5 things to know about Metro track work: July 17-23

WASHINGTON — Commuters will need to be nimble this week as three different track work situations will be in place during rush hours.

Here are the key things to know:

1. Midweek switches

Through closing Monday night, the major shutdown of the Blue and Yellow lines between Reagan National Airport and Pentagon City remains in place.

On Tuesday, Metro has no rush-hour track work scheduled as crews prepare for the next work zone.

On Wednesday, 12 days of round-the-clock single-tracking begin on the Orange and Silver lines between East Falls Church and Ballston.

2. Don’t get complacent Monday

Crowds have packed into the Pentagon City Metro station during the current track work zone, and unless many find another way around, the crowds could pack platforms again Monday.

Pentagon City is the southern end of Blue and Yellow Line trains from D.C. and Rosslyn through the system’s closing Monday night. Direct shuttle buses run between Pentagon City and Braddock Road, and Metroway service remains free Monday between Pentagon City, Crystal City, Potomac Yard and Braddock Road.

DASH has added buses on the AT3 and AT4 routes, and other options to the Pentagon on Monday include express shuttles to and from Franconia-Springfield.

Virginia Railway Express also provides service between Franconia-Springfield, Crystal City, L’Enfant Plaza and Union Station.

3. Airport access

If you are heading to the airport from D.C. or Rosslyn, you cannot use Metrorail to get to Reagan National Airport until Tuesday morning. Trains do run to Reagan National from the south, but riders going beyond the closure zone may be better off picking up the express shuttles at Braddock Road.

For those trying to get to D.C. from the airport or back on Sunday or Monday, Metro shuttle buses run between the airport, Crystal City and Pentagon City. Those shuttle buses are scheduled less frequently than the buses that are running between Braddock Road and Pentagon City.

From Tuesday forward, airport access returns to normal after two weeks of disruption.

4. A return to familiar territory

The single-tracking that begins Wednesday between East Falls Church and Ballston is the same single-tracking area as the first 24/7 track work zone. While many of the backup options for riders are the same as that first work period in early June, Metro is planning some minor changes to operations to provide slightly more trains through toward Vienna during this work zone than the last one in the area.

Many riders were able to find other ways to at least get to Ballston during that last work zone, where trains will run more often at rush hour than the stations to the west, and Metro will need a similar shift during this single-tracking period to keep shuttle buses moving and to keep trains from being even more overcrowded.

The work also reduces the number of trains from normal schedules at stations between Rosslyn and Stadium-Armory, with more significant service cuts between Stadium-Armory and Largo Town Center as well.

Find alternative options to get around the work in the WTOP track work guide for this surge.

5. Risk of first-day jitters

Despite the recent experience of commuters with this work zone, in each track work shift so far there have been some issues on the first day as riders and transit providers work out exactly how things should flow.

Riders have adjusted commutes more on the second day and beyond, so planning ahead to find alternative options on day one could provide some extra benefits.

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