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Reminder: Dupont Circle south entrance to close Wednesday, Feb. 1

by Prince Of Petworth January 31, 2012 at 1:30 pm 28 Comments

We’ve known it was coming…

From WMATA:

The south entrance of Dupont Circle station, located at 19th Street NW, will be closed through October, beginning Wednesday, Feb. 1, to allow for total replacement of three escalators with new, modern units.

The project is part of Metro’s multi-year, $150-million plan to improve escalator and elevator reliability. Under the current plan, 94 escalators are scheduled for full replacement over the next seven years.

The existing escalators, each 188 feet long and rising 85 feet to street level, are among the least reliable and most difficult to maintain of Metro’s 588 escalators. Originally installed in 1997, the current escalators are non-standard (they were custom built to fit in the narrow entrance that was originally designed for two units), and their manufacturer no longer makes escalators, making finding replacement parts near impossible.

During the project, the three existing escalator units will be demolished and removed from the site; the area beneath the units will be modified; and new, standard size, industrial-grade escalators will be installed. Due to the tight nature of the work zone, each escalator segment being removed and installed will travel on three separate cranes between the site and street level.

A full closure of the entrance is required to provide for customer safety while heavy lifting of escalator segments takes place in a narrow workspace. As a secondary benefit, closing the entrance will allow the work to proceed on a faster timeline than would otherwise be possible.

Crane operations at street level will necessitate occasional overnight closures of 19th Street NW.

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