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Opening of Potomac Yard Metrorail Station Delayed Five Months

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The long-awaited Potomac Yard Station will take another five months to be finalized, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

The station, which was initially expected to open in April 2022, will now start operating in or around Fall 2022, the earliest.

It was found that the original design of the Automatic Train Control (ATC) systems did not meet certain safety requirements to ensure the safe operation of trains.

Metro engineers are now redesigning the ATC system, which prevents trains from moving 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 Metro is accountable,” the transit agency said in a release on July 26. “Metro 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 statement added that Metro will work with its contractor to help prioritize completion of the new safety system.

The $370 million 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 is a deeply disappointing announcement from WMATA. The City had been working for a quarter of a century to bring Metrorail to Potomac Yard and we will work to ensure this final delay is as short as possible,” said Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson in a tweet.

The project was initiated by the City of Alexandria and funded by tax revenues and developer contributions generated by planned new development in the Potomac Yard neighborhood.

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