Washington, D.C.'s Metro is planning a three-year capital project that will reconstruct the outdoor platforms at 20 Metrorail stations to address structural deficiencies after decades of exposure to the elements.
At many of these stations, temporary measures have been installed to stabilize the platforms to ensure passenger safety until reconstruction can take place. The project is estimated to cost between $300-400 million and will be the first major construction project to benefit from dedicated capital funding recently approved by the legislatures in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Rebuilding platforms is heavy construction activity that requires that tracks be taken out of service to allow for demolishing existing structures, access to the construction area, and concrete pouring.
Metro has already rebuilt platforms at 10 of the system's 45 outdoor stations; however, the process used previously resulted in years of single tracking and customer inconvenience. Rebuilding the two most recently reconstructed platforms, at Minnesota Avenue and Deanwood stations, took approximately three years.
Following extensive internal planning and consultation with construction contractors with the goal of minimizing customer impact, Metro developed a program that advances the reconstruction of the next 20 platforms primarily using extended shutdowns during summer months-rather than single tracking-to provide contractors with 24-hour access to selected work sites. The approach improves safety while significantly reducing project duration because workers do not have to repeatedly set-up and break down their equipment. The approach also minimizes customer impact by allowing Metro to continue to provide normal rail service elsewhere on the system.
Under the first phase of the plan, beginning next year, Metro is planning to demolish and rebuild the station platforms at Braddock Road, King Street and Eisenhower Avenue stations, resulting in a shutdown of rail service south of Reagan National Airport during the summer of 2019.
Metro will partner with the jurisdictions and other transportation agencies to develop traffic mitigations and customer travel alternatives. Metro customers will be given at least three months of advance notice prior to any service change under the program.