Metro bridge and tunnel repairs will force extended shutdown of yellow line

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An extended stop is underway for the yellow metro line.

An extended stop is underway for the yellow metro line.

The transportation agency said decades of water infiltration and underground moisture have eroded steel-lined tunnels and a bridge that spans the Potomac River.

The Yellow Line will undergo a series of repairs between L’Enfant Plaza and the Pentagon, starting in the fall of 2022.

The bridge was built in the 1970s. The renovations will include repairing cracks and upgrading the fire suppression system on the 3,000 foot bridge.

Metro said it is continuing to perform maintenance and leak mitigation on the bridge, but long-term repairs are needed to address the structural failure.

While the transport agency aims to have the project completed by the end of next year, it cannot say exactly how long the repairs will take.

This is Metro’s first project using a new planning method for large-scale projects. Design, pre-construction, and pricing happen at the same time, instead of long individual phases.

Metro said the approach allows managers to make quick adjustments to materials, design and costs as the project progresses, which helps reduce costs and expedite completion.

“Moving this project forward quickly is good for our customers,” said Laura Mason, Metro Executive Vice President, Capital Program Implementation. “And will allow Metro to use this process on future projects to respond more quickly to the critical safety needs of other elevated structures.”

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