The Washington Times - June 9, 2011, 01:36PM

Metro on Thursday announced a new approach to weekend track work that transit officials say will minimize delays while expediting repairs.

Instead of single-tracking through weekend work zones, officials will close stations or clusters of stations entirely and use buses to shuttle people around the affected area.


Officials expect the closures to be in effect about two of every three weekends over the next 18 months.

“Our new approach will enable us to get more work done, more safely and more effectively with less overtime, while inconveniencing fewer customers than we otherwise would given the massive rebuilding effort we’re undertaking,” said Richard Sarles, Metro general manager and chief executive officer.

Metro officials say the closures will allow them to complete NTSB-recommended track circuit replacement on the Red Line about 18 months sooner than it would have otherwise. The work is now projected to be finished by this time next year instead of late 2013.

A schedule of construction projects and rail station closures is still in the works.