Aerial Structures Rehabilitation Project

En Español

The Metrorail system includes nearly 20 miles of tracks atop large above-ground aerial structures. These structures allow trains to pass over traffic and various types of terrain. Now almost 45 years old, many structures are showing signs of routine aging due to exposure to the elements and supporting Metrorail trains, which can weigh up to 680,000 pounds and pass by every few minutes throughout the day.

The goal of the Aerial Structures Rehabilitation Project is to reinforce the structural integrity of Metro’s bridges and aerial structures to provide customers with safe and reliable Metrorail service for years to come.

This project is part of Metro’s 10-year, $15 billion Capital Improvement Program, which advances construction and rehabilitation projects that ensure a state of good repair for critical regional infrastructure.

Construction Strategy

Metro and its contractors developed an innovative construction strategy to rehabilitate the structures under this project in the safest and quickest way possible, while minimizing service impacts to customers. This strategy includes adding new “hammer heads,” pictured below, to the existing aerial structure columns. This approach eliminates the need for extended station closures during construction.

Aerial Structure hammerhead picture
“Hammer heads” help extend the life of the aerial structures by strengthening the connections between the column and beams, improving the load capacity, and preventing additional deterioration due to train vibrations.

Timeline

The Aerial Structures Rehabilitation Project began in summer 2021 and is expected to be completed by winter 2023. Overall, the project includes repairs on 11 aerial structures in the following locations:

  • Rockville Station canopy
    • Completed fall 2021 – winter 2022
  • Between West Hyattsville and Fort Totten stations – two bridges
    • Completed summer 2021
  • Between Grosvenor-Strathmore and Medical Center stations – one aerial structure
    • Winter 2021 – fall 2022
  • Between Stadium-Armory and Minnesota Ave stations – one aerial structure
    • Winter 2022 – winter 2023
  • Between Van Dorn St and King St-Old Town stations – three bridges
    • Fall 2022
  • Between Naylor Rd and Branch Ave stations – three bridges
    • Spring 2022 – winter 2023

The Aerial Structures Rehabilitation Project will continue concrete repairs, weatherproof coating application and joint replacement on structures through 2023. At the Naylor Rd and Branch Ave sites, over 130,000 square feet of concrete will be repaired by winter 2023, equal to roughly 28 basketball courts.

Community Impacts

Grosvenor-Strathmore Aerial Structure Construction
Maintenance work underway on the aerial structure between Grosvenor-Strathmore and White Flint stations

Construction on the remaining aerial structures may require weekend shutdowns, overnight work, or lane closures. Customers and residents near all work sites may also notice noise from construction. Potential noise sources include concrete delivery trucks and pumps, generators, construction vehicles and other equipment. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact us.

For more information on service impacts, including travel alternatives for weekend shutdowns, visit check out our weekend advisory

Available Resources