Two stations on Metro's Red Line are on schedule to reopen on time after being closed for much of the summer for structural repairs.
"All of our work is progressing on or ahead of plan, and we are in great shape to return this area to service on Sept. 4," said Laura Mason of WMATA.
The Rhode Island Avenue and Brookland stations have been closed since July 21. There has been no Red Line service between Fort Totten and NoMa-Gallaudet during that time.
The once uneven platform at Rhode Island Avenue is now leveled out. Instead of demolishing the platform and rebuilding it, Metro said it lowered the rails in spots to achieve a level surface.
"The floor of the train has to be the same level as the platform itself," Mason said. "On this aerial structure we found it was better to lower the rails."
Those rails are now supported by all new concrete. The platform had chunks of concrete fall off in the past, and Metro said that is now fixed.
A number of platforms on the Blue and Yellow lines in Alexandria and Fairfax County will get similar repairs next summer.
Here's what to know:
- Red Line riders should transfer to the Green or Yellow lines between Fort Totten and Gallery Place. WMATA said it would add capacity to the Green and Yellow lines, including running some Yellow Line trains to and from Greenbelt.
- Free shuttle buses are running between Fort Totten, Brookland, Rhode Island Avenue and NoMa-Gallaudet U.
- Metro is also operating express shuttles between Brookland and Rhode Island Avenue for riders travelling to Metro Center, Gallery Place and Union Station.
- The MetroExtra G9 bus is connecting Rhode Island Avenue to downtown D.C. and other rail and bus lines. It is running during Metrorail's operating hours daily. The MetroExtra G9 is using a new dedicated bus lane along Rhode Island Avenue NE from North Capitol Street to 12th Street NE, daily except Sundays, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- During rush hour service, Red Line trains will run every six minutes between Shady Grove and NoMa-Gallaudet and every 10 minutes between Glenmont and Fort Totten.
Rhode Island Station Needs Structural Repairs
The closures are being done to help crews complete structural repairs at Rhode Island Avenue, which WMATA says is the system's oldest outdoor station.
"The structural work cannot be completed while trains are running on either track and will resolve platform conditions that affect the alignment between the platform and trains, presenting challenges for customers with disabilities," says a release on WMATA's website.
According to a Metro inspector general report, crews' failure to inspect parts of the Rhode Island Avenue station and the apparent copying and pasting of language from old inspection reports led a steel beam and pieces of concrete to fall from the ceiling in 2016, NBC4's Chris Gordon reported in May.
An inspector general report said crews skipped inspections of hard-to-reach areas over a period of three years. In some cases, they apparently used inspection results for prior years at the Rhode Island Avenue station.
Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans said that was the lax attitude that existed before he and General Manager Paul Wiedefeld took over.
"It was a culture of, I guess, people just thought they could get away with it and not do what they were supposed to do," he said. "And there was nobody looking over their work."
The falling debris caused the closure of the station for temporary repairs in 2016.