WASHINGTON (ABC7) — Metro tells ABC7 work is going faster than expected at some of the nine stations that shut down this summer as part of its second “summer shutdown.”
In addition to the entire Silver Line, Metro shut down four Orange Line stations in Virginia back on Memorial Day weekend. The Orange Line stations were shut down in order to do platform reconstruction work.
Metro says the platform work has been going well – new granite edges to the platforms are in place, along with many new “slip-resistant” tiles, plus new skylights and platform shelters have gone up.
Metro says the experience the same contractor gained from redoing platforms at six Blue and Yellow line stations last summer, plus earlier staging of equipment for this summer, are two of the reasons the work has gone faster than expected despite the pandemic.
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Currently, the plan is to reopen all five Silver Line stations and West Falls Church on August 16, and the other Orange Line stations – Vienna, Dunn Loring, and East Falls Church – by around Labor Day weekend.
Metro seems confident those dates will not have to be delayed, and is even leaving open the possibility that all of the stations could be back open before Labor Day weekend.
Although ridership most weekdays is more than 20,000 trips higher than it was at the low point of the pandemic, Metrorail is still down more than 90 percent compared to last summer.
Ridership on shuttle buses that have replaced trains at the closed stations has also been very low. Metro says on an average weekday, riders make 2,960 trips.
Although the Orange Line stations shut down for platform work, the Silver Line stations shut down for pandemic-related reasons, in addition to making it easier to do work at Reston linking the Silver Line to its future second phase to Dulles and Ashburn.