2 Green Line stations to close for track work
A blitz of round-the-clock track work will close two Green Line stations for 16 days, as Metro embarks on the first round of extended repairs in its post-Safe-Track preventive maintenance program.
Branch Avenue and Suitland will be closed through Aug. 20 while crews work to replace a major interlocking outside the Branch Avenue station.
The work zone will extend to Naylor Road on consecutive weekends from Aug. 12 to 13 and Aug. 19 to 20, Metro said.
Metro says buses will replace trains between Branch Avenue and Naylor Road for the weekdays of the work surge. On weekends, the bus bridges will extend from the Branch Avenue to Southern Avenue stations.
All three of Metro’s upcoming work blitzes are focused on interlockings, the complex mechanism of switches and signals that work in concert to direct trains to the proper track.
“Rebuilding the interlocking is a complex process, involving the replacement of four switches that are near the end of their useful life and requires simultaneous work on both tracks,” Metro said in a news release of the Branch Avenue crossover.
The work zone stretches 4.5 miles and will encompass signal upgrades, power cable renewals and the replacement of about 1,500 crossties — the wooden beams that space the tracks at the proper distance on aboveground portions of track.
The crossover itself is built on concrete and stretches about 450 feet long and 50 feet wide, according to a June interview with Andy Off, Metro’s assistant general manager of rail services.