3 Metro stations closed this weekend, but don't call it SafeTrack
A trio of Metro stations in Maryland will be closed this weekend for preventive maintenance. But it’s not branded as part of the agency’s yearlong stretch of safety shutdowns.
Through August 20, Metro is doing what it calls a capital improvement project on the Green Line. Branch Ave and Suitland Stations are closed.
During this weekend and next weekend, the shutdown expands to Naylor Road. The area—and much of the Green Line-- was spared during 16 scheduled, roving safety shutdowns known as SafeTrack.
This time, Metro is repairing more than four miles of track. Workers are replacing 1,500 track crossties, upgrading signals, and rehabbing stations. Their most involved work is on a section of track crossovers that require shutting the Green Line in both directions.
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“It’s inconvenient,” said rider Gary Wallace of Hillcrest Heights. “They’re just telling the pubic what they want to hear to keep them calm.”
Metro warned of this looming shutdown as it heralded the end of SafeTrack. In a news release dated June 1, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said SafeTrack “achieved its primary goals.” But he said the work was not over.
“Now, like every other mature transit system, we must do everything in our power to prevent another SafeTrack through a healthy program of preventive maintenance combined with planned capital projects,” said Wiedefeld.
Metro stresses the work is scheduled for a time of year when ridership is lightest. Metro says the same work would take nearly three months of weekend single tracking to complete.
A similar project is scheduled for November an December on the Red Line. Crews need to rebuild an track interlocking outside the Takoma Station. That station will be closed from November 25 to December 10.