC Washington report shows temporary measures Metro has taken to try to stem the flow of water leaks into the tunnel.
“We’re talking about one of the oldest parts of the Red Line and just through its geology, there is some water seepage and it’s something that needs to be addressed,” Lukas said. “We’re not shutting down the Red Line. Nothing is imminent but it’s something that must be fixed in order to retain the reliability of the system.”
On Twitter, WMATA said the tunnel “requires ongoing pumping, dredging and cleaning to keep switches in service and to prevent arcing insulators.”
Arcing insulators caused delays in the Metro tunnel near the Medical Center station twice in six days in late May and early June.