Yellow Line shutdown set to upend commutes for two weeks

A painful two weeks is about to start for local commuters who rely on the Yellow Line to get to and from work. The entire Metrorail line will be shut down starting Monday morning, with the stoppage in service lasting for two full weeks.

WMATA says it needs the extended shutdown to make repairs to the Yellow Line bridge over the Potomac River. Opened in 1983, the bridge needs “structural repairs and rail infrastructure improvements, such as grout pad reconstruction and fastener replacement along the entire bridge,” according to Metro.

The Yellow Line will reopen on Dec. 10.

Blue Line users will also suffer during the shutdown. Because extra Blue Line trains will be running out of Huntington to compensate for the Yellow Line shutdown, fewer Blue Line trains will be going to and from Franconia-Springfield because the Rosslyn tunnel can only handle so much train traffic. Metro estimates that Blue Line trains will run out of both Huntington and Franconia-Springfield every 16 minutes.

Metro is offering extra shuttle bus service for Yellow Line and Blue Line riders during the shudown. One free shuttle will run on weekdays between Franconia-Springfield and the Pentagon from opening until 8 p.m.

The other two free shuttles will help connect commuters to the Green Line at L’Enfant Plaza. One will travel nonstop between Franconia-Springfield and L’Enfant Plaza during rush hour only, while the other  will run between Crystal City and L’Enfant Plaza during rush hour only (it’s worth noting there is no parking garage at Crystal City, so driving there to catch the shuttle may be difficult).

Metro also recommends using Metrobus and the Virginia Railway Express as alternatives during the Yellow Line shutdown. More information about bus routes can be found on Metro’s website.

Customers parking at Huntington or Franconia-Springfield will be charged the regular daily parking rate, and the non-rider fee will be waived to accommodate customers using alternative bus or other transit services.

The two-week shutdown will serve as a preview of larger closure scheduled for the entire summer of 2019. That shutdown will see the Huntington and Franconia-Springfield stations close for at least three months due to platform rebuilds and other repairs at the Braddock Road, King Street and Eisenhower Avenue stations.