Dupont Circle Metro south entrance escalators back open

Before the sun came up this morning, Gary Ingram was ready to work.

Ingram hands out the Washington Post Express at the Dupont Circle south entrance, and he tells us he couldn't be more excited that it's back open.

The south entrance had been closed for nearly nine months as Metro completely replaced all the escalators.

When they didn't work, which was often, tens of thousands of riders were forced to make the 80 foot climb up and down into the station below.

"The crowds were horrendous while we only had on entry," added commuter Darryll Hueth. "It was so inconvenient. I don't want to walk way out there to jump on the subway to Virginia."

Metro says they were some of the most unreliable system wide.

The big fix cost $12 million and took eight and a half months to complete. Officials say the money was part of Metro's $5 billion revitalization project. The new escalators are said to be sturdy, more durable and able to withstand the heavy traffic the station sees on a daily basis.

Riders tell us they are glad Metro is addressing the problem and hope these new escalators will be working properly for years to come.

“I’m one of the people who is willing to pay a little bit more in my Metro rates as long as they do keep these systems running so I think it’s great that they are doing it,” said one.

Commuters are not the only ones taking advantage of the re-opening. Businesses near the station are using the occasion to pitch their products and hand out deals.

"It's nice that we're here at the top of the new metro stop, so people who are public commuters, they see a second option for when they need to get out of town and stuff like that," said a Zipcar employee, who was working to get others to join.

Metro officials say this part of the project was on time and on budget and now they're moving forward with replacing or rehabbing 94 escalators system wide.