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Beat the Traffic: Update -- METRORail closures for Texas Children's Hospital

by Katherine Whaley / 11 News

Posted on January 13, 2011 at 8:04 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 13 at 3:38 PM

Construction on the "miracle bridge" at Texas Children's Hospital is ahead of schedule.  This means that light service will not be required to close this weekend in order to accommodate the construction.  

If you plan on using METRORail next weekend (Jan. 21 - 23), plan on facing closures.  If you normally hop on the train to get around the Texas Medical Center, get ready to catch a bus instead.  "It's the same service, the same schedule, it's just on rubber tires," Metro President George Greanias told 11 News.
The reason for the closure?  Metro is working with Texas Children's Hospital to make sure the construction of its miracle bridge continues safely, and that means closing rail stations during the weekend of January 21st.  "This is an important point for the Texas Children's Hospital folks, they need to get that bridge finished, [and] we want to make sure our customers are safe," Greanias said.
This two-level bridge over Fannin Street will join the hospital's new maternity building to the rest of the campus.  When it's finished, the pedestrian bridge will be the largest of its kind in Texas.  The goal is to improve safety for patients and pedestrians, by providing a safe passage across the roadway.
Next weekend's rail closures will affect all rail stops.  It could make a big impact -- about 30% of people in the medical center use Metro services, including rail.  To help these customers, Metro is running shuttle buses parallel to the line.  Customers should plan extra time.  Metro estimates it'll take about twice as long to make the trip.
"Getting onto the bus is a little bit of a change, but the fact is, we will get them where they need to go, everybody wins," Greanias said.
The next rail service interruption will begin at 8 PM, Friday, Jan. 21, 2011 to midnight, Sunday, Jan. 23.
Normal rail service will resume Monday morning following the closure. Rail customers will be served by shuttle buses running parallel to the rail lines in both directions every six minutes from 5 AM to 9 PM.   Passengers who normally board METRORail at the Main Street Square platform must catch the shuttle bus at Main and Walker (northbound) and Main and Dallas (southbound).