Starting Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, Metro's Major Blue Line and Yellow Line Construction will rehabilitate the Yellow Line tunnel and bridge between Pentagon and L'Enfant Plaza stations and connect the new Potomac Yard Station to the mainline rail system. During the Potomac Yard prep work, six stations south of Reagan National Airport on the Yellow and Blue lines will be closed from Sept. 10 - Oct. 22, 2022. The Yellow Line tunnel and bridge rehabilitation work will require the Yellow Line tunnel near L'Enfant Plaza Station and the bridge across the Potomac River to close for approximately eight months. The Yellow Line tunnel and bridge structures date back to Metro's original construction and are nearing the end of their useful life expectancy. This rehabilitation work is necessary to ensure that both structures continue to function safely for years to come.
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Potomac Yard Prep Work
Potomac Yard Station will be located at the southern end of National Landing on Metro's Yellow and Blue lines between the existing Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Braddock Rd stations. This project was initiated by the City of Alexandria and will be funded by tax revenues and developer contributions generated by planned new development in the Potomac Yard neighborhood, as well as state grants and loans and regional sources. The station will provide a wide range of benefits for Alexandria and the surrounding communities, including walkable access to regional transportation systems for residents in the northeast area of the city. This will be Metro's second infill station in the system's history after NoMa-Galludet U Station opened in 2004.
Potomac Yard Station prep work will require a six-week shutdown of rail service south of Reagan National Airport to connect new tracks that "tie in" the new station with the existing mainline rail system. Metro will also conduct engineering, testing, and commissioning needed to integrate the track, power, communications, and signal systems into the system during this time. Additional testing and training on weekends and overnights will follow this work to determine when service can begin, with the station expected to open later this fall.
Yellow Line Tunnel and Bridge Rehabilitation Work
The Yellow Line tunnel and bridge project is critical to maintain safe, reliable service for customers. The bridge, constructed in the 1970s and supported by box-girder spans and piers, is now showing signs of wear and corrosion. Meanwhile, decades of water infiltration and underground moisture have eroded the steel-lined tunnels, subjecting the liner plates to corrosion. Metro continues to perform ongoing maintenance and leak mitigation; however, the original materials are ending their useful life and long-term repairs are necessary to ensure the tunnel is in good repair and can is in service for many years to come.
The work also includes upgrading the fire suppression system on the 3,000-foot bridge (which is beyond its useful life), replacing the bridge bearing and expansion joints, and remediation work in tunnels throughout the system to repair cracks and additional water infiltration.
Metro's chief engineer identified the steel-lined tunnel near L'Enfant Plaza as the agency's top structural priority, with repairs needed to stop water intrusion and strengthen the tunnel lining. Metro will also remove and rewire miles of critical communications cabling used by multiple jurisdictions.