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Metro details Presidents' Day service plan

A big maintenance project on Metro's aging tracks evolves over more than half a year. The target is identified, the basic plan of attack is sketched out, the materiel is ordered, the time is set, the team assembled and the signals go out to all parties involved in making the project a success.

We're at that final planning stage now on the next big project. The target is the track at Rosslyn Station. The time is Presidents' Day weekend. And you're one of the parties involved in making the project a success.

If you would normally use the Blue or Orange lines to travel between Virginia and the District on a weekend, you need to be in on the plan. Metro has launched an outreach campaign so that riders will know what they can and can't do that weekend.

We'll devote the Commuter page in this Sunday's Post to the details, and I'll return to this topic on the blog. (We don't expect you to memorize this.) But here are a few basics:

  • From Friday, Feb. 12, at 10 p.m. through the train system's midnight closing on Monday, Feb. 15, both the Rosslyn and Arlington Cemetery stations will be shut down for track and tunnel work at Rosslyn. The splits both the Blue and Orange lines in two.
  • The Blue Line will not operate between Pentagon and Foggy Bottom.
  • The Orange Line will not operate between Court House and Foggy Bottom.

Tips for travelers
Metro will operate shuttle buses to link the closed stations. Transit officials say they'll have plenty of buses available to handle the crowd sizes that experience tells them will use the lines on the holiday weekend.

Still, it's never convenient to change from a train to a bus to a train. If you're going to go that way, give yourself at least 40 minutes beyond the usual travel time. Many riders would be better off taking the Yellow Line to cross into the District. The Yellow Line bridge will be the only Metrorail link between the District and Virginia that weekend.

Other travelers may prefer to take a bus all the way. The 38B may be particularly helpful to them. It's known as "the Orange Line with a view," because it closely parallels the inner portion of the Orange Line route. On the Saturday and Sunday of Presidents' Day weekend, the 38B will operate every 15 minutes between the Ballston Station and Farragut North.

If you party in the District late Friday or Saturday, skip that last cocktail on Presidents' Day weekend and get to the train station or bus to start your trip home. Don't wait till the last minute and risk missing a connection because travel is slower than it normally would be.

On Friday night, Feb. 12, remember that the stations close at 10. The Friday night of one of these big projects is typically the most difficult time for riders. They may go through the work zone just fine early in the evening. But then they'll confront the disruption when they try for a late-night return. It's best to work out a plan for the return trip in advance.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 3, 2010; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Metro , Weekend Work , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail, Metrorail delays  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: D.C. again postpones Chain Bridge closing
Next: Lane closure on Clara Barton Parkway at Lock 7 Wednesday night


Right. And how much work will they get done when we get another 12-24 inches of snow?!

Posted by: chunche | February 3, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: Let me just remind everybody that the Prez Day weekend work isn't this coming weekend, when we have the big storm in the forecast. It's the weekend afterward.

But I did ask Metro officials today about what they would do in the event of a storm on Presidents' Day weekend. They said they would go ahead as planned. The work is underground, so weather won't affect it. Also, they've spent a lot of your money organizing this work and publicizing it. So they'd be extremely reluctant to postpone it. And when would they postpone it too? They need a three-day holiday weekend when not that many people use the train system.

Posted by: Robert Thomson | February 3, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Too bad the $9.5 Million granted to set up a counterterrorism force can't be used for accelerated maintenance -- it could save far more lives.

Posted by: Mike113 | February 3, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I assumed "chunche" was trying to be funny with the comment about another big fall of snow.

I can't help but wonder how many people observing the Hallmark Holiday on Feb. 14 might get caught out by the Metro work going to or from a nice dinner. Good riddance :-)

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 3, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Once again, I really like that Metro is getting the word out early, often, and with detail about a major project like this.

Now, if they can be this detailed with information about these kind of issues, why can't they be as detailed with normal everyday delays and problems?

Posted by: pikamander007 | February 3, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

As usual ,Metro acts as though only Federal employees use the system. I'll be working Presidents Day.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 4, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

So at what point do we get a holiday weekend without Metro construction?

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | February 4, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

It's the only time when ridership is light enough for a long enough period of time to get the work done. Would you rather have switch failures closing the lines on a weekday?

Posted by: EricS2 | February 4, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

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