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Metro To Halt Weekend Work For Cherry Blossoms

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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 28:  People walk a bike at the Tidal Basin under the cherry blossoms, with the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in the background,  March 28, 2011 in Washington, DC. The annual 16-day National Cherry Blossom Festival will run thru April 10.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 28: People walk a bike at the Tidal Basin under the cherry blossoms, with the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in the background, March 28, 2011 in Washington, DC. The annual 16-day National Cherry Blossom Festival will run thru April 10. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Metro says it won’t conduct any maintenance work over the next four weekends because of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Metro says ridership increases by an average of more than 15 percent during the cherry blossom season, and weekend ridership can double to near-weekday levels if the weather is nice. Metro says the break from track work will ensure that weekend riders headed to the city’s Tidal Basin to see the flowers have a “seamless travel experience.”

More than 1 million people are expected in Washington to see the pink and white blossoms over the duration of this year’s festival, which began Tuesday and continues through April 27.

This year’s festival marks the 100th anniversary of the gift of trees from Japan.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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