Heads up, Metrorail riders. If you take the Orange and Green Lines, prepare for some major disruptions to regular service this summer.
Metro announced Tuesday it is planning weeks-long shutdowns along portions of both lines for maintenance work this summer. Some of the same stations that Metro will shutter this summer were also closed for extensive maintenance just a few years ago.
The work starts on the Orange Line.
The western end of the Orange Line in Fairfax County, Virginia, is set to close in two phases over June and July so that Metro can replace 40-year-old steel rails that the agency says are “significantly more susceptible” to breakage than those in other parts of the system.
Starting June 3 and lasting through June 26, Metro will close Orange Line stations west of Ballston. That includes the East Falls Church, West Falls Church, Dunn Loring and Vienna stations. Closing East Falls Church will also cut off part of the Silver Line from Ballston to McLean.
During the second phase of the work, West Falls Church and East Fall Church are set to reopen, but the Dunn Loring and Vienna stations will remain closed through July 17.
In addition to replacing the rails, Metro said crews will be upgrading old copper cables to fiber-optic cables.
Metro shut down that same stretch of the Orange Line in the summer of 2020 for maintenance work.
Green Line shutdown
An even longer shutdown is planned this summer for the northern end of the Green Line later in the summer.
Between July 22 and Sept. 4, Metro will close Green Line stations north of Fort Totten. That includes the West Hyattsville, Hyattsville Crossing, College Park-U of Md. and Greenbelt Metro stations.
This is the same stretch of the Green Line Metro closed in 2021 to rebuild station platforms. Metro said it needs to close the stations again this summer to install fiber optic cables that will improve rail system technology.
Metro has yet to release details on workaround strategies for commuters, such as free shuttle buses, but said it will do so before the shutdowns begin.
“Metro is working closely with regional partners to establish travel alternatives and deploy a customer information and engagement plan before the shutdowns,” the agency said in a news release.
The transit agency said it uses the summer months “to advance large maintenance and infrastructure projects with significant customer impacts,” because of lower ridership.
In addition to the shutdowns, Metro said the eastern end of the Orange Line in Northeast D.C. and Prince George’s County, Maryland, would see 10 days of single-tracking between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly stations starting May 12 through May 22.
Metro said it needs to close the stations to complete roofing work that will require de-energizing power transmission lines above the stations.
Other upgrades Metro plans to work on this summer include installing new information displays in Metro Center, Galley Place and L’Enfant stations and installing three new escalators and renovating an elevator at the Dupont Circle station.