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Metro’s first maintenance surge as part of its yearlong SafeTrack plan wraps up in Virginia today. But come Saturday, D.C. is in for even more disruption when the first surge within the District proper kicks off, completely shutting down the Orange, Blue, and Silver lines from the Eastern Market to Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road stations. It’ll last for over two weeks.
The work is expected to affect 61,000 weekday trips and more than 290,000 commuters. As they did in the days leading up to SafeTrack, Metro and city officials on Thursday advised residents to seriously consider alternative modes of transit, including biking, carpooling, and telecommuting. Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said the maintenance for the tracks involved, which cut across the Anacostia River, would be more complicated than average, while Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans and Mayor Muriel Bowser urged people to “plan ahead.” Shuttle buses will replace trains along their regular routes. (See the possible public-transit alternatives you just might end up using here.)
Metro has created the below video explaining the major service disruptions that the second surge will entail:
To help ease congestion, the District Department of Transportation is expanding rush-hour parking restrictions along some of the most heavily trafficked bus corridors of the city. Restrictions will last from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. during mornings, and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in evenings—or 30 minutes longer on either end than normal. New areas include:
- 1500 to 2100 Benning Road NE
- 1000 to 1400 Florida Avenue NE
- Unit to 600 New York Avenue NW
- 600 to 1600 North Capitol Street NE and NW
Other mitigation strategies involve suspending public-construction permits along 10 bus corridors, providing $2-per ride Capital Bikeshare trips and increasing corral service at four locations, and deploying extra traffic-control officers.
“This next phase of work by [Metro] will have a much greater impact on the transportation network and it’s imperative that commuters develop travel alternatives now,” DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo said in a statement. “[Metro] bus bridges will only be able to carry half the people who normally travel through the Eastern Market to Minnesota/Benning corridor. Metrorail customers who remain on the system should anticipate much longer commute times.”
The second surge will also close a Virginia segment of the Blue line, from the Arlington Cemetery to Rosslyn stations. Metro said in a progress report issued yesterday that maintenance required in the first surge was ahead of schedule.