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The “L Street Bridge”?

August 10, 2007, 11:54 PM

Last time I checked, there is no “L Street Bridge” that Metro runs over. In fact, a Google search of “L Street Bridge” and “DC” only comes up with a feature of the Washington Convention Center, which spans several blocks, and whose upper levels bridge over two streets, one of which is L Street NW. Metro goes near that location, but it’s underground.

What happened, and the reason I bring this up, is because while I was on the Yellow Line after work today to visit a friend in Alexandria, the operator reminded everyone that Yellow Line service would cease at 10 PM and remain suspended until Monday morning, due to the closure of the “L Street Bridge” for maintenance. I was thinking, eh? about that for a moment, and then realized what he meant. He meant the Charles R. Fenwick Bridge, which is part of the 14th Street Bridge complex in southwest Washington. The route between L’Enfant Plaza and Pentagon stations, which includes the Fenwick Bridge, is known internally as the “L” route. Most people, though, don’t know that (but then again, I’m not most people). Likewise, most people would look at me strangely if I told them that my work commute took me from B11 to A03 and back. In layman’s terms, that’s Glenmont to Dupont Circle and back.

Still, this seems like a good weekend to go visit the family, because it looks like Metro’s going to be doing a lot of maintenance this weekend. The bridge will be closed, plus Metro’s going to be single-tracking between Takoma and Silver Spring for maintenance (not all that far from where I live) on the Red Line, single-tracking between Cheverly and New Carrollton on the Orange Line for maintenance, and single-tracking between Greenbelt and College Park on the Green Line to test some new Alstoms. Of these, the Red Line work would affect me directly, because my home station of Glenmont is above the work area. Thus I’d be stuck in it and delayed if I wanted to go into DC. The only way I could avoid it would be to drive to another station below the work zone and park there, probably at Brookland-CUA, since I suspect that Metro will be turning every other train or so at that location (the B&E connection serves as a pocket track in that scenario). However, that would defeat the purpose of taking Metro in the first place if I drove deep into Washington. The other way would be to just ride to Wheaton, Forest Glen, or Silver Spring, but all three of these are so close that it’s easier to just drive there. The Orange and Green Line delays wouldn’t affect me.

But do I have to worry about any of it? Nope. I just have to pack my bags, and the last I’ll see of Metro will be when I pass Vienna on I-66. And a few hours later, welcome to Stuarts Draft, home of the anatomically correct bull statue.

Web site: Metro announcement about the maintenance work this weekend.

Song: Not a song, but it's funny: A video of George W. Bush being himself. I still can't believe that this fool is president, but there you go. Especially when he refers to OB-GYNs as being unable to "practice their love with women all across this country".

Quote: By the way, this is totally unrelated, but someone finally figured out how I came up with the names for our office laptops at work. They're named for characters on Today's Special. As such, we have Jeff, Jodie, Sam, Muffy, TXL, Mrs. Pennypacker, and Waldo the Magnificent.

Categories: WMATA