WASHINGTON — Metro announced that it is shutting down parts of the Yellow Line starting in September for major bridge and tunnel repairs.
A statement from WMATA says repairs start on Sept. 10, causing closures between Pentagon and L'Enfant Plaza stations. For around seven to eight months, WMATA says the Yellow Line crossing of the Potomac River will be closed to undergo rehabilitation.
Repairing the steel-lined tunnel near L'Enfant Plaza, according to a chief engineer for Metro, is necessary for strengthening the lining of the tunnel and preventing water intrusion.
"Metro will also remove and rewire miles of critical communications cabling used by multiple jurisdictions and make repairs to the Yellow Line bridge," WMATA says.
Paul Wiedefeld, the general manager and chief executive officer of Metro, said in a statement that advancing rehabilitation and construction projects "ensure a state of good repair for critical regional infrastructure."
"While service outages can be disruptive, we know they are foundational for maintaining safe and reliable service," Wiedefeld said. “We have a lot of work to do this year and we will tackle major state of good repair projects while also introducing new service."
The bridge and tunnel due for repair were originally constructed more than 40 years ago.
Metro says that it will work with local jurisdiction on alternative travel options, such as supplemental bus shuttles, during the disruption to services.
WMATA says the repairs are supposed to be completed by spring 2023.
The repair project was not a complete surprise. Metro said it expected to make repairs to both the Yellow Line bridge and tunnel in March 2021.
Still, some riders aren’t too happy with Tuesday’s announcement.
Alexandria resident Bianca Febus uses the Yellow Line to get to work every day in DC. She the project will likely delay her daily commute.
“I’ve been riding [the Metro] since I was 13,” she said. “There's always closures. Ever since I was 13, the Metro has never gotten it right, ever.”
Alexandria resident Parker Floyd said he expects more Yellow Line riders to use the Blue Line now, which will likely make his commute a little more crowded.
“It might be a little bit more stressful,” he said. “I might have to plan a little bit more.”