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Posted at 12:35 PM ET, 02/22/2011

Metro details more track work

By Robert Thomson

Just after announcing the completion of the President's Day weekend track work that shut stations on the Orange and Blue lines, Metro detailed the next round: a March 4-6 closing of the eastern end of the Orange Line and suspension of service between Stadium-Armory and Benning Road on the Blue Line.

Metro has gotten in the habit of shutting down service for several days and clustering maintenance project in the affected segments of the system, but it usually does that during a long holiday weekend when ridership is relatively low. There's no holiday the first weekend in March. But the transit authority is continuing the more aggressive pace of work it has established for 2011.

From 10 o'clock Friday night, March 4, through the midnight closing Sunday, March 6, workers will continue repairs on the aerial structure outside Cheverly Station; make train control upgrades outside Stadium-Armory; install 6,000 feet of communication cables that will eventually improve cellphone coverage; and replace 2,000 feet of track, 380 insulators, 1,400 rail ties and 400 track fasteners.

To clear room for the work, there will be no train service between the Stadium-Armory and New Carrollton stations and the five stations in between. That's Minnesota Avenue, Deanwood, Cheverly, Landover and New Carrollton.

During the same time, there will be no Blue Line service between Stadium-Armory and Benning Road. The Benning Road Station will remain open.

Metro will operate free shuttle buses around the area of the shutdowns, but riders should add 40 minutes to normal travel times if their trips go through the work zone.

Regular train service will resume at 5 a.m. Monday, March 7.

By Robert Thomson  | February 22, 2011; 12:35 PM ET
Categories:  Blue Line, Metro, Orange Line  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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A few comments:

First, I heard Sarles on Kojo a few days ago. There's conversation of closing Metro earlier, which of course would inconvenience night shift workers.

It's an economy measure, we're told, and Sarles says it would allow more maintenance-updating.

So what about closing Metro earlier, and having buses shadow the Metro route on the same schedule as Metro? Buses are likely less expensive to operate. And night conductors could be trained and licensed to drive the buses, so they would not lose their jobs. Anything wrong with that?

Second, it appears that Sarles could be insulating himself. It is just about impossible to find the phone number for his offices online. Why is that?

By the way, I am so afraid to ride the Metro escalators, I plan to walk the steps. Does every station have steps accessible to the public?

Posted by: Ruffles1 | February 22, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Many stations have no stairs. It's kind of sick.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | February 22, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Many stations have no stairs. It's kind of sick. Foggy Bottom, home of the most recently collapsing escalator, is one of them.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | February 22, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: getjiggly1, the project at Foggy Bottom to replace the three escalators includes building a staircase from the mezzanine to the street. That would be a big help at Foggy Bottom. And similar projects would certainly help other stations as well.

Posted by: rtthomson1 | February 22, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

What's going on with the escalators at Smithsonian on the Independence side exit? Today there was a line up of federal workers trying to exit the station as 2 of the 3 escalators were out of service and the third was stopped causing a major back-up of customers trying to get out of the station. At the end of the day one of the up escalators was working (not that many people are exiting the station at this time) and another escalator was stopped so people could walk down it - again causing a major backup. It's just like at Capitol South - there's always at least one escalator out of service. Remind me again why we are paying more money?

Posted by: NCL22 | February 22, 2011 10:20 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: dawnclowe | February 23, 2011 4:17 AM | Report abuse

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