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Dupont Circle Metro escalators still facing issues after $12M fix

An escalator at the Dupont Circle Metro station. (WJLA photo)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) – A $12 million fix for escalators at the south entrance to the Dupont Circle Metro station is now showing problems. At least one escalator has been out of service for months and will be closed for at least another week.

Yellow gates now block the middle Metro escalator at Dupont Circle’s south entrance.

“They’re so necessary, particularly at this station,” said rider Direthea Cummings. “I don’t understand why they can’t keep them fixed and operable. I don’t understand.”

Just three years ago, new escalators were installed at a cost of $12 million and nearly nine months of work. Metro said they would be more durable.

“It’s not a big deal for me,” said Metro rider Jialan Sarr. “But for old people, it can be a problem.”

Transit data analyzed by D.C. Metro Metrics show the middle escalator has not been working since December.

“In busy times, it can really slow things down, for sure,” said rider Michelle Godiwala.

Metro officials say a replacement chain is on the way from Germany, after an object came into contact with the escalator’s chain. The new one should be installed within one week. Still, Metro says the new escalators are more reliable than the old ones.

“There’s no problem. It’s only when you have two of ‘em down and then a lot of people can’t walk down them, especially on a long escalator. That’s when it becomes a problem,” said Metro rider Bob Sheldon.

It will cost $100,000 to fix the Dupont Circle escalator, and final repairs later in the year will close the escalator again for several weeks. It is not known whether Metro or the contractor will foot the bill.

“Get them fixed and fixed properly, so that we don’t continue to have these kinds of problems,” Cummings said.

Metro is also replacing about 128 escalators system-wide by 2020, costing $151 million.

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