Metro to halt weekend work for cherry blossoms

WASHINGTON (AP) - Metro says it won't conduct any maintenance work over the next four weekends because of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Metro says ridership increases by an average of more than 15 percent during the cherry blossom season, and weekend ridership can double to near-weekday levels if the weather is nice.

Metro says the break from track work will ensure that weekend riders headed to the city's Tidal Basin to see the flowers have a "seamless travel experience."

More than 1 million people are expected in Washington to see the pink and white blossoms over the duration of this year's festival, which began Tuesday and continues through April 27.

This year's festival marks the 100th anniversary of the gift of trees from Japan.