Segment of Red Line to Shut Down for 4 Weekends While Crews Work to Waterproof Tunnel - NBC4 Washington

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Segment of Red Line to Shut Down for 4 Weekends While Crews Work to Waterproof Tunnel

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    Segment of Red Line to Shut Down for 4 Weekends While Crews Work to Waterproof Tunnel
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    A segment of the Red Line will be closed for four weekends in a row starting next month so crews can attempt to repair problems with the leaking tunnel, Metro announced Wednesday.

    There will be no train service between Grosvenor and Friendship Heights on the following weekends:

    • July 15-16
    • July 22-23
    • July 29-30
    • Aug. 5-6

    In addition, Red Line trains will single-track on weeknights between Friendship Heights and Medical Center from July 10 through Aug. 11. Single-tracking will begin at 9 p.m. on those nights.

    News4's Adam Tuss first reported on the possibility of shutdowns nearly four years ago.

    Metro said Wednesday the closures are due to a pilot program to test the use of a "curtain grouting" technique to add a waterproof membrane to the outside of the tunnel walls.

    "Since this tunnel segment was constructed, Metro has fought a battle against Mother Nature, and Mother Nature has always had the upper hand," said Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld in a release.

    Metro cited two incidents last Friday when Red Line service was suspended due to arcing insulators caused by water infiltration, snarling morning rush for commuters.

    The announcement comes just three days after SafeTrack, Metro's aggresssive, year-long repair plan, came to an end.

    "Just as we have addressed the root causes of track infrastructure problems and railcar reliability issues, I want to address the water infiltration problem head on and find a sustainable solution," Wiedefeld said in the release. "Our Red Line riders deserve nothing less."