Metro GM: ‘Significant work’ to get done during Alexandria stations shutdown

Metro riders in Alexandria are on shuttles for the next six weeks, as six Blue and Yellow Line stations are shut off from rail service. And Metro’s GM on Monday was on hand to greet riders during the first weekday of the shutdown.

The transit agency is connecting the long-awaited Potomac Yard Station to existing tracks and beginning the nine-month Yellow Line Bridge and Tunnel rehabilitation project, which will last until May 2023.

The six stations — Braddock Road, King Street-Old Town, Eisenhower Avenue, Huntington, Van Dorn and Franconia-Springfield — are scheduled to be shut off from rail service until Oct. 22. Until then, a series of shuttles will get riders around the work, including ones that head directly into D.C. skipping other Northern Virginia stations.

Metro General Manager and CEO Randy Clarke visited the King Street-Old Town Station Monday morning to help load shuttles.

Metro General Manager Randy Clarke (right) and Metro Board Chairman Paul Smedberg at the King Street-Old Town Metro station in Alexandria, Virginia, on Sept. 12, 2022. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

“We know it’s a pretty significant impact for customers,” Clarke told reporters, apologizing to riders but adding that “especially the first six weeks of this shutdown … significant work that has to get done.”

Some riders have questioned the timing of the project as more riders return to the Metro system after a two-year lull during the pandemic.

“I’m sick of Metro; I am so tired,” one angry rider told reporters before Clarke spoke. “I’m late for work every day.”

Clarke said massive projects such as the inclusion of Potomac Yard and the Yellow Line rehab are years in the making, and cannot change on a dime.

“I think we had almost 80 permits for this job as an example,” Clarke said about the Yellow Line bridge rehab. “And obviously, permitting in each jurisdiction — federal, state and local — is a complicated matter as well.”

Metro Board Chair Paul Smedberg added, “There’s a lot of coordination that has to go on with the jurisdictions, with the Park Service, Amtrak and many other people. So it does take a long time to plan this out.”

Clarke suggested that customers in Alexandria, pad their shuttle commute with a little more time than usual and to engage any on-site staff with any questions.

“These projects have to be done, so Metro is here for the next 45 years in a safe, reliable way, Clarke concluded. “So again, thank you to our customers, and we really appreciate their patience.”

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up