Protesters and track work could mean a double Metro mess Sunday

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Metro is planning to make track repairs this weekend and groups who demonstrated in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday are planning to ride Metro into D.C. on Sunday. The two could mean double-trouble for Orange Line riders Sunday. See planning information for commuters here.

“Unite the Right” protesters and counter-demonstrations are planning to demonstrate near the White House on Sunday afternoon. Many have indicated they plan to ride into town from the Vienna Metro station. Fairfax County police say they’ll be ready for the surge by having, in their words, “a large police presence” at the station between noon and 10 p.m.

“The Fairfax County Police Department is working diligently with other area law enforcement agencies to maintain a safe environment for everyone to freely express their First Amendment rights,” says Police Chief Edwin Roessler.  “We also want to ensure the safety of our residents and those passing through our county.”

Getting into town will be tough this weekend

On Saturday, August 11, and Sunday, August 12, Farragut West, McPherson Square, and Metro Center’s lower level will be closed. Limited shuttle bus service will replace trains between Foggy Bottom and Federal Triangle stations.

Orange and Silver Line trains will operate every 12-15 minutes outside the shutdown area. (From Virginia, all Orange and Silver line trains will terminate at Foggy Bottom.) Blue Line trains will run between Franconia-Springfield and Arlington Cemetery only.

Track work will last over two weeks

The track work is part of a major project on the Orange, Silver and Blue lines that starts this weekend and is scheduled to last sixteen days. Metro says it will “significantly affect” train service.

Repair crews will working around the clock to rebuild the track and the tunnel in the tightest curve in the whole Metro system, the curve between the McPherson Square and Smithsonian stations. Orange and Silver lines will only run every 20 minutes, even during rush hour. Metro says the trains may not have room for all riders. The Blue Line will operate in Virginia only, between Franconia-Springfield and Arlington Cemetery. Metro says Virginia customers traveling to DC should take the Yellow Line to downtown stations.

Metro is strongly encouraging Orange, Silver and Blue Line riders not to ride, and to find alternate transportation, for the next two weeks. If you must ride Metro, Fairfax County police suggest avoiding the Vienna station on Sunday.

 

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Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at FairfaxNews. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years.  This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns.  He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C. He has won two Ohio State Awards for his reporting and producing and he led coverage that won an Edward R. Murrow Award.