If you're growing weary of walking around metal barricades and along wooden planking while you race to catch your train at Metro's White Flint station, your commute is about to become just a little bit easier. Metro is wrapping up a retiling of the platform of the outdoor station, transitioning from the glazed terra cotta tile to precast concrete pavers.
It is an upgrade Metro announced they would be making to all outdoor stations following successful testing of the concrete tiles at the Takoma station in 2009.
The replacement of the hexagonal tiles, an iconic part of the Metrorail system, is being done both for cost and safety reasons. According to Metro, the terra cotta tiles were not particularly durable at the outdoor stations, with many cracking and falling apart. Additionally, the glazed tiles could become slippery when wet, a problem that is also addressed by the new concrete pavers.
According to a statement made in Metro's press release on this issue from June 2009 from David Couch, Metro’s Managing Director of Engineering and Capital Projects, “These new tiles also provide a safer and durable walking surface and will significantly reduce the life-cycle repair costs to Metrorail station platforms.”