Metro station closures and single-tracking delays that many riders have experienced each weekend will be put on pause as D.C. celebrates the return of cherry blossoms.
Richard Sarles, Metro's general manager and CEO, announced Monday that Metro will take a break from its agressive rebuilding efforts to accomodate customers traveling during Cherry Blossom season.
Metro ridership typically increases by more than 15 percent during the Cherry Blossom festival.
The pause in Metro construction activity will take place over four consecutive weekends, beginning March 23 and continuing through Sunday, April 14. The only planned weekend work during those weekends will take place late on Sunday evenings.
However, let's remember the blossoms haven't bloomed yet.
So riders should expect delays and single-tracking on all four Metro lines this weekend, March 8 through 10, beginning at 10 p.m. Friday:
On the Orange Line: Two stations will be closed: Minnesota Ave and Deanwood.
Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly. Line trains will operate in two segments throughout the weekend: between Vienna and Stadium-Armory every 20 minutes, and between New Carrollton and Cheverly every 20 minutes.
The last train of the night from New Carrollton to Cheverly will depart 50 minutes earlier than normal -- at 1:46 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, and at 10:46 p.m. on Sunday night.
On the Blue Line: Trains will operate in two segments: between Franconia-Springfield and Stadium-Armory every 20 minutes, and between Largo Town Center and Benning Road every 20 minutes. Free shuttle buses will replace Blue Line trains between Stadium-Armory and Benning Road.
The final train of the night from Largo Town Center to Benning Road will depart 14 minutes earlier than normal -- at 2:10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, and at 11:10 p.m. on Sunday night.
On the Red Line: Trains will single track between Judiciary Square and Rhode Island Avenue. Between Shady Grove and Glenmont trains will operate every 20 minutes. Between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, additional trains will operate between Shady Grove and Judiciary Square.
On the Green and Yellow Lines: Trains will single track between L'Enfant Plaza and Mt Vernon Square. Rails will operate every 20 minutes between Branch Avenue and Greenbelt and Huntington and Mt. Vernon Square only.