The six Blue and Yellow Line Metrorail stations south of the Reagan National Airport station will be closed an extra two weeks, now reopening Nov. 6 instead of Oct. 23, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced Friday.
The six affected stations in Virginia are the Braddock Road, King St-Old Town, Eisenhower Ave, Huntington, Van Dorn St and Franconia-Springfield stations. The new delays were caused by construction issues for the Potomac Yard station.
The station closures started three weeks ago along with a “complex process to ensure proper signal integration, build and connect new tracks to the future Potomac Yard Station, and complete all safety critical work,” WMATA said.
During the work at Potomac Yard, however, workers found issues with the soil negatively impacting the structural integrity of the ground beneath the tracks.
“Reinforcing the ground below the tracks required removing any work already completed, excavating additional soil beneath 1400 feet of track, and installing new subgrade materials to provide the required stability,” according to WMATA.
The Potomac Yard station, being built between the Reagan National Airport and Braddock Road stations, has now had its opening delayed until 2023. WMATA blames the contractor working on the station for failing to meet the delivery schedule planned for Potomac Yard.
“The team has been working around the clock to push the project delivery team to perform in accordance with the schedule. Recently, it has become clear that the published schedule will not be met, unfortunately delaying the opening of this important station. On behalf of our customers and the City of Alexandria, we apologize for this inconvenience,” WMATA Executive Vice President of Capital Delivery Andy Off said.
The city of Alexandria, impacted both by construction and by the extended station closures, has also expressed its displeasure.
“The numerous delays to the Potomac Yard construction project are unacceptable. This critically important project requires more intentional oversight by WMATA… This latest setback must be met with urgency and significant actions by WMATA and its contractor to recover from the time and money lost,” Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson said.