Lukas spoke, in part, to put to rest rumors that a portion or portions of the Red Line's western branch might close for weeks, as reported by NBC Washington, Bethesda Now added.
The water leaks occurring in the tunnel between Dupont Circle and Grosvenor will be carefully assessed to determine the best way to fix them.
"Once the best repair method has been determined and well before any work begins, Metro will meet and consult with jurisdictional partners, business leaders, our Congressional delegation, communities, and, most importantly, our passengers and ask for comment and adjust as appropriate. Please note that minimizing inconvenience to customers will be a critical factor as we evaluate potential solutions," Sarles wrote to Berliner.
Water infiltration in the Dupont-Grosvenor tunnel has been a problem for many years, as the tunnel was built before the development of more advanced tunneling techniques. The tunnel does not have a water protective lining, Sarles said in his letter to Berliner.
"Without a protective membrane, water infiltration in these tunnels is natural and expected. For many years, Metro has used a 'maintenance/mitigation' approach during non-revenue hours that was conventional and relatively non-disruptive to riders," Sarles continued.
"More recently, we have seen an increase in wayside incidents (arcing insulators, corrosion) leading Metro engineers to consider long-term solutions to improve reliability and position the infrastructure to handle future ridership growth," Sarles wrote.
And, "engineering solutions that could address this problem have matured to a point where their consideration is now appropriate, which is why we are consulting our peers," Sarles added.
Ken Hartman, director of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, said in a statement that "Metro has pervasive water infiltration problems in some stations. It is our hope that the problems can be addressed with minimal impacts to weekday service."