The Washington Post Sunday - - COMMUTER - For more trans­porta­tion news, go to wash­ing­ton­post.com/trans­porta­tion.


The Metro­rail main­te­nance pro­gram that has shut down Foggy Bot­tom Sta­tion through Mon­day night will be fol­lowed by more big re­pairs Pres­i­dents’ Day week­end, start­ing Fri­day night, Feb. 18, and con­tin­u­ing through Mon­day, Feb. 21.

Metro plans to close the Blue and Orange line sta­tions at Fed­eral Triangle and Smith­so­nian, re­sum­ing nor­mal ser­vice Tues­day morn­ing, Feb. 22.

Dur­ing that time, work­ers will re­place four track switches near Smith­so­nian Sta­tion. Just as it is do­ing this week­end to get around the Foggy Bot­tom clos­ing, the agency will op­er­ate free shut­tle buses around Fed­eral Triangle and Smith­so­nian. Rid­ers should add 40 min­utes to their nor­mal travel time to get through the work zone.


And that’s just for starters, the tran­sit author­ity says. Main­te­nance pro­grams to re­pair and re­place ag­ing equip­ment on tracks and in sta­tions and tun­nels will be­come even more in­ten­sive this year.

There’s just too much to do. As Metro con­tin­ues with its longterm rehabilitation of the Red Line, the long-term rehabilitation of the Orange and Blue lines is get­ting un­der­way. On just about any week­end when Metro does not ex­pect big crowds, rid­ers are likely to find one or two tracks shut down to make room for main­te­nance projects.

Is all this the re­sult of some big screwup on the part of Metro’s man­age­ment? I don’t see it that way. To­day’s bosses didn’t have any­thing to do with the de­sign of the sys­tem or its fi­nanc­ing. An ear­lier gen­er­a­tion built the sec­ond-largest sub­way sys­tem in the nation for our ben­e­fit, but now we have to fix it.

The rider com­plaints I re­ceive fo­cus on two con­cerns: They say sta­tion man­agers of­ten seem illinformed about plans and can’t re­spond to ques­tions. They also say an­nounced train sched­ules for dis­rupted lines of­ten fold in the face of re­al­ity, as gaps be­tween trains in­crease.


For about four weeks start­ing Tues­day, the 700 block of 12th Street NE from H Street south to G Street will be re­stricted to south­bound traf­fic as part of the H Street rehabilitation project.

The usual two lanes of traf­fic on 12th Street will be re­duced to one. This will en­able a con­trac­tor to in­stall street­car tracks on H Street and com­plete work across the in­ter­sec­tion.

North­bound mo­torists can use 11th or 13th streets.

The District Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion plans to close the south side of the Eighth Street in­ter­sec­tion with H Street dur­ing the day Fri­day and Satur­day to ac­com­mo­date street­car track work.


Mi­nor work con­tin­ues on Ohio Drive near the Lin­coln Me­mo­rial, the Na­tional Park Ser­vice says. A prob­lem with traf­fic de­tec­tors near 23rd Street was dis­cov­ered. The de­tec­tors must be re­in­stalled, but that can’t be done un­til spring, when the weather warms up.

All traf­fic lanes have been re­opened, but­some­brief sin­gle-lane closings will oc­cur from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The morn­ing rush traf­fic pat­tern has all lanes open for in­bound and out­bound traf­fic. The af­ter­noon rush pat­tern has four lanes out­bound.


The Mary­land State High­way

Ad­min­is­tra­tion has turned off about 75 lights along Route 100 be­tween Columbia Pike and Co­caCo­laDrive in­HowardCounty. This is a year-long ex­per­i­ment to eval­u­ate the im­pact of re­duc­tions in high­way light­ing, which would re­sult in cost-sav­ings.

The high­way agency says it eval­u­ated sev­eral lo­ca­tions for this pi­lot pro­gram and de­ter­mined that over­head light­ing could be re­duced while still meet­ing state and fed­eral safety stan­dards.

The light poles will re­main in place dur­ing the ex­per­i­ment. If the light­ing re­duc­tion be­comes per­ma­nent, the poles will be re­moved.

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