Metro Announces Potomac Yard Metrorail Station Opening Delay

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Metro Announces Potomac Yard Metrorail Station Opening Delay

­­For Immediate Release: July 26, 2021

In response to Metro’s notification to the City of Alexandria today that the opening of the Potomac Yard Metrorail Station will be delayed by at least five months, Mayor Justin Wilson released the following statement:

“Due to a contract language decision related to Automatic Train Control specifications, Metro and its contractor have indicated to the City that a delay in the station opening until the Fall will likely occur.” Mayor Justin Wilson stated, “While we appreciate Metro’s acceptance of accountability and recent diligence in addressing this issue, the contract language mistake is inexcusable. With the large investment of $370 million being made by the City and other governmental and private partners to fund the station construction, internal systems should have caught the error. The City intends to have its own expert construction consultant review the schedule to determine if there is a way to safely open this station earlier than September of 2022.”

After notifying the City of Alexandria of the delay, Metro made the announcement in a news release as follows:

“Today, Metro announced a delay of at least five months to complete construction of the Potomac Yard Metrorail Station. Prior to the announcement, Metro notified the City of Alexandria of the delay.

Metro engineers determined that the original design of the Automatic Train Control (ATC) systems, which was based upon specifications written by WMATA, did not meet all of the important safety requirements to ensure the safe operation of trains. The ATC system prevents trains from getting too close to one another and ensures trains always maintain a safe distance.

The need to redesign the ATC system is the result of project management decisions for which WMATA is accountable. WMATA is working with the contractor to reduce delays in the project schedule and ensure system safety. Construction of the station will continue largely on schedule, but there are some track-related construction elements that are dependent upon the completion of the ATC design.

The station, originally expected to open in April 2022, is now anticipated to open in or around Fall 2022 in order to complete the design and implementation of this safety critical system. Metro will work with its contractor to seek ways to prioritize completion of the ATC elements of this project.

The Potomac Yard Station will be located in the southern end of National Landing on Metro's Yellow and Blue Lines between the existing Braddock Road and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport stations. This project was initiated by the City of Alexandria and will be largely funded by tax revenues and developer contributions generated by planned new development in the Potomac Yard neighborhood. The station will provide a wide range of benefits for Alexandria and the surrounding communities, including walkable access to regional transportation systems for residents in the northeast area of the city.”

Visit alexandriava.gov/PotomacYardMetro for more information about the project.

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Kelly Gilfillen, Acting Director, Office of Communications and Public Information, at kelly.gilfillen@alexandriava.gov or 571.208.9001.

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/123464

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