Summer Metro Shutdown in Alexandria
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will close six Alexandria stations from May 25 through September 2, 2019 for much-needed platform repairs and track work. The six affected stations are Franconia-Springfield, Van Dorn Street, Eisenhower Avenue, Huntington, King Street-Old Town and Braddock Road. The stations are being closed to allow for 24-hour access to the worksites for demolition, concrete pouring, and other heavy construction activities. The main focus of the work is rebuilding the deteriorating (and structurally deficient) platforms at these stations.
This closure is a major headache for the 21,000-30,000 people that use these Alexandria Metro stations each day. The local jurisdictions (Alexandria City and Fairfax County) are working with Metro officials to mitigate the impact on local residents. Alexandria City has just released its mitigation plan, which features options based on a public survey conducted in the fall of 2018.
Highlights of the Plan
The City of Alexandria will encourage riders to use alternatives like buses, mobility devices, and water taxis, and alternative work arrangements whenever possible. The plan also addresses additional shuttle and bus routes, traffic mitigation efforts, and carpooling incentives. The cost of the City’s plan could reach $2.1 million, though the Commonwealth is expected to cover about three-quarters of these expenses.
- Virginia Railway Express. VRE trains will remain a rush hour option between Union Station, L’Enfant Plaza, King Street/Alexandria, and Franconia-Springfield.
- WMATA shuttles: Metro will provide four shuttles serving the closed Metrorail stations. Metro says that shuttle users should plan for an extra 30 minutes of travel time to their commutes.
- #1 will run from Pentagon to Franconia-Springfield (no other stops)
- #2 will service Reagan National Airport, King and Washington Streets, King Street Station, Van Dorn Street, and Franconia-Springfield.
- #3 will run from the Pentagon to Huntington (no other stops)
- #4 will serve Crystal City, Braddock Road, King Street, Eisenhower Avenue, and Huntington.
- DASH Bus: Alexandria’s DASH Bus will be free of charge for the shutdown period. DASH will offer increased service on the AT3 and AT4 routes servicing the Pentagon. The city will work to have DASH and Metro buses to move more quickly by identifying traffic chokepoints and adjusting traffic controls as needed.
- The Potomac Riverboat Company will offer (temporary) ferry service in the mornings.
- The King Street Trolley’s service will begin earlier (7 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on weekends).
- The City is taking action to encourage carpooling and use of its dockless scooter and pilot bike program.
- Fairfax County, home to the Franconia-Springfield and Huntington stations, is encouraging the use of existing bus and VRE routes, alternative work arrangements, carpooling, biking and walking.
The Bottom Line
While this closure will be a major hassle for the tens of thousands of Alexandria Metro users, this work is essential to Metro’s future. We’re hoping that the typically lighter summer traffic makes this inconvenience easier to bear. Keep in mind that Metro accessibility is a major component of Alexandria’s (rising) home values.
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