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Popular stretch of Metro's Red Line could face closure

Monday - 8/26/2013, 5:25pm  ET

WASHINGTON -- Structural and maintence problems at Metro's Friendship Heights and Medical Center stations could force a weeks-long shutdown of a portion of the Red Line, NBC4 reports.

Metro tells NBC 4 the issue is with water seeping into the two stations as a result of natural, geological conditions.

Currently, metal drip pans fastened to the ceiling of the area near Friendship Heights station serve as a "Band-Aid" for the problem.

One source told NBC 4 the repairs could take up to six weeks, and that both stations could be closed for the duration.

Metro released a statement Friday acknowledging challenges along that portion of the Red Line.

"While this is not a safety issue, Metro engineers are considering comprehensive long-term solutions to improve the reliability of the Red Line for years to come," it read.

"Any decision around the appropriate long-term repairs, including timeline and possible effects on service, will be made only after final engineering designs are submitted in the coming months."

On Monday, Montgomery County councilmember Roger Berliner released a letter he sent to Metro General Manager Richard Sarles expressing his disappointment on learning about the issues in the media and asking Metro to discuss matters with Montgomery County moving forward.

"In my view, this possibility should not have advanced this far along without consultation with our County," Berliner wrote.

"Going forward, I have two requests: (1) that WMATA in fact consult with Montgomery County prior to making any final decision, including a full briefing after the engineering analysis is completed; and (2) that you instruct your engineers to explore all possible options for addressing this issue, with a particular emphasis on those options that would not result in a shut-down of this key segment of the Red Line."

For more information, check out NBC 4.

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