But riders who see the signs about the south exit closing for 81
2 months want to know whether the north exit can handle the extra traffic. You can’t blame them for worrying. Last week, a Red Line rider heading into the station saw one of the three big northside escalators under repair, then walked down a turned-off escalator to the Shady Grove platform. That platform escalator was a walker because another one was under repair.
The transit authority says riders who normally use the south entrance at Dupont Circle might try the north entrance at nearby Farragut North.
Wait until they see Farragut North. That station looks like an old house where the upstairs toilet tank broke open when nobody was home, ruining the downstairs ceiling and soaking the floor.
How did transit riders get caught in never-ending reruns of “Extreme Makeover: Metro Edition”?
I have a copy of Metro’s evil plan. It’s called the capital budget for fiscal years 2013-2018. Let’s take a look at what’s in store for us.
Dave Kubicek, the deputy general manager for operations, pledges that the escalators on the north side of the station will be working when the south side is closed for the $13 million renovation. The closing is scheduled for Wednesday, and Kubicek said that if there’s any delay in fixing the north escalators, he will postpone the shutdown. After that, Metro says it will have mechanics on call to quickly fix problems.
Farragut North’s entrance at L Street and Connecticut Avenue NW is about a seven-minute walk from Dupont Circle’s southern entrance and a reasonable alternative for travelers south of the circle.
The big wooden box that severely restricted platform access was taken down, revealing a platform-to-ceiling support pillar. Heavy construction equipment has been removed. Kubicek says work will continue on the ceiling but only overnight.
Because of a maintenance project, an important segment of the Red Line is a bus route this weekend. Shuttle buses have replaced trains between Dupont Circle and Van Ness. Through June, parts of the line will experience five similar disruptions.
Parts of the Orange Line are scheduled for seven such breaks through June. Many of the weekend disruptions involve work connecting the new Silver Line to the Orange Line between East Falls Church and West Falls Church. The Blue and Green lines also will experience several disruptions through June.
The track switch replacements recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board — major projects that often require station shutdowns — are scheduled to be completed this year. But that won’t end the shutdowns, which allow workers full access to the tracks and stations, so they can combine several projects.