02/23/2012 07:33 am ET

Metro's Cherry Blossom Gift: Nearly All Track Work Suspended

WASHINGTON -- After enduring months of weekend track work, Metrorail riders will be getting a reprieve starting in late March. Because of the expected tourist onslaught for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Metro announced that nearly all track work will be suspended between March 24 and April 15.

"Metro is the preferred travel choice for hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Tidal Basin each spring," Metro General Manager Richard Sarles said in a statement. "To ensure a seamless travel experience, we will take a short hiatus from our aggressive rebuilding efforts."

While weekday track work will be suspended as well, there will be some weeknight construction and rehabilitation work after 10 p.m.

Ridership during the annual cherry blossom season can jump 15 percent and depending on weather conditions, weekend ridership levels can sometimes double.

Weekend track work will resume April 20.