- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Dupont Metro’s escalator face-lift comes full circle
For the first time in 8 1/2 months, it was business as usual at Metro’s Dupont Circle south entrance, with no construction equipment or maintenance crews to be seen as officials opened three new escalators at the busy subway station.
Standing in front of a large white poster that read “Welcome back to Dupont Circle South,” Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles said the newest additions “represented one of the largest and most complex escalator projects” for the transportation system.
“These were among the most unreliable escalators in the system,” Mr. Sarles said. “They were old and the manufacturer had gone out of business. Customers had to face walking up more than 100 steps or turning back and going to the other entrance. The more than 20,000 riders now have a much more safe and reliable escalator option.”
The project is part of a far-reaching effort to overhaul the system’s aging escalator and elevator system. A spokesman for the system said more than 90 escalators are going to be replaced in the next six or seven years.
“They are more robust, more durable,” he said. “Think heavy duty.”
On Sunday, the three escalators, two going up and one going down, hummed smoothly along their paths, running-lights aglow and no trace of scuff marks or wear and tear from riders.
Admiring the new stairs after she made her way up the 85-foot climb, Dupont Circle resident Ann Bryant, 63, said she wasn’t too affected by the closure because she lives near the northern entrance, but she was happy people inconvenienced by having to trek north finally had gotten a reprieve.
“I felt badly for people who had to do it but didn’t want to,” she said. “People just zoned out and did it.”
The relatively quiet tunnel was a stark difference from previous months during the project, which required lifting equipment and heavy-duty tools to remove and replace the existing moving stairs.
Each of the old escalators weighed about 55 tons, according to Metro, and because of the narrow space, each had to be cut into 24 pieces and hauled out by a crane.
The new escalators required similar treatment, and nearly 150 lifts from cranes were required to complete the overhaul.
The roughly $12 million project initially was projected to take 13 months but was adjusted to accommodate riders as well as nearby businesses, a move appreciated by the community, said Michael Silverstein, an advisory neighborhood commissioner for Dupont Circle.
The south entrance, located along 19th Street, opens to a block of restaurants, bars and cafes. During the project, the street was closed at times to make room for the cranes.
“It was going to cause a lot of pain,” Mr. Silverstein said. “These businesses depend on foot traffic. With the shortening of the time, and working nights and weekends, it’s a credit” to the transportation system.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Washington honors an 'African son' at Mandela service at National Cathedral
- Maryland makes 'top tier' for its control of guns
- Snow prompts closures in D.C. area, slippery conditions remain
- Troops forced to rely on welfare, holiday charity
- Operation Homefront gives meals to military
Latest Blog Entries
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- House votes for bargain to end budget drama
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Jane Fonda Foundation fails to make single contribution in 5 years: report
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- U.S. debt jumps a record $328 billion tops $17 trillion for first time
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow