D.C. Metro to overhaul Blue and Orange rail lines

Posted on October 14, 2010

Rehabilitating escalators and elevators, repairing crumbling platforms, upgrading station air conditioning and installing new directional signs are among the many enhancements customers will see coming to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (Metro) Blue and Orange lines.


On Thursday, the Metro Board Finance and Administration committee endorsed awarding a six-year, $272.7 million comprehensive infrastructure and rehabilitation contract designed to improve customer service, service reliability and maintain a state of good repair. The full board of directors will vote on the proposal on Oct. 28.


The rehabilitation program would encompass 27 miles of track and 23 Metrorail stations along the Blue and Orange lines between the New Carrollton and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Metrorail stations. The design work would start next month with the physical work beginning in late 2011.


“Beginning this year, from the station platforms, to the air conditioners, escalators and elevators and announcement systems, we will rebuild major portions of the Blue and Orange lines to improve customer service,” said Richard Sarles, Metro’s Interim GM. “In addition, we’ll be making repairs not so evident to customers, but vitally important to the safe and reliable operation of this section of the Metrorail system that dates back to 1977.”


This long-term project is the second major maintenance contract focused on upgrading the Metrorail system. The first was awarded last year for work on the Red Line. Currently, under the four-year, $177 million Red Line program, personnel are repairing the crumbling platforms at the Rockville Metrorail station and making station improvements between the Judiciary Square and Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood Metrorail stations, which includes rehabilitating elevators and escalators at Union Station and Judiciary Square Metrorail stations.


Under the Blue and Orange contract, Metro will make improvements to safety, customer service and infrastructure, including replacing tunnel safety lights to enhance customer and employee safety; rehabilitating or replacing 22 elevators and 103 escalators between the Stadium-Armory and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Metrorail stations; and repairing 83,700 feet of tunnels including water leaks and cracks.


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