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Displaced Floor Tiles Cause Scare at Clarendon Metro

The Clarendon Metro station closed for an hour last night after displaced floor tiles led to fears of structural problems at the station.

Around 6:30 p.m., Metro employees observed floor tiles popping out of place on the mezzanine level as trains passed through the station, according to WMATA spokesman Dan Stessel. Concerned about the possibility of an underlying structural issue, the station was closed at 6:42 and police and structural engineers were scrambled to the scene.

Engineers arrived at the station just after 7:00 and determined that the problem was merely “cosmetic” — caused by the cold temperatures and the vibrations caused by passing trains. The station was reopened at 7:41.

“It’s an unusual situation,” Stessel acknowleged. “But the workers did the right thing. We took action in an abundance of caution.”

During hour-long closure, shuttle bus service was set up between the Courthouse and Virginia Square stations.

Following the incident, a team of workers began ripping up the floor tiles just outside the station’s main fare gates. They were planning to place plywood over the ripped-up tiles as a “temporary solution” to make it easier for morning commuters to walk on the uneven surface, according to Stessel.

Permanent repairs will be performed in the coming days, Stessel said.

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