Fairfax Co. urges airline passengers, commuters to plan ahead for Metro track work

WASHINGTON — The next two Metrorail maintenance surges will impact rail riders who travel past Reagan National Airport as well as people trying to access the airport.

“About 20 percent of our passengers get to the airport via Metro, as well a significant number of the more than 10,000 people who work on the airport,” said Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesman Chris Paolino.

During Safetrack Surge #3 from 8 p.m. July 5 through closing July 11, Metro’s Blue and Yellow lines will be closed between Braddock Road and Reagan National.

During SafeTrack Surge #4, July 12 to July 18, when rail lines close north of the airport to Pentagon City, the Crystal City Metro station will be closed entirely.

To help impacted commuters make alternate plans, the Fairfax County government on Thursday sponsored an online discussion in which transportation officials fielded questions from the public.

Some of the advice detailed specific paths of free shuttles, bus routes that will be getting supplemental service and a new slug line option between L’Enfant Plaza and Franconia-Springfield — in addition to the ubiquitous general advice.

“We are encouraging everyone to consider alternate commuting options such as carpooling and vanpooling, as well as teleworking and flexible work schedules as much as possible,” Fairfax Connector Customer Service Manager Florita Wesley said in response to one of the online questions.

Air travelers also should consider adjusting typical plans.

“Reagan National’s roadways and parking facilities are already heavily stressed due to record passenger levels,” Paolino said. “And the shift of passengers from Metro to the roadways is likely to cause additional congestion and delays.”

Paolino suggests people build extra time into their trips and, if driving reserve access to parking in advance.

During Surge #3, Metro will offer free, but limited shuttle buses between Braddock Road and Reagan National for airport customers only.

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