Welcome back Yellow Line, train service resumes for customers beginning Sunday
Over the bridge and through the tunnel, trains on the Yellow Line are ready to go. Starting Sunday, May 7, Yellow Line service will resume across the Potomac River, following an eight-month, on-time and anticipated to be under budget rehabilitation project to repair the deteriorating 1970’s tunnel and bridge.
The reopening, announced last month, will provide a faster, more direct connection for customers between Virginia and downtown DC, including travel to/from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Yellow Line trains will initially operate every eight minutes weekdays from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. for the first month between Huntington and Mount Vernon Square, and every 12 minutes all other times and on weekends, a 60 percent increase in train service than before the closure last fall. In June service will improve to eight minutes all day, seven days a week.
“This was incredibly difficult work, with construction crews working around the clock to reconstruct the steel lined tunnel and repair the bridge. The tunnel today is like new again and built to last for decades to come,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke. “Thank you to our customers who took shuttle buses and endured longer commutes so that we could get this critical safety work completed.”
The Yellow Line has been closed since September to allow for major construction on the tunnel and bridge. The $384 million project included replacing more than 1,000 individual steel plates held together by more than 12,000 bolts and mitigating water intrusion in the tunnel.
“We appreciate the work of our Metro staff, our contractor Kiewit and their subcontractors for their commitment to this project and the coordination of our many regional partners, including the National Park Service to stage equipment and provide access for construction from Hains Point,” said Clarke.
On the 3,000-foot bridge spanning the Potomac River, much of the repairs occurred beneath the bridge. The work required barges and heavy-duty equipment to lift the bridge from the steel girders to remove and replace 88 bearings on the bridge. The project also upgraded the fire suppression system on the bridge and removed and replaced miles of critical communications cables used by multiple regional partners.
During the closure, Yellow Line stations have been served by additional Green Line trains with special Blue+ service operating between Huntington and New Carrollton. Blue + service will be discontinued when the Yellow Line reopens May 7 and free shuttle buses will no longer operate. Metro will continue bus service between Mt. Vernon and Potomac Park (VA-DC Shuttle 3 route) using the existing schedule until new Route 11Y service begins on June 26, 2023. Normal express bus fares will apply.
The Yellow Line Bridge and Tunnel Rehabilitation Project is part of Metro’s investment in system safety, reliability and the region's economy through a 10-year, $15 billion capital program. The capital program improves the customer experience and keep the region's infrastructure in a state of good repair by investing in new railcars and buses, improving stations and platforms, upgrading fire-suppression and emergency response systems, replacing and repairing tracks, tunnels, bridges, signals, and communications systems, rebuilding decades-old bus garages, and providing modern customer amenities such as passenger information systems. By spending local taxpayer dollars for capital projects, Metro is seeking to reinvest in our regional economy, creating jobs and encouraging participation from disadvantaged, minority-owned, and small businesses in the region.