How to get around this fall’s Blue, Yellow Metro line construction

Metro has released details about travel alternatives aimed at helping riders prepare for significant Blue and Yellow line construction that’s set to begin in September.

Work to connect the future Potomac Yard Station with the mainline rail system and to rehabilitate the Yellow Line tunnel and bridge between Pentagon and L’Enfant Plaza stations is scheduled to begin on Saturday, Sept. 10.

The work will result in no rail service south of Reagan National Airport for a month and a half next fall and no Yellow Line service crossing the Potomac River until next spring.

Metro said free shuttle bus service will be available for customers “throughout the duration” and said it will also run more frequent Blue and Green line service.



“The project teams understand that station closures and service changes can be very disruptive to our customers, and we are working hard to use the closure time efficiently,” said Metro Interim General Manager and CEO Andrew Off in a statement.

Off said the projects are “carefully coordinated with the local jurisdictions to ensure convenient, reliable service is available across the region while we complete this critical work to maintain and improve our system.”

Here’s what you need to know.

How to get around during Phase One (Sept. 10 to Oct. 22, 2022)

  • Rail service
    • No rail service south of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Station
    • No Yellow Line service, but Yellow Line stations north of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Station will be served by the Blue or Green lines
    • Additional Blue Line service, with trains departing every seven to nine minutes from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and New Carrollton stations (every 15 minutes after 9:30 p.m.)
    • Blue Line customers traveling between Pentagon and L’Enfant Plaza stations should plan on approximately 15 minutes of extra travel time
    • Green Line trains will operate every eight minutes (every 10 minutes after 9:30 p.m.)

Note: If 7000-series trains remain out of service, trains will operate less frequently

  • Free shuttle service
    • Seven free shuttles will be offered during Phase One, including local and express shuttles in Virginia and three limited-stop shuttles crossing the Potomac River.
    • Local shuttles will be available during all Metrorail operating hours.
      • Blue Line local: Local service between Franconia-Springfield, Van Dorn St, King St-Old Town, Braddock Rd, and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport stations every 10-20 minutes
      • Yellow Line local: Local service between Huntington, Eisenhower Ave, King St-Old Town, Braddock Rd, and Crystal City stations every 10-15 minutes. Yellow Line shuttles do not stop at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Station
    • Express shuttles will be available most of the day (from 4:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekends).
      • Blue Line express: Franconia-Pentagon Express service between Franconia-Springfield and Pentagon stations every 6 minutes
      • Yellow Line express: Huntington-Pentagon Express service between Huntington and Pentagon stations every 6 minutes
    • Limited shuttles will be available during weekday rush hours only.
      • VA-DC Shuttle 1: Crystal City-L’Enfant Service between Crystal City, Pentagon City, Smithsonian, and L’Enfant Plaza stations every 12 minutes. Shuttle does not stop at Pentagon Station
      • VA-DC Shuttle 2: Pentagon-Archives Service between Pentagon, Smithsonian, and Archives stations every 12 minutes
      • VA-DC Shuttle 3: Mt. Vernon-Potomac Park (11Y Route) Service between Mt. Vernon, Alexandria, and Potomac Park every 20 minutes. Peak direction service only

How to get around during Phase Two (Oct. 23, 2022 to May 2023)

  • Rail service
    • All stations will reopen, and service will resume south of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Station
    • All Yellow Line stations will be served by the Blue or Green lines
    • Blue Line trains will operate every 12 minutes between Largo Town Center and Franconia-Springfield stations and every 12 minutes between Huntington and New Carrollton stations (every 15 minutes after 9:30 p.m.)
    • Green Line trains will operate every eight minutes (every 10 minutes after 9:30 p.m.)

Note: If 7000-series trains remain out of service, trains will operate less frequently

  • Free shuttle service
    • Metro will continue to provide three limited-stop shuttles crossing the Potomac River during weekday rush hours only.
      • VA-DC Shuttle 1: Crystal City-L’Enfant: Service between Crystal City, Pentagon City, Smithsonian, and L’Enfant Plaza stations every 12 minutes. Shuttle does not stop at Pentagon Station
      • VA-DC Shuttle 2: Pentagon-Archives: Service between Pentagon, Smithsonian, and Archives stations every 12 minutes
      • VA-DC Shuttle 3: Mt. Vernon-Potomac Park (11Y Route): Service between Mt. Vernon, Alexandria, and Potomac Park every 20 minutes. Peak direction service only
  • Other travel options
    • 16Y Columbia Pike-Farragut Square Line (between Barcroft and McPherson Square with frequency enhancements)
    • Metroway
    • Virginia Railway Express: Service is available at Franconia-Springfield, King St-Old Town (VRE Station Alexandria), Crystal City, and L’Enfant Plaza stations

What work is Metro doing?

Metro said it will connect new tracks to “tie in” the new Potomac Yard Station to the Metrorail system and ensure proper signal integration.

The six-week project will force the closure of six Blue and Yellow line stations south of Reagan National Airport through Oct. 22.

Metro said that after additional testing and training are completed, Potomac Yard Station is expected to open later in the fall.

Metro also said a major rehab of the Yellow Line tunnel near L’Enfant Plaza Station and the bridge across the Potomac River will start at the same time as the Potomac Yard Station tie in and continue for eight months.

Metro said its chief engineer considers the steel-lined tunnel near L’Enfant Plaza as the agency’s “top structural priority,” requiring repairs to stop water intrusion and strengthen the tunnel lining.

Workers will also remove and replace miles of “critical communications cables used by multiple jurisdictions and repair the Yellow Line bridge during the closure,” according to Metro.

The transit agency said it would provide updates on the construction work on its website.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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