The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has been planning on platform reconstruction in their Northern Virginia stations for a while now. Here's what you need to know.
The NoVA region is going to have to navigate around six Metro station closures through the summer months. This is in response to a long-planned platform improvement initiative to ensure the safety of riders.
Where are the closures taking place?
The six stations to be closed along the Blue and Yellow lines are:
- Braddock Road
- King Street
- Eisenhower Avenue
- Van Dorn Street
When are the closures occurring?
The work will begin Saturday, May 25, 2019, and go through Sunday, September 8, 2019. This is an extension of six days from its initial closure announcement.
It is important to note that these are FULL station closures, effective 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through that time period. Additional construction for final details like tiling may continue beyond the re-opening of these stations.
WMATA wants to reassure the public that these repairs will be made around the clock to meet this closure timetable.
Why are the closures necessary?
WMATA has determined that the full closures are needed for total reconstruction of the platforms and other safety updates to these stations. Specifically, they need to make sure that platform surfaces are in good shape and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. To do so, the platforms must come level to the open train doors.
"The Platform Improvement Project is a mega project designed to repair and improve our stations for decades to come, and we need to get it right. Experts have shown us that fixing the Braddock hump is a complicated project, but for customer safety and accessibility we have to do what's needed, even if that means extending the shutdown," said Paul J. Wiedefeld, Metro General Manager and CEO.
What are riders supposed to do?
In a nutshell, you need to start thinking about alternative transportation NOW. Drive, carpool, try Metro buses, or VRE. Slugging is an option if you're near a slug lot, but area drivers should expect increased traffic on the roads in general.
For those of us who do drive for our daily commutes, be prepared to find different routes as main lines along the Beltway and I-95 take on this additional volume. Secondary roads like Route 1 and 123 are bound to be affected as well.
What about the tourists?
These closures are going to have an enormous effect on area tourism. The entire King Street neighborhood of Old Town Alexandria will have to find a way to make it easier for visitors to come shop, dine, and tour the area. Limited street parking and expensive parking garages make driving in Old Town challenging at best, even for locals.
For more information, visit the WMATA website, or give them a call at (202) 637-7000, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
**All photos in this article are courtesy of the WMATA Facebook page.
Are you a Metro rider affected by these upcoming closures? Leave a comment and let us know your plans on getting around them!