Red Line Construction Completed Ahead of Schedule: Normal Service Resumes Saturday

Construction on Metro’s Red Line between the Dupont Circle and Gallery Place stations finished one day early and $250,000 under budget, with normal service set to resume at 7 a.m. today.

The construction project that started on Dec. 18 was supposed to carry on throughout Saturday.

Metro also announced that there will be no scheduled track maintenance during the New Year’s Eve weekend; trains will remain open until 2 a.m. on Monday for New Year’s Eve partygoers. Additionally, 24/7 bus service is now offered on 14 routes for those traveling after the rail system shuts down.

“We appreciate all of our customers, businesses, the District and the effort of our Metro staff who worked through the holidays to get this critical work done,” Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke said in a news release. “Maintaining the safety and reliability of the system is vital. Thanks to Mayor Bowser and the District Department of Transportation, we were able to use special dedicated bus lanes created for this project to minimize the impact to customers.”

Service on the Red Line was suspended on Monday, Dec. 18, to repair deteriorating concrete beams and ceiling from the system’s original construction. The work zone was extended from Dec. 22-24, with no Red Line service between Gallery Place and Union Station. Free shuttle buses replaced trains during construction, providing over 172,000 passenger trips to date between the affected stations.

During the temporary closure, Metro’s construction team used over eight tons of concrete and 466 pounds of rebar to rebuild the Red Line tunnel ceiling, preventing concrete from falling onto trains. Crews also replaced 3,159 linear feet of running rail between Farragut North and Metro Center and installed 1,152 lights for the new platform edge lighting with brighter, more sustainable LED lights. Additional insulation was added to the third rail power cables between Gallery Place and Judiciary Square to provide a moisture barrier for the electrified third rail that powers the trains.

In preparation for Metro’s next-generation train signaling system, the agency installed 15,914 linear feet of fiber optic cables between Farragut North and Judiciary Square (video below).

This Red Line project was part of Metro’s 10-year, $15 billion Capital Improvement Program, which “will improve the customer experience and keep the region’s infrastructure in a state of good repair,” according to the agency.

For the New Year’s holiday, Metro will operate on a Sunday schedule on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Service will start at 7 a.m. and end at 2 a.m. on New Year’s Eve and at midnight on New Year’s Day. Passengers should check the station page and add two hours for the last train times on New Year’s Eve.

On Sunday, passengers can take advantage of $2 all-day weekend fares, offering an affordable option for attending New Year’s Eve celebrations. On Monday, New Year’s Day, regular weekday fares will be in effect, including $2 fares after 9:30 p.m.

Metrobus service will run on a Sunday schedule both days, including 24/7 D.C. bus service on 14 routes in the District. Schedules vary by route, so passengers should check timetables for route-specific information.

MetroAccess will provide normal service on both days; however, scheduled recurring subscription trips will be canceled on New Year’s Day. Customers wishing to travel on Jan. 1 may make a reservation online or call (301) 562-5360.

Parking will be free at all Metro-owned garages and lots on both days, except for Morgan Blvd. and Downtown Largo where non-riders are subject to a $15 Special Event Parking Fee during events at FedExField. Metrorail riders using the same SmarTrip card to ride to Morgan Blvd. or Downtown Largo and exit the parking facility following a qualifying trip will not be charged upon exiting.

According to Metro, a qualifying Metro ride begins at a station other than Downtown Largo, Morgan Blvd, Addison Road, Capitol Heights, or Benning Road. The $15 rate is in effect at the time of kick-off and remains in effect until two hours after the event.

Riders can visit wmata.com/MetroPulse for up-to-date service information.

Photo: “Silver Spring WMATA Station” by Roadgeek Adam is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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