After just one month of the start of construction work on this summer’s Metro’s three-year Platform Improvement Project, WMATA announced plans to restore Silver Line service and open six stations in Fairfax County on Sunday, Aug. 16—weeks earlier than originally planned.
Since starting work on the deteriorating station platforms on May 23, crews have been able to make significant progress as ridership remained extremely low due to the coronavirus pandemic, giving them full access to the stations that needed repair, WMATA stated in a press release this month. Currently, Metro ridership continues to be down about 90% compared to this time last year.
Earlier this year when the coronavirus caused WMATA to shut down the majority of its stations and make changes to its system, the organization took advantage of the historically low ridership, combining Orange Line platform reconstruction and Silver Line signal integration into a multi-month shutdown of nine stations west of Ballston. Now, crew members are on track to open Silver Line stations—McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East—plus one Orange Line station, West Falls Church, in August. If Metro continues its work at this current pace, the remaining three west-of-Ballston stations—Vienna, Dunn Loring and East Falls Church—would open around Labor Day.
“We appreciate the patience of our customers and the business community as we have worked to complete these projects as quickly and safely as possible,” said Metro Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld in a statement. “By combining the schedules of our two biggest capital priorities in Virginia during a time of historically low ridership, we believe we have positioned Metro and the region for a strong recovery.”
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