Major Metro Red Line Projects Will Cause Delays from July Through August and Close Shady Grove and Rockville Stations from September Through December

by Patrick Herron

Per Montgomery County:

For Immediate Release: Monday, July 12, 2021

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA—or Metro) has announced that two significant projects to improve safety will impact riders of the Red Line from July through December. A project that will begin in September will necessitate the closure of the Shady Grove and Rockville Metro stations through December.

The major capital projects will upgrade the Red Line’s tunnel ventilation system and repair platform canopies. The work is expected to cause significant impacts for customers, with around-the-clock single tracking in addition to station closures.

On Saturday, July 17, and continuing through Sunday, Aug. 29, Metro and its contractor will begin a project that will allow the installation of new, more powerful fans in the tunnels adjacent to the Woodley Park and Cleveland Park stations as part of a pilot project to improve station and tunnel safety in the event of a smoke or fire emergency.

The around-the-clock work schedule will help Metro reduce the duration of the project and minimize the impact to customers. During construction, trains will continuously single-track between the Dupont Circle and Van Ness stations. Crews, working in the tunnels more than 100 feet below Connecticut Avenue, will build the infrastructure necessary to add new evacuation fans at the base of the ventilation shafts.

Two weekend shutdowns also will be needed at those stations, with free shuttle buses replacing trains this summer. Additional weekend closures will be necessary in 2022 to complete the fan installation and safety testing.

The tunnel ventilation project was developed in response to a National Transportation Safety Board directive to upgrade tunnel ventilation after the 2015 smoke incident at the L’Enfant Plaza station.

As the oldest line in the Metrorail system, the Red Line ventilation shafts and fans were installed prior to the establishment of the National Fire Protection Association safety standards for transit systems.

Following the ventilation project construction, Metro will begin work in September to replace the platform canopy at the Rockville station where the concrete beam structures, original to construction in the 1980s, are deteriorating.

The canopy project will take three months and require the closure of the Rockville and Shady Grove stations from Sept. 11 through Dec. 4. Free shuttle bus service will be provided to/from the closed stations.

Replacing the canopy at Rockville Station will require heavy equipment and the demolition of the existing structure, section by section. The new canopy structure will be prefabricated and lifted into place for installation.

Additional improvements will be made to the canopy, including new, more efficient LED skylights, an upgraded speaker system for station announcements, new digital screens for passenger information and new CCTV cameras for improved security.

During this time, Metro will also make repairs to the aging canopy roof at the Shady Grove Station and perform other safety critical work.

The ventilation improvements and canopy rehabilitation projects are funded through Metro’s six-year, $9.7 billion Capital Improvement Program, which invests in system safety and reliability.

A summary of the Metro Red Line service information:

July 17 – Aug. 29

  • Continuous single tracking between Dupont Circle and Van Ness stations.
  • Trains will operate every 18 minutes between Shady Grove and Glenmont.
  • Additional trains will operate between Glenmont and Farragut North from opening until 7 p.m. on weekdays only to provide more frequent service.
  • Customers can use Metrobus Route L2, which runs along Connecticut Avenue between Chevy Chase Circle and Farragut Square as an alternative.

Weekends of Aug. 7-8 and Aug. 28-29

  • Red Line trains will operate in two segments: Shady Grove to Van Ness and Dupont Circle to Glenmont.
  • Free shuttle buses replace trains between the Dupont Circle and Van Ness stations.
  • Cleveland Park and Woodley Park stations will be closed.

Additional weekend shutdowns and single tracking may be necessary in 2022 to allow for safety testing.

Sept. 11-Dec. 4

  • Red Line trains will operate normal service between Glenmont and Twinbrook only.
  • Free shuttle buses replace trains between Shady Grove and Twinbrook stations.
  • Shady Grove and Rockville stations will be closed.
  • Park & Ride customers at Shady Grove and Rockville can use Twinbrook or White Flint as an alternative.
  • MARC and Amtrak service will operate at Rockville with no service disruption.
  • Due to the staging of heavy equipment and construction materials, Metrobus and other bus service will be rerouted. Additional details will be provided at a later date.

Additional information about service and how to stay informed can be found on the Ventilation Project page and the Rockville Canopy page on


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