Metro riders may have to use bus bridges during the next 12 months as Metro has planned construction projects that will affect daily service.During the year ahead, Metro will be shutting down parts of the yellow, red, and green lines as part of work zone construction projects. On the green line, the two easternmost stops, Suitland and Branch Avenue, will be shut down from Aug 5 to Aug 20 while the other green line stations will remain open. The Takoma station will be under construction from November 25 to December 10, most other red line stations will operate on a normal service schedule during that period. Next year, from May 12 to May 27, the Eisenhower Avenue and Huntington stations on the yellow line will be shut down. While the two stations are closed, the yellow line will alternately run to the Franconia-Springfield station instead. The closures follow the recently completed “Safe Track” project, which lasted 13 months as work was being done in 16 different locations. However, many more parts and areas along Metro still need repairs, including the mentioned areas where trains switch tracks. In addition to the work zones announced, Metro has additional track work during the day, nighttime, and weekends. By keeping the system closed for longer periods each week, Metro hopes to make more time for preventative maintenance. Work crews generally do not always work during the available time of any given day.
Metro has changed its approach to track work. Now, with longer work periods and closures, work and construction can be done more efficiently, and the projects and subsequent closures will no longer be as drawn out as previously. The announced closures mean that commuters will have to alternately use bus transportation at the Suitland, Branch Avenue, and Takoma stations (bus transport will not be necessary during construction on the yellow line). However, the approach Metro is taking with the latest work zone announcements will allow commuters to use the Metro bus and rail system together without any schedule adjustments during the construction phases. Partial closings have a greater effect on service schedules while full closures just mean that bus bridges used will result in a temporary, alternate schedule. Full shutdowns equate to shorter periods of interruptions to regular service on the whole. Metro riders who will be affected by the station closures can find bus schedules on Metro’s website.