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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) was created by an interstate compact in 1967 to plan, develop, build, finance, and operate a balanced regional transportation system in the national capital area. Metro began building its rail system in 1969, acquired four regional bus systems in 1973, and began operating the first phase of Metrorail in 1976. Today, Metrorail serves 91 stations and has 117 miles of track. Metrobus serves the nation's capital 24 hours a day, seven days a week with 1,500 buses. Metrorail and Metrobus serve a population of approximately 4 million within a 1,500-square mile jurisdiction. Metro began its paratransit service, MetroAccess, in 1994; it provides about 2.3 million trips per year.
Metro has reached a deal worth up to $50 million over 25 years with SunPower Corp. and Goldman Sachs Renewable Power LLC (GSRP). The plan is to install solar paneled carports or canopies over surface lots and above parking garages at four rail stations. The four sites will have a combined 12.8 megawatts of electrical capacity, making this the largest community solar project in the National Capital Area and one of the largest in the nation. Under the agreement, SunPower will install photovoltaic solar panels at Anacostia, Cheverly, Naylor Road, and Southern Avenue stations at no cost to Metro. GSRP will own the solar power system and provide annual payments to Metro through 2047. This will ensure a long-term revenue stream that will support our operations. This project advances the region’s sustainability goals while generating revenue to help keep Metro safe and affordable in an increasingly tight-budget environment.
Solar panels capable of powering 1,500 homes will soon be installed at four Metro-owned facilities. In a request for proposals (RFP) issued today, Metro is offering a 15-year solar ground lease to develop and operate solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems on surface and rooftop parking lots at Anacostia, Cheverly, Naylor Road and Southern Avenue stations.
“Offering these Metro-owned sites for use as solar power stations will advance Metro’s commitment to sustainability while generating new revenue to support transit services and keep fares affordable,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld.
The solar panels will be owned, operated, installed and maintained by a solar energy provider at no cost to Metro or taxpayers.
Metro’s surface and rooftop parking garages provide optimal exposure for solar power, offering a rare opportunity in the Washington Region to generate up to 15,000,000 kWh of renewable energy annually, enough to power 1,500 single family homes for one year.
Installing new solar canopies will benefit Metro’s parking customers by providing shade and snow protection for the top level of parking garages, along with lighting improvements.
Solar panels are expected to be installed and supplying renewable energy by late 2020 or early 2021.
Metro today announced the launch of a two-year study of the Blue, Orange and Silver lines with the goal of identifying long-term options to improve reliability, meet future ridership demand, and better serve customers.
Today, the Blue, Orange and Silver (BOS) lines all share a single set of tracks between the Rosslyn tunnel and the Anacostia River, creating a bottleneck that limits the number of trains that can cross between Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. The limited capacity means that Metro cannot easily add more trains and has limited ability to work around service disruptions. With the current configuration, a disruption on one line can have a ripple effect on all three lines.
The BOS Study will identify potential infrastructure improvements and service alternatives to resolve these issues.
“Our rebuilding efforts and ongoing preventive maintenance have improved Metro’s reliability to the highest levels in eight years, but it’s time to start thinking about the Blue, Orange and Silver lines’ infrastructure constraints so that Metro is well positioned to serve future generations,” said Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld.
The first phase of the study will assess key issues and trends and document why improvements to the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines are necessary. Subsequent phases will include the development and evaluation of alternatives, as well as a thorough analysis of costs and benefits, with recommendation of a preferred alternative expected to occur by the fall of 2020.
Ultimately, the study will identify and analyze a range of potential alternatives before recommending a “locally preferred alternative” to move forward with federal environmental review, full design, and competition for federal funding. Over the next two years, Metro plans extensive outreach to engage the community, stakeholders, and transit experts to gather feedback and make recommendations.
To learn more about the project and opportunities to get involved, and to track the status of the project, visit the project website at www.wmata.com/BOSstudy.
Metro is considering the redevelopment of the Park & Ride surface lot of the east side of the College Park-U of Md station into a multifamily residential building with ground floor retail. The proposed project concept by a private developer is anticipated to include:
To implement this joint development project, the surface lot on the eastern side of the station will be removed. In anticipation of this project, the State of Maryland and Prince George's County financed the construction of the 1,290-space Park & Ride garage that opened in 2005 to replace and expand the number of spaces lost from this proposed project.
Curtain grouting is a leak-mitigation technique used to treat an entire area that is leaking by adding a rubberlike membrane on the outside of the concrete tunnel wall. To do this, holes are drilled in the ceiling of the existing tunnel until the exterior of the tunnel is reached. From there, a proprietary polymer-based emulsion (PBE) grout is injected into the hole at high pressure, which begins cascading down the curved exterior of the tunnel (like the way chocolate syrup cascades down an ice cream sundae). Two holes are drilled every 10 feet for the injections. The holes are then sealed at the conclusion of the process. The injected material forms a rubberlike impenetrable membrane, or "curtain," between the exterior of the tunnel wall and the surrounding ground medium.
The contractor has successfully used this solution in the mining industry to seal ground water inflows - some with flow rates of 50 gallons per second.
Metro plans to test this technique in the two different environments that exist along the Red Line segment - one in a linear bored tunnel and one in a blasted-rock cavern. The linear tunnel segment that will be used for the pilot will be a 2,000-foot section of the inbound track between Medical Center and Bethesda. For the second test location, Metro plans to use the entire Medical Center interlocking area, which is a cavernous space that was constructed out of blasted rock.
Metro is seeking feedback on the two proposed projects: surface lot removal for a Capitol Heights Metrorail station joint development project and a surface lot reconfiguration at the Morgan Blvd Metrorail station.
Metro is considering the conversion of the Capitol Heights Metrorail station’s surface parking lot into a new multifamily residential project with self-contained parking for residents and retail space facing the Kiss & Ride area and the Metro entrance as part of a joint development project.
Metro's contractor, KONE, replaced the escalators two at a time in succession. The overall project took more than two years to complete, including site preparation, demolition and removal of the old escalators, installation of complex gantries and cranes to move the new escalators and supporting structures into place, as well as testing and tuning.
"Metro's infrastructure is aging and this is another example of the kind of investment that is needed across the system to provide customers with good, safe and reliable service," said Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld. "Before being replaced, these escalators were more than 30 years old and beyond their useful life. With these brand-new escalators customers will see the improvement."
With the completion of the escalators at Woodley Park, construction will begin Monday, June 5, to replace five entrance escalators at Cleveland Park Station. The project is expected to take 20 months to complete. The station's elevators will remain in service for the duration of the project.