Metro bridge, tunnel repairs will force extended shutdown of Yellow line

A lengthy shutdown is on the way for Metro’s Yellow line.

The transit agency said decades of water infiltration and underground moisture have eroded steel-lined tunnels and a bridge that spans the Potomac River.

The Yellow Line will undergo a series of repairs between L’Enfant Plaza and the Pentagon, starting in fall 2022.

The bridge was built in the 1970s. Renovations to it will include repairing cracks and upgrading the fire suppression system on the 3,000-foot bridge.

Metro said it continues to perform maintenance and leak mitigation on the bridge, But long-term repairs are needed to fend off structure failure.

While the transit agency is aiming for the project to wrap up by the end of next year, it could not say exactly how long repairs will take.

This is Metro’s first project using a new planning method for large-scale projects. The design, pre-construction and pricing happen at the same time, instead of long individual phases.

Metro said the approach allows for managers to make quick adjustments to materials, design and cost as the project moves along, leading to lower costs and a speedy completion.

“Advancing this project quickly is good for our customers,” said Metro Executive Vice President of Capital Program Delivery Laura Mason. “And will allow Metro to utilize this process on future projects to more quickly address critical safety needs of other elevated structures.”

Gigi Barnett

Gigi Barnett is an anchor at WTOP. She has worked in the media for more than 20 years. Before joining WTOP, she was an anchor at WJZ-TV in Baltimore, KXAN-TV in Austin, Texas, and a staff reporter at The Miami Herald. She’s a Navy wife and mom of three.

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