Weekend Road and Rail: Blue Line shuts down; weather delays for roadwork

This weekend the D.C. region may see some wintry weather. As to be expected, any scheduled roadwork will be postponed and rescheduled.

The biggest change for commuters will be the shutdown of Metro’s Blue Line as a platform project begins. That will mean changes for Metro riders through May.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re traveling this weekend.

Metro

This weekend will see the beginning of Metro’s Platform Improvement Project.

The Blue Line will be shut down as platform renovations begin at the Arlington National Cemetery (Blue Line) and the Addison Road (Blue and Silver) stations, starting Saturday, Feb. 13.

These stations are scheduled to remain closed through May 23. Metro said this full-time closure of the stations will allow the platform renovations to be completed sooner and with fewer disruptions.

Since the only station exclusively served by the Blue Line is the Arlington National Cemetery stop, the Blue Line will be closed.

There will be shuttle buses replacing trains at the two closed stations for the duration of the project.

Additional Yellow Line trains will cover the gap left by the missing Blue Line trains for the segment from Springfield through Mount Vernon Square. Silver Line trains will continue to pass through but not serve Addison Road while the station is closed. However, weekend service adjustments may be necessary due to other scheduled track work.

Riders who usually rely on the extra train volume on the Blue Line should add extra time for their commutes, the transit agency said. They should consider bus service.

Service details, shuttle bus information, other travel alternatives, and more information can be found online.

Here are the highlights of the Blue Line Platform Project:

  • No Blue Line trains will operate.
  • Additional Yellow Line trains will operate between Franconia-Springfield and Mount Vernon Square stations at all times.
  • Yellow Line service between Huntington and Greenbelt is unaffected.
  • Customers traveling to downtown D.C. from stations south of Arlington Cemetery should board a Yellow Line train. Transfer at L’Enfant Plaza if necessary.
  • Silver Line trains will pass through Addison Road without stopping.
  • Riders traveling between Largo Town Center and Rosslyn stations should use Silver Line trains.

During construction, parking fees will not be charged at Addison Road Station as a courtesy to customers.

Free shuttle bus service will operate:

  • Between Rosslyn, Arlington Cemetery (during operating hours), and Pentagon every 12-15 minutes
  • Between Addison Road and Capitol Heights every 6-8 minutes

Metro riders may consider the following regular-route bus service to get around the construction areas.

Metrobus

  • C21 & C22: Service between Addison Road & Largo Town Center stations (operates Monday-Friday)
  • C29: Service between Addison Road & Largo Town Center stations (operates Saturday & Sunday)
  • F14: Service between Naylor Road, Addison Rd, Capitol Heights & New Carrollton stations (operates Monday-Saturday)

Northern Virginia

  • 23A & 23B: Service between Ballston & Crystal City (operates daily)

Arlington Transit

  • 43: Service between Court House, Rosslyn & Crystal City (Non-stop between Rosslyn & Crystal City, operates Monday-Friday)

Fairfax Connector

  • 599: Service between Reston, Pentagon & Crystal City, nonstop between Reston & the Pentagon (operates Monday-Friday; AM rush eastbound; PM rush westbound)
  • 698: Non-stop service between Vienna Station & Pentagon (operates Monday-Friday; AM rush eastbound; PM rush westbound)
  • 393, 394, 395, and 396: Peak (rush hour) service to Pentagon
  • 310: All day service to Metrorail Yellow line and D.C.
  • 306: Pentagon on Braddock Rd. (off peak)

What’s involved with the Platform Improvement Project?

Metro’s Platform Improvement Project set its sights on improving the transit system’s 45 outdoor rail stations constructed with concrete platforms. The platforms were designed and built over four decades ago and many of them have begun to deteriorate due to routine wear and tear combined with exposure to weather and de-icing agents.

Metro identified 20 stations in need of platform reconstruction, with the first 11 being addressed over the past two years.

The summer of 2019 saw the rehabilitation of Braddock Road, King Street-Old Town, Eisenhower Avenue, Huntington, Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield stations. In 2020, Metro addressed the Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and East Falls Church stations, with the start of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport beginning last fall.

This puts the multiyear Platform Improvement Project at the 50% completion mark with customers benefiting from station improved slip-resistant tiles on the platforms and in the mezzanine areas, stainless-steel platform shelters with charging outlets/ports, additional Passenger Information Display screens, energy-efficient LED lighting throughout the stations and improved speakers for clearer public announcements and emergency notifications.

Addison Road and Arlington National Cemetery are next on the list.

The other stations that will still need to be done include Greenbelt, College Park-University of Maryland, Prince George’s Plaza, and West Hyattsville next summer. New Carrollton, Landover, and Cheverly will be done in summer 2022.

Metrorail service for Presidents Day weekend

The hours of operation will be from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturday; 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Sunday; and 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Monday Metro will serve 87 of 91 stations.

There will be changes to Metrorail service frequencies beginning Monday with Red Line trains will operating every 6 minutes and every 12 minutes on all other lines from 5 a.m. until about 7 p.m. Train frequencies after 7 p.m. will remain unchanged.

Weekend Service Summary:

  • Red Line: Trains every 12-15 minutes Saturday and Sunday and every 6-15 minutes Monday
  • Blue Line: No train service
    • Arlington Cemetery, Addison Road, Franconia-Springfield, Van Dorn St closed
  • Silver Line: Trains every 15-20 minutes Saturday and Sunday and every 12-20 minutes Monday
    • No service at Addison Road
  • Yellow Line: Trains every 15-20 minutes Saturday and Sunday; every 12-20 minutes Monday, operating in two segments:
    • Between Huntington and Braddock Road
    • Between National Airport-Greenbelt
  • Orange Line/Green Line: Trains every 15-20 minutes Saturday and Sunday; 12-20 minutes Monday

Federal law requires customers to wear face masks in Metro stations, on board trains and buses. Please cover your nose and mouth.

Mary DePompa

WTOP Traffic Reporter, Mary de Pompa has a great understanding of the D.C.-area gridlock, being a third-generation Washingtonian. If you see more than she says, call Mary on the WTOP Traffic Hotline at 202-895-5048 or email her at mdepompa@wtop.com.

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