Metro GM Acknowledges Red Line Problems

Several weeks after News4 first reported Metro would have to possibly close a section of the Red Line for weeks, WMATA's general manager acknowledged the scope of repairs needed.

The repairs have to do with structural and maintenance problems at the Friendship Heights and Medical Center stations -- water is constantly seeping into those stations and leaving a large mess each time. 

"Water is just coming in from basically the geology that is there. The stations have a lot of fractures," Metro Deputy General Manager Rob Troup told News4 last month. "In a few weeks, it will be filled up with water and mud."

News4 got an exclusive look at the cavernous tunnel just outside the Friendship Heights station recently. Metal drip pans could be seen plastered all over the ceiling -- a Band-Aid of sorts to keep the water flowing away into drains. The temporary fix was also made at the Medical Center station.

During a WMATA Board Meeting Thursday, General Manager Richard Sarles said he's looking for a permanent fix to the problem and isn't sure of any details surrounding the repairs.

"We just want to put a fix in, so that our customers do not have to continue to endure as many incidents as they do with arcing insulators and corrosion, so that we don't have to go back in every few years. This is all about minimizing the impact to our customers in the long run," Sarles said.

The possible closure of the Red Line could last for several weeks, sources told News4 last month. 

WMATA is getting expert opinions on the issue before announcing what kind of repairs would be made and how long a shutdown would last, according to Sarles.

"We are bringing in experts from around the world to help us look at this, to do things that are the most efficient for ourselves and our customers, and then we will make a decision," Sarles said. 

Some riders told News4 they are discouraged not only by the Red Line issues, but with WMATA as a whole. 

"You can't have a rail system that is falling apart, and if you fix it, then it won't fall apart," one rider said. 

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