WASHINGTON — The early part of this week provides the final brief break from scheduled rush-hour track work for at least six weeks, and possibly longer.
Here are five things to know as Metro prepares to announce the details and schedule of other upcoming work zones within the next two weeks.
1. No extra football service, but fans may not need it anyway
The Washington Redskins open their season at FedEx Field Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but unlike a typical Monday night game, this one is scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m., since it is part of an opening weekend doubleheader.
The earlier start may contribute to a traffic mess during rush hour, but it should also allow fans who take the train to make it back to a Metro station before the final trains leave.
The last Silver Line train leaves Largo Town Center at 11:11 p.m. and the last Blue Line train leaves at 11:24 p.m. They leave Morgan Boulevard Metro station about three minutes later.
Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld has decided that Metro will no longer open early or stay open late for any reason, including sporting events or races, so fans attending night games later in the season against the Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers will not be able to take Metro unless they leave the game early.
2. No rush-hour work scheduled for first half of the week
Rush-hour commuters can expect normal Metro service Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, as Metro prepares for the next track work zone to begin later in the week.
Metro still has other work scheduled outside of rush hour.
3. Six-weeks of 24/7 Orange Line work begins
Starting Thursday, most Metro riders will want to avoid the Vienna and Dunn Loring stations for six straight weeks. During rush hour, the scheduled wait will be four times longer than usual.
Metro is working to repair tracks that the Federal Transit Administration has identified as a particular area of concern.
During the work, a shuttle train is scheduled to run only every 24 minutes between West Falls Church and Vienna. Metro plans to provide regular service from West Falls Church through Arlington, D.C. and Prince George’s County.
4. Orange Line workarounds
Riders who usually use Vienna or Dunn Loring can park at other Orange or Silver Line stations, use VRE, or take commuter buses or other routes in Falls Church or Ballston, where Metro plans regular service.
Biking to West Falls Church is another alternative.
Find more details in the complete WTOP guide for this work zone.
5. Weekend shutdowns
During this work zone, weekend shutdowns are planned for Vienna and Dunn Loring most weekends, but those shutdowns are not scheduled to begin until Sept. 24.
This coming weekend, Sept. 17-18, Metro has a long-planned Yellow Line shutdown on the schedule. Metro conducts annual inspections and maintenance on the bridge over the Potomac that connects the Pentagon Station to L’Enfant Plaza. That is in addition to other weekend work and the continuing work zone on the Orange Line.