The Potomac Yard Metro station in Alexandria will open at least five months later than planned because the original design did not meet WMATA safety requirements, Metro announced Monday.
Metro engineers determined the design of Automatic Train Control systems did not comply with WMATA’s safety policy. ATC systems ensure trains stay a safe distance from each another.
“The need to redesign the ATC system is the result of project management decisions for which WMATA is accountable,” WMATA said in a statement. “Construction of the station will continue largely on schedule, but there are some track-related construction elements that are dependent upon the completion of the ATC design.”
The station was expected to open in April 2022. Now Metro anticipates its completion in fall 2022.
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WMATA told Alexandria officials about the changes Monday. The city and governmental and private partners invested $370 million into the project, Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson said.
“While we appreciate Metro’s acceptance of accountability and recent diligence in addressing this issue, the contract language mistake is inexcusable,” Wilson said in a statement. “Internal systems should have caught the error.”
A city construction consultant will review the schedule to determine if there is a way to safely open the station before September 2022, Wilson said.
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The Potomac Yard station will be located at the southern end of the area named National Landing, on Metro’s Blue and Yellow lines. The station will be between the existing Braddock Road and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport stations.