(Updated at 4:10 p.m.) Work on the Metrorail system this weekend will affect all of the lines that travel through Arlington, including shutting down the Reagan National Airport and Crystal City stations. Disruptions begin at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, September 13, and continue through closing on Sunday, September 15.
Blue line trains will operate at regular weekend intervals (every 12 minutes during daytime hours, and every 15-20 minutes at other times) in two segments: between Largo Town Center and Pentagon City, and between Franconia-Springfield and Braddock Road. Yellow Line trains will also operate at normal weekend intervals in two segments: between Mt. Vernon Sauare and Pentagon City, and between Huntington and Braddock Road.
Customers on the Blue and Yellow lines will need to take free shuttle buses between Pentagon City and Braddock Road while the two stations are closed. Express buses will operate non-stop between Braddock Road and Pentagon City. Customers should add up to 15 minutes of travel time. Local buses will operate between Braddock Road and Pentagon City, making intermediate stops at Reagan National Airport and Crystal City stations. Customers should add up to 20 minutes of travel time.
Riders should note that there are also alterations to the times for final trains. The last Yellow Line train from Huntington to Braddock Road will depart 22 minutes earlier than normal to allow for shuttle bus connections. It will depart at 2:12 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, and at 11:12 p.m. on Sunday. The last Blue Line train from Franconia-Springfield to Braddock Road will also depart 22 minutes earlier, at 2:07 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and at 11:07 p.m. on Sunday.
WMATA says the closures are due to crews replacing junction boxes and performing various maintenance and rehabilitation tasks.
Due to work in the District, customers riding the Orange Line this weekend should expect trains to come at 20 minute intervals.
More information about all of the work on the Metrorail system this weekend can be found on WMATA’s website.
The new $32.6 million facility, on the opposite side of N. Moore Street from the current entrance, will feature three high-speed, high-capacity elevators.
The entrance will be able to serve up to 2,000 riders per hour, according to Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services. Officials have said that they hope the entrance will help keep pace with the station’s soaring ridership, which has increased 23 percent in the past decade and is expected to increase even more with new office and residential development in the area.
Arlington County will be holding a grand opening ceremony for the new entrance — at 1811 N. Moore Street — on Monday, Oct. 7 at 9:30 a.m. The event will feature members of the County Board and will be open to the public.
In addition to the elevators, the station improvements include an emergency evacuation stairwell, a mezzanine passageway, a new station manager kiosk and new fare collection equipment. The Rosslyn Metrorail station is the busiest in Virginia, servicing more than 36,000 passengers per day, according to DES.
Starting at 10:00 p.m. Friday and continuing until closing Sunday, East Falls Church and points west will not have Metrorail service.
An express bus will travel from Ballston to Vienna and add approximately 25 minutes of travel time. Local buses will stop at East Falls Church, West Falls Church, Dunn Loring and Vienna, taking approximately 15 minutes between each stop.
The station closures will allow track maintenance and signal system testing in preparation for the opening of the Silver Line.
Trains on the Orange Line will run every 24 minutes from 10:00 p.m. tonight (Friday) through system closing on Monday. The normal interval is every 12-20 minutes.
WMATA says the delays are necessary in order to facilitate various improvement projects.
“Crews will continue platform reconstruction work at Deanwood and Minnesota Ave stations, as well as track maintenance, fastener renewal, and grout pad rehabilitation between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly,” the agency said. “In addition, signal system testing will continue for the new Silver Line.”
The Memorial Bridge will be closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic tomorrow (Wednesday) due to the 50th Anniversary March on Washington.
The event — which commemorates the anniversary of 1963 march and rally that featured Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech – will start at 9:00 a.m. with a 1.6 mile march throughout the District, and will culminate with speeches at the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool.
Among the planned speakers are President Obama, former presidents Clinton and Carter, and civil rights leaders. The program at the Lincoln Memorial will take place from 11:00 to 4:00 p.m. and is open to the public. Gates open at 9:00 a.m.
U.S. Park Police will close the Memorial Bridge to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic starting around 3:15 a.m. on Wednesday.
Metro is urging those attending the event to not use the Arlington Cemetery station due to the closure. Arlington Memorial Circle will remain open during the closure.
Metro Accident Victim Identified as GMU Student — The person struck and killed on the Metrorail Orange Line tracks between East Falls Church and Ballston early Sunday morning has been identified as 21-year-old George Mason University student Patrick Sibley. Sibley’s brother says he did not have a good sense of direction and may have become lost after leaving a bar in Clarendon and trying to make it home to Vienna. Metro is not commenting on the incident while it is under investigation. [Washington Post]
McDonnell Touts Budget Surplus — Gov. Bob McDonnell says the state ended its fiscal year on June 30 with $585 million more than projected. That’s the largest state surplus since 2005. The cumulative surplus during McDonnell’s nearly four years in office comes in at around $2 billion. [Washington Times]
County Labor Day Closures — Arlington County has posted a list of programs and services that will remain operational while the county offices are closed for Labor Day on Monday, September 2. Libraries, parks, pools, courts and schools will all be closed. [Arlington County]
The incident happened around 2:00 a.m. An inbound Orange Line train struck the man on the aboveground portion of track along I-66, away from either station. The man, a 21-year-old Massachusetts resident, was pronounced dead on the scene, according to Metro spokesman Dan Stessel.
Eight passengers were aboard the train that struck the man. After an hour delay due to power being cut to the tracks, they were transferred to another train to continue their trip, Stessel said. Other trains were able to get around the incident with minimal delays.
Crime scene investigators from the Arlington County Police Department were called to the scene by WMATA, to assist Metro Transit Police. So far, there’s no word as to how or why the man managed to get on the tracks.
“It is unclear why he was on the tracks,” said Stessel. “The investigation is ongoing.”
Photo courtesy @dangerousashes
Update at 9:50 p.m. — WMATA has issued a statement apologizing for the “significant delays.” The disabled train was rendered inoperable by a brake malfunction, which also made it impossible to tow, WMATA said.
A train that became stuck just outside the Clarendon Metro station caused major delays on the Orange and Blue lines tonight.
The Vienna-bound train stopped outside the station between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. due to a mechanical problem. Immediately, commuters heading from D.C. to Virginia on the Orange and Blue lines started experiencing delays as Metro began single-tracking around the crippled train.
On Twitter, passengers reported overcrowded platforms, delays in excess of an hour, and a mad rush for buses, taxis and Uber cars outside stations. A compilation of some of the tweets can be found below, after the jump.
The disabled train was finally moved around 7:30 p.m. Riders were stranded on it for about 90 minutes.
“Passengers were transferred to a second train that was brought to the disabled train,” Metro spokesman Dan Stessel told ARLnow.com. “They walked from the front car of the disabled train through the last door of the rescue train. Their total delay was quite significant due to train’s location on a grade.”
“Metro Transit Police boarded the train in the tunnel to make sure everyone was okay,” Stessel added. “Car maintenance techs also boarded while it was disabled.”
No medical issues were reported among the passengers.
Photo courtesy @afranz409
WMATA took to Twitter to inform passengers of the outage and that all of the station’s escalators and elevators are currently out of service. Buses have been requested to the station, the agency said.
Spokesman Dan Stessel said the localized power outage is “not a big deal” and the station is still open for business.
There have been no reports of delays from the outage.
In Virginia alone, nearly 72,000 DoD employees are affected by furloughs, which require one unpaid day off per week for 11 weeks. The state is expected to be particularly hard hit by the cuts due to the Pentagon being housed in Arlington.
It’s too early to definitively claim furloughs will ease traffic congestion, but AAA believes fewer people on the road could lead to less gridlock and fewer accidents. In fact, the organization suggests commutes could resemble those of July and August, when the region experiences its lowest traffic volume and rate of accidents.
“For all other workers, the morning and evening commutes to the daily grind could look like it does on any of the ten federal holidays in the Washington metro area or on Fridays, when federal workers use their flex-time schedules or compressed work weeks (AWS) to take time off,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs.
AAA predicts Metrorail and Metrobus ridership may be affected as well. According to WMATA, nearly half of peak period commuters are federal employees and 35 Metrorail stations serve federal facilities, including the Pentagon in Arlington.
Rep. Jim Moran (D) took to Twitter earlier today to express his displeasure with the furloughs. He also sent the following statement to ARLnow.com:
“Due to sequestration, today marked the first of 11 furlough days for 650,000 DOD civilian employees. This 20 percent pay cut is the unfortunate and shameful result of Congress’ failure to work together to find an appropriate way to reduce the federal debt and deficit. I voted against the Budget Control Act that set up sequestration not only because it focused solely on cutting discretionary spending at the expense of increased revenues, but I feared that the Supercommittee could not find compromise. Congress must make tough choices, but we cannot balance the budget on the backs of our federal workers.”
It seems like nearly every weekend there’s track work impacting Arlington Metro riders. Not this weekend, though — the only track work causing delays is on the Red Line.
In case you want to plan for future weekend Metro delays and closures, the agency has released a schedule of major track work planned through the end of the year. The work includes Silver Line testing and track maintenance.
The weekend projects impacting Arlington riders:
- July 27-28 and Aug. 24-25 – Ballston is the western end of the Orange Line, with East Falls Church and other stations closed.
- Sept. 7-8 — East Falls Church station closed, buses replace trains between Ballston and West Falls Church.
- Oct. 26-27 — L’Enfant Plaza station closed, buses replace trains between the Pentagon and Archives.
- Dec. 7-8 — Reagan National Airport and Crystal City stations closed, buses replace trains between Braddock Road and Pentagon City.
- Dec. 14-15 — Pentagon station closed, buses replace trains between Pentagon City and Arlington Cemetery/L’Enfant Plaza.
- Dec. 21-22 — Rosslyn and Arlington Cemetery stations closed, buses replace trains between Court House/Pentagon and Foggy Bottom.
The schedule may change, Metro said, depending on weather and construction delays.
Closing stations and doing major work on weekends “allows Metro to complete rebuilding work faster and safer, while allowing trains outside of the work zones to operate with fewer delays,” the agency said. “While there will be delays and inconvenience associated with the critical work we’re undertaking, please be assured that we will take all possible steps to minimize your inconvenience.”
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief
Around 9:45 a.m., transit police responded to the Arlington Cemetery station for a report of a suspicious man seen urinating on a Blue Line train and walking between the cars. The train was held at the station as a transit police officer attempted to deal with the suspect.
From Metro spokesman Dan Stessel:
The officer directed the subject to exit the train. He refused to comply. She then asked the other passengers to clear the car for their safety, at which point the male moved past the officer, exited the train and ran toward the end of the platform, pushing other patrons as he attempted to enter the track area.
When confronted again on the platform, the subject attempted to push past the officer, and the officer used her department-issued [pepper] spray to gain control of the situation. The adult male was arrested for Assault on Police Officer. The railcar was isolated and passengers were moved to other cars of the train. Other charges may follow.
An Arlington paramedic unit responded to treat the suspect and the officer for pepper spray-related symptoms. Neither required transport to the hospital, Stessel said.
The 22-year-old suspect was arrested and processed at the Arlington County Detention Center.
Using Cash to Entice Youth Civic Involvement — The Arlington County Civic Federation will spend $2,000 over the next year as cash incentives to get high school-aged youth interested in civic involvement. Organizers hope the program brings “an infusion of fresh thinking and new ideas” to the organization. [Sun Gazette]
More Metro Delays This Weekend — Metrorail riders should expect some delays this weekend. Trains on the Orange, Blue, Yellow and Green lines will run every 18 minutes due to track work, platform replacement and Silver Line testing (between East and West Falls Church). [WMATA]
I-395 HOV Closure — The I-395 HOV lanes will be closed from Friday night until 10 a.m. Sunday morning. The closure will allow work on the 95 Express lanes, weather permitting.
Free Donut at Dunkin’ Donuts Today — In honor of “National Donut Day,” Dunkin’ Donuts is offering a free donut with any beverage purchase.
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
DCA Runway to Move — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has hired a contractor to fill in part of the Potomac River and move a runway at Reagan National Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration requires the improvements because the runway does not meet FAA safety standards. The project is scheduled to begin next week and continue through 2015. [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Man Finishes Run for Boston Victims — Arlington resident Frank Fumich completed his run from the Pentagon to the Boston Marathon finish line on Saturday. Fumich and a running partner from Florida raised more than $78,000 for the Boston bombing victims during the four day, 450 mile journey. During the final 19 miles, they were joined by a woman who was unable to finish the race when the bombs exploded. She gave her Boston Marathon medal to Fumich. [Washington Post]
Orange Line has Most Metrorail Weekend Work — In a tally of the areas most affected by Metrorail weekend track work from May 1, 2012 through April 30, 2013, the Orange Line section from East Falls Church to West Falls Church ranks as number one. That portion registered 23 weekends of work. It has been closed 10 times and single tracked 13 times in the one year period due to work linking the Silver Line to the rest of the system. [Greater Greater Washington]
The Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church, and East Falls Church stations will all be closed from 10:00 p.m. Friday to system closing on Monday (Memorial Day). The closures will allow crews to perform switch replacements, rail joint eliminations and tie and insulator renewal, Metro said.
Orange Line trains will operate between Ballston and New Carrollton at normal weekend intervals.
Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Ballston and Vienna. Express buses will run directly from Ballston to Vienna and back, while local buses will stop at all the stations in between. Metro says those taking local buses should add up to 40 minutes to their travel time, while those taking the express bus should add 25 minutes.