Single tracking, station closures on Red Line will cause ‘significant impact’ for Metro riders

Repairs on Metro’s Red Line scheduled to start in July will involve round-the-clock single tracking and station closures that the transit agency said are expected to cause “significant impacts” for customers.

The first set of repairs will start in July with the installation of more powerful fans in the tunnels between Woodley Park and Cleveland Park stations. When the ventilation work is completed, Metro will start the replacement of the platform canopy at Rockville station, as well as canopy repairs at Shady Grove.

Both projects are funded through Metro’s six-year, $9.7 billion Capital Improvement Program.

Ventilation work

The installation of the fans begins July 17 and is slated to end Aug. 29. It’s part of a pilot project to improve tunnel safety in the event of a smoke or fire emergency, Metro said in a news release.

“We will be working around the clock, seven-days a week, to maximize efficiencies and allow us to get the work done more quickly,” Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld said in a statement.

Trains will continuously single track between Dupont Circle and Van Ness stations. In addition to the ventilation work, workers will also install necessary infrastructure and new evacuation fans at the base of the ventilation shafts.

Two weekend shutdowns in August will also be needed, and additional weekend closures will be necessary in 2022 to complete the project, commissioning and safety testing.

Metro said the ventilation work is in response to a directive by the National Transportation Safety Board after a deadly smoke incident at L’Enfant Plaza in 2015.

The ventilation shafts and fans of the Red Line, the oldest line in the system, were installed before safety standards for transit systems had been established by the National Fire Protection Association, Metro said.

Canopy work

In September, after ventilation work ends, Metro will replace the canopy at the Rockville station and make repairs to the canopy at Shady Grove.

Metro said the concrete beam structures, original to construction in the 1980s, are deteriorating.

Work will take three months, and both stations will need to be closed from Sept. 11 to Dec. 4. Metro will be providing free shuttle service to and from the stations.

Other work that will done at Rockville include new LED skylights, upgraded speaker system for station announcements, new digital screens for passenger information and new cameras.

Repair schedule and service information

Metro provided the following time table and service announcement:

July 17 — Aug. 29

  • Continuous single tracking between Dupont Circle and Van Ness stations
  • Trains will operate every 18 minutes between Shady Grove and Glenmont
  • Additional trains will operate between Glenmont and Farragut North from opening until 7 p.m. on weekdays only to provide more frequent service
  • Customers may also wish to use Metrobus Route L2, which runs along Connecticut Avenue between Chevy Chase Circle and Farragut Square as an alternative

Weekends of Aug. 7-8 and Aug. 28-29

  • Red Line trains will operate in two segments: Shady Grove to Van Ness; and Dupont Circle to Glenmont
  • Free shuttle buses replace trains between Dupont Circle and Van Ness stations
  • Cleveland Park and Woodley Park stations closed
  • Additional weekend shutdowns and single tracking may be necessary in 2022 to allow for safety testing

Sept .11 — Dec. 4

  • Red Line trains will operate normal service between Glenmont and Twinbrook only
  • Free shuttle buses replace trains between Shady Grove and Twinbrook stations
    Shady Grove and Rockville stations closed
  • Park & Ride customers at Shady Grove and Rockville may wish to use Twinbrook or White Flint as an alternative
  • MARC and Amtrak service will continue to operate at Rockville, with no disruption to service.
  • Due to the staging of heavy equipment and construction materials, Metrobus and other bus service will be rerouted. Additional details will be provided at a later date
Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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