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by ARLnow.com — May 6, 2016 at 12:30 pm 0

Weekend Metro track work outside of Reagan National Airport station (file photo)

(Updated at 4:35 p.m.) Metro has released its final version of the SafeTrack plan, beginning with work between the East Falls Church and Ballston stations.

This morning Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld outlined the agency’s plan for working through Metrorail’s deferred maintenance backlog.

The “safety surge,” dubbed SafeTrack, “accomplishes in one year, work that otherwise would take about three years to complete.” It comes at a time when major Metro track problems and electrical fires seem to be increasingly commonplace.

The plan involves fifteen long-duration track outages between June 4 and May 8, 2017, to allow for extensive track work.

The goal: to achieve “safety and state of good repair of basic track structure.”

So what can Arlington riders expect? First, there will be a moratorium on early system openings and closings — the system will close at midnight, seven day a week.

Additionally, the following track outages are planned.

Metro SafeTrack logoJuly 5-12
National Airport to Braddock Road

Impact: Entire line segment shut down
Service Reduction: Trains running every 12 minutes at Virginia Blue and Yellow Line stations

July 12-19
National Airport to Pentagon City
Impact: Entire line segment shut down
Service Reduction: Trains running every 12 minutes at Virginia Blue and Yellow Line stations

Aug. 20-Sept. 6
Eastern Market to Minnesota Ave/Benning Road 
Impact: Entire line segment shut down
Service Reductions: Three lines affected. Orange and Silver lines running every 10 minutes, Blue Line running every 12 minutes.

Nov. 2-12
West Falls Church to East Falls Church
Impact: Continuous single tracking
Service Reduction: Trains on Orange and Silver lines each running every 16 minutes

Nov. 12-Dec. 5
East Falls Church to Ballston
Impact: Continuous single tracking
Service Reduction: Trains on Silver Line running every 18 minutes, Orange Line trains from Vienna to Ballston running every 18 minutes

Dec. 6-24
Pentagon to Rossyln
Impact: Entire line segment shut down, Arlington Cemetery station closed
Service Reduction: Reduced service at all Blue Line stations

March 6-14
West Falls Church to East Falls Church
Impact: Continuous single tracking
Service Reduction: Trains on Orange and Silver lines each running every 16 minutes

April 16-May 8
Braddock Road to Huntington/Van Dorn 
Impact: Continuous single tracking
Service Reduction: Trains on Blue Line running every 18 minutes

In order to maximize productivity, all of the track outages will be continuous and will affect rush hour service. For the line segment shut downs, buses will replace trains around the station closures.

The safety surge will not only affect Metro riders, it’s expected to affect those who drive as well, in the form of additional traffic.

Here’s what Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) had to say about the plan.

After the jump, the full press release from Metro.

(more…)

by Katie Pyzyk — January 23, 2016 at 10:35 pm 0

2014 Battle at Ballston snowball fightYou’ve probably watched everything Netflix offers, surfed the far corners of the internet, and will be ready to get off the couch. Well, you’re in luck because several snowball fights around Arlington could be the perfect way to release some pent up energy tomorrow.

The most hotly anticipated we’ve found, based on the nearly 630 people who have already responded on Facebook, will be near the Clarendon Metro station at noon on Jan. 24.

There will be another snowball fight less than a mile away in Virginia Square. That one begins at 1:00 p.m. in Quincy Park (1021 N. Quincy Street), and the organizer’s Facebook post claims the fun will keep going “until people have tired themselves out.” A similar Quincy Park snowball fight nearly two years ago attracted more than a hundred participants.

Not to be outdone, residents along Columbia Pike have posted a Facebook invite for a “neighborly” snowball fight at Penrose Square (2501 Columbia Pike). The snow flinging is set to start at noon tomorrow.

Metro will remain closed throughout the weekend and travel conditions are expected to be terrible, so it’s recommended that snowball fight attendees plan on safely walking to the events.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — November 15, 2013 at 9:00 am 0

Fall foliage outside a house in Arlington (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

Board to Consider Mall Expansion Plan — The Arlington County Board is expected to vote on the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City’s expansion plans at its Saturday meeting. County staff is recommending approval of the plan, which would about 50,000 square feet of space for 5-7 new retail tenants to the front of the mall.

Shopping Center Cost $250k in 1940 — The strip mall at the northeast corner of Columbia Pike and Glebe Road represented an investment of $250,000 in 1940. At the time, traffic volume on Columbia Pike was about 12,000 cars per day and traffic volume on Glebe Road was about 600 cars per day. [Ghosts of DC]

Reminder: Yellow Line Closed This Weekend — The Yellow Line will be shut down this weekend for the annual safety inspection of the Yellow Line bridge over the Potomac River. The closure will begin at about 10:00 tonight (Friday).

Optimist Club Christmas Tree Sale Two Weeks Away — The Optimist Club of Arlington will kick off its annual Christmas tree sale on Saturday, Nov. 30. The sale will be held in the Wells Fargo parking lot at the corner of Lee Highway and Glebe Road. [Sun Gazette]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

by Katie Pyzyk — September 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0

metro2(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.

by Ethan Rothstein — September 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm 0

Metro logo on an Orange Line stationBuses will replace trains between Ballston and Vienna this weekend on the Orange Line.

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.

by ARLnow.com — June 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm 0

Rosslyn Metro by Chris RiefIt 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

by ARLnow.com — May 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm 0

Metro logo on an Orange Line stationMetro’s ongoing system rehabilitation project will make Ballston the end of the Orange Line this weekend.

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.

by Katie Pyzyk — May 14, 2013 at 9:45 am 1,875 0

Metro logo(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) Track work will close Metro stations along the Orange Line this weekend, for the third time in the past month. This time the Ballston and Virginia Square stations will be out of service.

The closures begin at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, May 17, and run through closing on Sunday, May 19. Trains are expected to operate at normal weekend intervals even though service will be split into two segments — between Vienna and East Falls Church and between Clarendon and New Carrollton.

Free shuttle buses will replace trains between East Falls Church and Clarendon. Customers using shuttle bus service should add up to 25 minutes to their travel time.

The last trains of the night from Vienna to East Falls Church will depart 28 minutes earlier than normal — at 1:57 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, and at 10:57 p.m. on Sunday.

The Orange Line closures are to allow for track circuit module replacement. There will also be work on the Red and Green lines this weekend. Information regarding those closures can be found on WMATA’s website.

The Ballston Business Improvement District expressed concern about the timing of the Ballston Metro station closure, considering the Taste of Arlington festival is expected to bring around 20,000 people to that area on Sunday.

Members of the BID have worked out a deal with WMATA. The station closures will remain in effect and passengers will still need to take shuttles between East Falls Church and Clarendon. However, starting around 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, additional shuttles will be put into service to accommodate the heavier flow of passengers expected to travel to Taste of Arlington, which begins at noon.

“They will add a whole crew of buses to the schedule for Sunday so they can ensure that nobody is waiting too long and can get to their destination in a timely fashion,” said Ballston BID CEO Tina Leone. “We’re not the first group this has happened to. They’ve assured us they will monitor the buses in making sure they’re arriving and leaving at a rapid rate. We’re just thrilled they were so responsive and so accommodating.”

Leone added that the bus trip is only about 10 minutes, so hopefully festival attendees won’t experience too many delays. Those who prefer to drive to the event should note that the cost is only one dollar for three hours to park at the Ballston garage.

Disclosure: Ballston BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser

by Katie Pyzyk — April 19, 2013 at 9:50 am 1,719 0

Metro logoAfter a month-long hiatus from performing track work, Metro workers will be back at it this weekend. The Courthouse and Clarendon stations will close for the maintenance.

The stations will close beginning today at 10:00 p.m. and running through closing on Sunday. The closures allow for track circuit replacement, which is a safety measure recommended by the NTSB.

Trains will operate every 15 minutes in two segments: between Vienna and Virginia Square, and between Rosslyn and New Carrollton. There will be free shuttle buses to take passengers between stops from Virginia Square to Rosslyn. Customers using the shuttles should add 15 minutes to their travel time.

To allow for shuttle bus connections, the last train from Vienna to Virginia Square will depart 31 minutes earlier than normal on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. The train will leave Vienna at 2:05 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 11:05 p.m. on Sunday.

Riders on the Blue and Yellow lines should also expect delays. Trains will be single tracking between Braddock Road and Pentagon City due to maintenance such as rail tie, fastener and insulator renewal. Blue and Yellow trains will operate every 30 minutes.

by Katie Pyzyk — February 27, 2013 at 9:55 am 0

Metro logoGetting to Reagan National Airport will prove more of a challenge this weekend. The airport’s metro station will be closed due to track work.

WMATA reports the closure is for NTSB-recommended track circuit module replacement, rail joint elimination, tie renewal and other various track improvements.

Both Blue and Yellow Line trains will operate in two segments. Blue Line trains will run between Crystal City and Largo Town Center, and between Braddock Road and Franconia-Springfield every 16 minutes from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., and every 20 minutes from 9:00 p.m. until system closing. Yellow Line trains will run between Crystal City and Mount Vernon Square, and between Braddock Road and Huntington every 16 minutes from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., and every 20 minutes from 9:00 p.m. until system closing.

There will be two routes of free shuttle buses replacing train service between Crystal City and Braddock Road. Express buses will operate between Crystal City and Braddock Road only. Local buses running between Crystal City and Braddock Road will serve Reagan National Airport. Customers using the shuttles should allow about 15 minutes of extra travel time.

The track work and closures will begin at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, March 1, and will continue through closing on Sunday, March 3. More information about track work throughout the system this weekend can be found on WMATA’s website.

by ARLnow.com — November 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm 4,147 12 Comments

If you were hoping to get somewhere via the Orange Line this weekend, expect your trip to take longer than usual.

Both the Ballston and Virginia Square Metro stations will be closed and the Orange Line split into two sections from about 10:00 p.m. Friday to system closing on Monday, Nov. 12, a federal holiday. The closures will allow the replacement of track switches outside Ballston station.

Free shuttle bus service will be provided between the Clarendon and East Falls Church Metro stations.

Orange Line trains between East Falls Church and Vienna, meanwhile, will be single tracking this weekend for testing on the Silver Line. As a result of the work, trains will operate between Clarendon and New Carrollton at regular weekend service intervals, and between East Falls Church and Vienna every 24 minutes.

“Customers traveling through the work zone via shuttle bus service should allow about 30 minutes of additional travel time,” Metro said. “Customers traveling to/from stations west of East Falls Church should allow up to 45 minutes of additional travel time (30 minutes for shuttle bus service plus up to 15 minutes due to single tracking).”

Life will be a bit easier for south Arlington residents. There will be no work this weekend on the Blue and Yellow Lines.

Flickr photo by Mattron

by ARLnow.com — November 2, 2012 at 11:05 am 5,080 80 Comments

Blue and Orange Line riders should expect significant disruptions on Metro this weekend.

From about 10:00 p.m. tonight (Friday) to system closing on Sunday, the Rosslyn and Arlington Cemetery Metro stations will be closed and both the Blue and Orange lines will be split into two segments.

The closure will “allow for tie and insulator renewal, joint and fastener renewal, tunnel leak repair, station sign installation and fiber-optic cable work,” Metro said in a press release.

Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Courthouse and Foggy Bottom on the Orange Line, and between Pentagon and Foggy Bottom on the Blue Line. The two segments of each line — a Virginia segment and a D.C./Maryland segment — will operate “at regular weekend intervals.”

Metro says customers should anticipate 20-30 minutes of additional travel time and should consider alternate travel options, like accessing D.C. via trains traveling over the Yellow Line bridge.

Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief

by ARLnow.com — October 30, 2012 at 9:20 am 7,807 50 Comments

Superstorm Sandy — nee Hurricane Sandy — brought heavy rain and fierce winds to Arlington Monday night and early Tuesday morning.

Arlington was “spared the worst of the storm’s impact,” according to county officials, but Sandy and her 60 mph wind gusts knocked down dozens of trees across the county, many of which fell onto roadways and into houses.

As of 8:45 a.m., Arlington County was reporting 22 incidents of trees falling onto or into houses. No injuries were reported and authorities made sure all residents were safe. In fact, there are no known storm-related fatalities or injuries, according to county officials.

About 40 roads were still blocked by downed trees, including Washington Boulevard at N. Utah Street in Ballston, seen above. Crews were working to remove the trees, but some fell across power lines, requiring assistance from Dominion.

Approximately 20 traffic signals are not functioning this morning. All dark intersections should be treated as an all-way stop.

As of 9:10 a.m., Dominion was reporting 15,586 customers without power in Arlington, down slightly from more than 18,000 last night.

Statewide, from Sunday to 6:00 this morning, Virginia State Police responded to 2,549 traffic crashes and disabled vehicles, and received a total of 4,605 calls for service. At the height of the storm, state police say they were fielding 155 calls for service an hour. VDOT, meanwhile, has lifted HOV restrictions on I-395, I-95, I-66 and the Dulles Toll Road today.

While winds aren’t quite a strong today, Arlington officials say fallen debris, high standing water and remaining weather impacts are still making travel hazardous.

“We continue to urge caution,” the county said. “Conditions remain potentially dangerous outside. Avoid going out onto the roads. Never drive into standing water.”

Those who must travel today will eventually be able to do so via Metro. The transit agency says it will restore limited bus and rail service starting at 2:00 p.m. Trains and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule.

Update at 10:25 a.m. — Arlington Public Schools says a decision about reopening schools on Wednesday will be made “by early this evening.”

by ARLnow.com — October 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm 2,869 5 Comments

This afternoon Metro announced that bus and rail service will remain suspended Tuesday morning due to the impacts of Hurricane Sandy.

Metrorail and Metrobus service will not resume service Tuesday morning. An announcement on when service may be restored will be made after Metro is able to assess damage and weather conditions in the morning. Metro personnel will need to perform a comprehensive damage assessment, including inspections of track, bridges, aerial structures, stations and facilities. Metrorail service restoration is also contingent on adequate commercial power to support operations and repair of any storm-related damage. For Metrobus, service restoration will vary by route and depend on road conditions.

MetroAccess service will remain suspended all day Tuesday.

Metro will restore service only when it is safe to do so.

Also this afternoon, the Office of Personnel Management announced that federal government offices would once again be closed to the public on Tuesday.

Non-emergency employees (including employees on pre-approved paid leave) will be granted excused absence (administrative leave) for the number of hours they were scheduled to work unless they are:

  • required to telework,
  • on official travel outside of the Washington, DC, area,
  • on leave without pay, or
  • on an alternative work schedule (AWS) day off.

Telework-Ready Employees who are scheduled to perform telework on the day of the announcement or who are required to perform unscheduled telework on a day when Federal offices are closed to the public must telework the entire workday or request leave, or a combination of both, in accordance with their agencies’ policies and procedures, subject to any applicable collective bargaining requirements.

Emergency Employees are expected to report to their worksites unless otherwise directed by their agencies.

Virginia State Police, meanwhile, asked media outlets to help correct a rumor that the agency is telling drivers to stay off the roads. VSP is only asking drivers to limit their travel. Earlier today, however, Arlington County asked residents to “stay where you are.”

Virginia State Police are advising motorists to limit their travels and avoid being on the roads, if/when possible, as Hurricane Sandy continues to make its inland path. NO ONE is being told they have to be off the roads by 3 p.m.  Monday, as is incorrectly circulating on social media.

by ARLnow.com — February 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm 4,387 45 Comments

Major work on the Orange Line will close the Courthouse and Clarendon Metro stations over the long holiday weekend.

The Orange Line will be split into two segments from 10:00 p.m. on Friday to system closing on Monday. Trains will run between Vienna and Virginia Square, and from Rosslyn to New Carrollton. Trains will run at normal weekend service levels. Shuttle buses will run between Rosslyn, Courthouse, Clarendon and Virginia Square.

Metro advises riders to expect an additional 20-30 minutes of travel time when traveling through the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. The agency says the extended closure will allow it to perform an NTSB-recommended switch replacement near Clarendon.

No work is scheduled on the Blue or Yellow lines this weekend.

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