- The Washington Times - Monday, November 8, 2004

Metro riders got their first glimpse — through the windows of passing trains — of the New York Ave-Florida Ave-Gallaudet U station in Northeast yesterday, as workers put the finishing touches on the Red Line’s newest stop.

Workers completed track work for the station on Sunday night, allowing outbound trains to pass through the station toward the Silver Spring stop.

Metro project manager John Thomas said everything is on schedule for the station’s Nov. 20 opening.

“It’s just the aesthetic things that are left to be completed,” Mr. Thomas said. “Just sort of the spit and polish stuff.”

Red Line service passing through the station was shut down this weekend for the fifth time in seven months, enabling workers to realign the existing outbound track with a new track running directly through the stop.

“We literally took a saw, cut the ends and pulled [the existing track] over,” Mr. Thomas said. “Considering how many hours [workers] put in over the weekend, it’s so good to have that behind you.”

The station will feature four escalators and two elevators. It will have two entrances, one on M Street and one on Florida Avenue in Northeast. With the track work complete and the steel canopy sheltering the above-ground station in place, Mr. Thomas said workers just need to complete the tile work on the station floor and get the elevators and escalators certified.

Metro officials expect the station to bring about 1,500 riders into the system daily after its first year of service. The station is the first in Metro’s 28-year history to be constructed between two existing rail stations. It is located between Union Station and the Rhode Island Avenue station and is the 84th station in the regional system.

The station was funded by a partnership between the District and the federal government. In addition, Mr. Thomas said, area businesses donated $25 million toward the construction. The total project cost $103.7 million.

Economic growth can be seen in the area surrounding the new station, with XM Satellite Radio moving into a building at the intersection of New York and Florida avenues.

Mr. Thomas said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also plans to open an office near the station, and Metro officials expect the area to continue to reap economic benefits.

“The impact of the opening of the new station cannot be underestimated,” said Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel.

“For area residents, the station will provide a vital link to the D.C. metropolitan area, and for the business community in the area, it will also mean the development of economic growth.”

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