WASHINGTON – After the Fourth of July, Metro rush-hour track work returns with a week-long shutdown of a stretch of the Blue and Yellow lines around Reagan National Airport.
Here are five things to know this week:
1. This is a complete shutdown of the tracks between Reagan National Airport and Braddock Road
From about 8 p.m. Tuesday through Metro’s closing July 12 there are no trains between Reagan National and Braddock Road. The shutdown for a variety of work means there will be dramatically reduced service between Braddock Road and Franconia-Springfield or Huntington, and between the airport and the Pentagon. There are significantly fewer Yellow Line trains than usual planned to run between the Pentagon and L’Enfant Plaza.
Virginia Railway Express trains connecting Franconia-Springfield, Alexandria (King Street), Crystal City, L’Enfant Plaza and Union Station are scheduled to run as usual during this Metro shutdown.
Fairfax County, Alexandria, Arlington and Metro are offering additional bus services and shuttle buses for Metro riders during the shutdown.
Free routes include Metroway between Braddock Road and Pentagon City, the DASH AT3 and AT4 between Braddock Road and Pentagon, and the less-frequent shuttle buses between Braddock Road and Reagan National.
Our complete guide to this work zone outlines all of the choices, including additional express buses and riding a bike.
3. Alexandria’s first direct hit
This is the first round-the-clock work zone with such a large, direct impact on Alexandria. In addition to the extra bus service, the city is expanding some parking restrictions and adding new locations at Braddock Road for taxi or app-based ride pickups. There are also plans for some bus-only lanes, so watch carefully for new signs.
Across the region, local governments are monitoring traffic signals during each track work period to see if adjustments are needed.
4. How to (not) get to the airport
From 8 p.m. Tuesday through the end of the day July 11, there is no train service to Reagan National from Braddock Road, but there is rail service between D.C. and the airport on both the Blue and Yellow lines.
From the south, riders can take the shuttle bus from Braddock Road that is scheduled every 15 minutes during this shutdown.
5. When work shifts next week, it impacts even more people
Airport access reverses for the week from July 12-18 when Metro plans to shut down the tracks between Pentagon City and Reagan National.
During that shutdown, there is no rail service to or from the airport from D.C., Rosslyn or the Pentagon. Shuttle buses are planned to and from Pentagon City and Braddock Road.
Metro estimates that shutdown will directly have a major impact on 86,000 regular weekday trips, in addition to the impact on riders who must wait longer for trains or crowd in tighter along the Yellow Line through D.C. That is about 70 percent more people than the 50,000 Metro estimates face the most significant impacts this week.
Riders will need to be careful to keep track of the work, since these shutdowns are the first impact from the round-the-clock work that both begins and ends in the middle of the week.