Bethesda Metro Bus Bays May Not Close

The Bethesda Metro station bus bayTurns out a project to renovate an underground office garage may not close the Bethesda Metro bus bay after all.

Brookfield Properties, the company that bought 3 Bethesda Metro Center in 2011 for $150 million, alerted county officials earlier this year that it needed to do extensive repair work in the private garage under the office building.

That garage also extends under the Bethesda Metro bus bay, which serves MetroBus, Ride On, Bethesda Circulator and Metro kiss and ride customers. County officials were told the bus bay could be closed for as long as two years, meaning extensive accommodations would need to be made for bus access to the station.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center Director Ken Hartman said Brookfield submitted a required traffic mitigation plan. The county then did not hear from Brookfield for months about the project, which was anticipated to start late this year.

Now, Hartman and Bethesda Urban Partnership Executive Director Dave Dabney say they have heard the renovation project may not require the bus bays to be closed.

On Wednesday, a Brookfield spokesperson didn’t say whether the project would close the bus bays.

“Brookfield is looking at ways to repair the garage at 3 Bethesda Metro Center that will minimally impact operations at the bus bay. These plans are currently being developed,” Brookfield spokesperson Patricia Bertuccio wrote in an email.

Brookfield must work with WMATA on plans for the project, since it affects Metro property. It’s unknown how those discussions have affected Brookfield’s plans for the renovation or if Metro’s upcoming escalator replacement project has any effect.

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