Washington Metro announced today that system maintenance and modernization – including rail replacement, fiber optic cable installation, improved station facilities, and upgraded customer information – will be the focus of enhanced work completed during Summer 2023.
Metro has used the lower ridership months in the summer to advance large maintenance and infrastructure projects with significant customer impacts. By working closely with local jurisdictions, providing extensive free shuttle bus operations, and deploying comprehensive communications and outreach activities, Metro places significant effort to minimize the disruption to customers and the region.
Building on new maintenance data and previous experience, Metro’s Infrastructure team is finalizing an aggressive Summer 2023 work plan to advance five major projects to improve rail service reliability and modernize rail systems and facilities for customers.
- Complete station roofing project on the Orange Line in coordination with PEPCO
- Replace 30 miles of steel rail in the area most susceptible to breakage
- Install fiber-optic cable to modernize communications and enable technology to increase work time during non-passenger hours
- Modernize customer information displays on platforms in the downtown transfer stations
- Begin escalator replacement and elevator rehabilitation at the Dupont Circle Station north entrance (located at Q St. and Connecticut Ave.)
May 12 – May 22
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. During the Summer 2022 shutdown in this area, all work that could be done safely without de-energizing PEPCO’s power lines was completed to minimize the remaining impacts.
June 3 – June 26
23-day Shutdown from Ballston to McLean and Vienna stations
June 27 – July 17
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 significantly more susceptible to rail breaks than rail in any other part of the system. Metro has been tracking rail breaks in the system to identify priority locations for replacement and has determined the rail in this stretch of track to be a top priority.
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
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 Plaza. The project has been prioritized to quickly upgrade customer information at high ridership stations.
- The installation of three new escalators and a newly rehabilitated elevator at Dupont Circle’s north entrance, located at Q St. and Connecticut Ave., will begin in late July or early August. The project will be completed in two phases. During the first phase, one elevator and one escalator will be replaced (leaving two escalators in operations – one up and one down). During the second phase, the two remaining escalators will be replaced (leaving one brand new escalator running up and a newly rehabbed elevator operating with twice the capacity of the old elevator).
The installation of a canopy to protect the station’s north entrance and escalator system from the elements was recently completed. Unfortunately, the elevator work could not be addressed concurrently with the canopy work. The escalator and elevator work beginning this summer will result in a completely new and protected entrance for customers.
Today’s announcement comes about four months before single tracking on the Orange Line is set to begin. Metro is working closely with regional partners to establish travel alternatives and deploy a customer information and engagement plan before the shutdowns. Additional information will be released in advance of the work to provide adequate time for customers to plan their travel during the disruptions.
-via Press Release