An 8-month-long project to completely replace the three escalators at the south entrance of the Dupont Circle Metro station officially began Wednesday, as the system shut down the entrance to all riders.
The long-planned project began late Tuesday night, when workers began blocking off the normally busy entrance and exit point. The work will shutter the 19th Street NW entrance for more than half a year while the escalator work is being completed.
Metro will keep all three Farragut North entrances, the stop just south of the Dupont Circle station, open until the system's closing time every day. Before, some exits were shut before closing time, Metro spokesman Phil Stewart said.
Metro is recommending that commuters who are inconvenienced by the entrance closure use either the station's north entrance, which is on Q Street, or the Farragut North Station, which is about one-half mile south of Dupont Circle on Connecticut Avenue.
As WMATA prepared to shut the entrance down late Tuesday night, the @WMATA twitter feed lit up with pictures of the escalators accompanied by lyrics to Sarah McLachlan's I Will Remember You.
"I will remember you..." ^BA twitter.com/wmata/status/1@wmata (@wmata) February 1, 2012
WMATA says that the entrance closure should last for about 8 1/2 months. The agency also released a video describing alternatives for riders during the work.
The next escalators set to be fixed will be the ones at the Pentagon station on the Blue and Yellow Lines, Stewart said.
Cited as some of the "least reliable escalators in the system," Metro says safety reasons will force the closure of the entire entrance rather than shutting down one escalator at a time.