Rhode Island Ave. Metro Station to remain closed through Sunday due to falling debris

Metro: Debris falls from ceiling at Rhode Island Ave. Station, second time in 2 days. (ABC7 photo)

The station gates at the Rhode Island Avenue Metro will stay locked throughout the weekend for inspections and repairs, after concrete debris fell from the station ceiling twice in as many days.

"I know we are inconveniencing a lot of folks that live and use this station however we are doing it for your safety," Metro's Chief Operating Officer, Joe Leader, said Friday.

Over the weekend contractors will continue inspections as metro crews work install safety netting.

Metro warned riders to expect delays in both directions and to use alternate modes of transportation if possible.

The first incident was reported late Wednesday evening when a metal bracket and pieces of concrete fell from the ceiling.

"...a metal bracket and small pieces of concrete fell in a different area about 20 feet away," Metro reported in a press release.

The station remained closed for the rest of the evening and Red Line trains bypassed the station while repairs were made overnight, according to Metro. Red Line Service was restored by Thursday morning and the station was reopened.

Then on Thursday afternoon sometime around 6 p.m. "small pieces of concrete" fell from the ceiling once more, according to Metro.

"Based on preliminary findings, the two incidents do not appear to be related to any structural deficiencies. However, Metro has ordered a top-to-bottom inspection by a third party expert to ensure the structure is sound and does not present a hazard to the riding public," Metro stated in the press release.

Metro says free shuttle bus service will be available between the Rhode Island Avenue and Brookland stations while the inspection remains underway.

On Friday, Metro officials acknowledged previous inspections have shown long term work needs to take place, work that could now be done during the upcoming red line Safetrack shutdown.

"We've had discussions. As early as this morning of advancing scope to work to do work during upcoming surge," added Andy Off, Metro's head of rail operations.

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