WMATA announced Thursday that the summer closure of six stations south of Reagan National Airport will be extended past Labor Day to September 8. Additionally, the transit agency said a new entrance to the Huntington Metro station will be constructed, connecting the middle garage to the station’s platform.
The six-day addition to the already three-month summer closure time is due to the complexity of fixing the Braddock Road station’s platform, WMATA said. That platform, which is 2-4 inches higher than the train floor, is a tripping hazard and something that doesn’t exist at the other stations undergoing platform reconstruction this summer, WMATA said. The complex engineering required to lower the platform means extra time will be needed for the project.
“Experts have shown us that fixing the Braddock hump is a complicated project, but for customer safety and accessibility we have to do what’s needed, even if that means extending the shutdown,” Metro General Manager and CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld said in a press release.
WMATA’s press release was also the first public announcement that Huntington will be getting a new entrance directly from the middle garage. Currently anyone parking in the middle garage, which has the most spaces of the two garages still in operation at the station, needs to enter the station through the north or south garage entrances.
The new entrance at Huntington will be “a fully-accessible station entrance connecting the middle parking garage to the station’s platform,” WMATA’s press release said. The plans for a new entrance mean the previously planned summer demolition of the south garage will be delayed until the entrance project gets underway.
No timeframe was given for the new Huntington entrance project, and neither WMATA nor county officials have said what will replace the crumbling south (North King Highway side) garage, which has been completely closed since last year because of safety concerns.
WMATA also announced that all tiles at the stations undergoing platform reconstruction will be replaced — not just the tiles on the platform itself.
Huntington and the five other stations south of National Airport will be closed starting May 25. Additionally, all six stations will be closed the weekend of May 4-5 for prep work.
More information about Metro’s platform replacement project, which will ultimately replace 20 outdoor platforms in the system, can be found on the WMATA website.