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Timeline: Multiple Metro lines scheduled for partial shutdowns during summer maintenance work

According to Metro, low ridership months during the summer were picked to advance large maintenance and infrastructure projects.

WASHINGTON — Metro announced Tuesday that maintenance and modernization to the system, which include rail replacement, will leave the Green, Orange, and Silver lines partially closed during summer 2023.

According to Metro, low ridership months during the summer were picked to advance large maintenance and infrastructure projects. 

To prepare for how this will impact customers, Metro is working to provide extensive free shuttle bus operations as well as taking other initiatives in an effort to decrease the disruption. 

“Continued maintenance work is essential to safe and reliable rail service,” said Andy Off, Executive Vice President of Infrastructure. “We are working strategically to target maintenance locations and minimize the impacts on customers as we conduct this critical work to upgrade systems, improve reliability, and modernize station facilities.”

Metro’s Infrastructure team is finalizing the summer 2023 work plan to advance five major projects to improve rail service reliability and modernize rail systems and facilities for customers. 

  1. Complete station roofing project on the Orange Line in coordination with PEPCO.
  2. Replace 30 miles of steel rail in the area most susceptible to breakage.
  3. Install fiber-optic cable to modernize communications and enable technology to increase work time during non-passenger hours.
  4. Modernize customer information displays on platforms in the downtown transfer stations. 
  5. Begin escalator replacement and elevator rehabilitation at the Dupont Circle Station north entrance (located at Q Street and Connecticut Avenue).

According to Metro, the work requires four service disruptions to be staged:

May 12-22

  • Orange Line 10-day single tracking from Stadium-Armory to Cheverly stations.
  • Station roofing work to be completed at Minnesota Ave, Deanwood, and Cheverly stations. The work requires de-energizing PEPCO power transmission lines that run above the stations. 
  • Metro and PEPCO reached an agreement to conduct the work in the spring when power use is lower than in the summer and winter months. 

June 3-26

  • Orange and Silver lines 23-day Shutdown from Ballston to McLean and Vienna stations.

June 27 – July 17

  • Orange Line Shutdown continues from West Falls Church to Vienna stations for an additional 21 days.
  • This shutdown will be conducted in two phases to reduce the customer impact as work is completed. The Infrastructure team will focus on replacing 40-year-old steel rail that has become more susceptible to rail breaks than rail in any other part of the system. 
  • In addition, teams will be upgrading old copper cables to fiber-optic cable to modernize the system, including advanced radio, signal, and train communication technology.  

July 22 – Sept. 4

  • Green Line 44-day Shutdown from Fort Totten to Greenbelt 
  • This shutdown will also focus on the completion of fiber-optic cable installation to improve rail system technologies. This extended shutdown will move aggressively to complete radio and signal projects that require new fiber-optic cables and introduce technologies that will enable more work time during non-passenger hours. While Green Line customers in this location experienced a recent summer shutdown for station improvements, the installation of fiberoptics was unable to be addressed at that time due to the use of the tracks to move equipment. 

In addition to the shutdowns mentioned above, Metro will advance two projects to modernize stations and make customer improvements:  

  • New passenger information displays will be installed at three downtown transfer stations: Metro Center, Gallery Place, and L'Enfant stations. 
  • The installation of three new escalators and a newly rehabilitated elevator at ridership Circle’s north entrance, located at Dupont Street and Connecticut Avenue, will begin in late July or early August. The project will be completed in two phases. 
    • Phase One: One elevator and one escalator will be replaced (leaving two escalators in operations – one up and one down). 
    • Phase Two: The two remaining escalators will be replaced (leaving one brand new escalator running up and a new elevator operating with twice the capacity of the old elevator).

The announcement comes about four months before single tracking on the Orange Line is set to begin. Metro plans to release more information in advance of the work to provide time for customers to plan their travel during the disruptions.

Watch Next: Metro's train operator shortage draws safety concerns

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