Metro’s new 24/7 work schedule extends upcoming surges

WASHINGTON — Commuters now have more specifics on where traffic could get worse through the end of the year and what stations to avoid after Metro announced Wednesday revised round-the-clock track work plans.

While the upcoming work still begins with a Red Line shutdown between Fort Totten and NoMa-Gallaudet, that work has now been extended beyond the originally planned 23 days. It now begins Oct. 29 and runs through Nov. 22

In addition to traditional track work, the work zone is expected to include repairs to crumbling concrete that carries the outbound track near the Rhode Island Ave. station.

The following work zone will be round-the-clock single tracking between East Falls Church and West Falls Church between Nov. 28 and Dec. 21, Metro announced. This work zone — beginning the Monday after Thanksgiving — merges and extends work that had originally been planned for March under Metro’s original plans. But the area was identified as a particular stretch of concern by federal investigators.

Further 24/7 work will pick up in early January on the Blue and Yellow lines. Metro plans to announce the specific start dates for the work in December.

First, the Blue and Yellow Lines will single-track between Braddock Road and Huntington. In late January and the start of February, the Blue Line will be shut down with no trains between Rosslyn and the Pentagon. Other stations will still have service. In March, work will return to the Braddock Road to Huntington stretch.

While originally surges had been scheduled to end in March, Metro said single-tracking between Greenbelt and College Park on the Green Line will now begin in late March and extend into April.

During the single-tracking zones, Metro plans weekend shutdowns in many areas.

It is all in addition to “regular” work in the middle of the day, at night and on weekends.

The changes do not impact the nearly six-week work zone that begins Thursday on the Orange Line with severe impacts at Vienna and Dunn Loring.

That work had been pushed back for the same reasons Metro has rescheduled and extended these other 2016 work zones: additional safety issues and inspection failures that were uncovered by federal investigations and a July derailment.

Metro plans to announce the schedule for the round-the-clock work zones that had already been planned for early 2017 in the next few months. There is no track work planned around Inauguration Day.

Riders who use commuter benefits to pay for rides need to act quickly if the new schedule pushes them toward MARC or VRE since reassigning the benefits needs to be done weeks before the beginning of the month.

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