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Impact of the 2020 WMATA Platform Improvement Project on Washington, DC, Area Federal Employees during Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Monday, June 1, 2020
CPM 2020-08
Impact of the 2020 WMATA Platform Improvement Project on Washington, DC, Area Federal Employees during Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)


On April 16, 2020, President Trump unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased, data-driven approach based on the advice of public health experts.  The guidelines provide state and local officials with a phased approach for reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives.  For additional information, please visit:   

On May 23, 2020, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) began its Platform Improvement Project (project) for the summer of 2020.  The WMATA project requires the closure of all nine Orange and Silver line stations west of the Ballston-MU station in Virginia.  The initial construction plan had the impacted stations reopening at the beginning of September.  However, WMATA reports that the effects of COVID-19, including social distancing measures by construction crews and supply chain impacts, on the project’s timeline are largely unknown.  Therefore, WMATA plans to announce the reopening date for the affected stations later this summer.

As each agency prepares their framework for reopening the Federal Government, the WMATA project should be taken into consideration in your plans for those employees located in the Washington, DC, area.  As we move through the three-phase process, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is strongly encouraging agencies to allow affected employees in the Washington, DC, area to utilize various workplace flexibilities throughout the WMATA project, including telework and alternative work schedules.  To further assist, OPM would like to remind agencies of our guidance on the use of alternative work schedules and telework during the WMATA project.

Ultimately, individual agencies are best positioned to determine any additional impacts that the WMATA project will have on their workforce during COVID-19.  Agencies should be prepared to provide guidance to their employees on potential workplace flexibilities that may be available.  Protecting our personnel and stakeholders from the effects of the COVID-19, while preserving the agency’s ability to complete its mission, is the foundation of any agency plan.

WMATA Information

For additional information about the project, please visit:

To receive updates on WMATA delays, service disruptions, advisories, or other changes, please visit: and subscribe to WMATA MetroAlerts.

Additional Information

Agency headquarters-level human resources offices may contact OPM at  Employees must contact their agency human resources office for further information on this memo.

cc:  Deputy Chief Human Capital Officers, Human Resources Directors, and Telework Coordinators