Dupont Circle escalators Three long escalators had to be replaced in a tight work space at the DuPont Circle station last year. (WMATA)

Metro is going to close half of the entrance escalators at the Pentagon station beginning next month so that crews can remove and replace the existing escalators.

The project will begin Feb. 4 and last until the fall. The three southern entrance escalators (on the left when riders leave the station) will be demolished and removed, after which new escalators will be installed.

This means that commuters will have to head to the northern escalators or the elevator to get in and out of the station.

The escalators that are being removed were installed 18 years ago and have become increasingly unreliable and difficult to maintain, according to the transit agency.

Metro announced last week that it had awarded a $151.1 million contract to replace and modernize 128 escalators in its system. This doesn’t include the new Pentagon escalators, nor does it include the escalators that were replaced at Foggy Bottom in 2011 or at Dupont Circle last year.

Related: Dana Hedgpeth’s story about how for Metro riders, when it comes to escalator repair, sometimes the cure is as bad as the disease.