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Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) last week announced plans to expand two major projects this summer as the agency logs historically low ridership due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the expanded plan, WMATA will combine work to demolish and reconstruct platforms at four Orange Line stations with a separate project on the Silver Line to connect Metrorail to new "phase II" stations, which are being constructed by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
Beginning May 23, all stations west of Ballston Station on the Orange and Silver lines will be closed through the fall. Ridership at those stations during the pandemic totals about 1,200 customers per weekday – less than 5 percent of normal ridership, WMATA officials said in a press release.
WMATA’s platform contractor, Kiewit Corp., has implemented new protocols and procedures to ensure that construction crews are as safe as possible while working during the COVID-19 outbreak. The safety measures' impact on the project schedule is not yet known, WMATA officials said.