Metro Opens First New Escalator Entrance at Bethesda Station (VIDEO)
The first of three new entrance escalators is now operating at the Bethesda Metro Station.
According to a news release, the escalator opened for service on Aug. 3.
“This is a significant improvement for our customers at Bethesda Station. This first new entrance escalator will provide more reliable service for the thousands of passengers who travel through the station each day,” said Metro Interim General Manager and CEO Jack Requa.
Take a loot at this video from Metro that showcases the escalator:
With a rise of 106 feet, the new escalator is the second longest in the Western Hemisphere. From demolition, site preparation, to the assembly of the new escalator, the project took more than nine months to complete.
But there are still two escalators to install and to keep the station open, Metro’s contractor, KONE, is replacing one escalator at a time, leaving one going up, one going down.
Work for the second escalator is scheduled to begin soon. The project will continue to be done overnight for safety.
The project began in October 2014 is expected to take about two years to complete at a cost of approximately $8.4 million.
“A safe and reliable Metro system is key to our community’s future. This new escalator, completed on time, is one step forward in creating a significantly improved Bethesda station. As work now moves to the second and then third escalators, I have my fingers crossed for minimal disruption and I, like so many, look forward to when we will have a whole new fleet of escalators serving our Bethesda transit riders,” said Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner.
The new escalators are part of a number of improvements made at Bethesda station, including lighting improvements, a new stairway, and two new escalators between the mezzanine and platform levels that have already been installed, Metro said.
“We are excited to mark this milestone with the replacement of the first of the three long escalators at Bethesda. We look forward to the improved reliability that local residents, employees, visitors, tourists and all users of the Bethesda Metro station will experience as they enter and exit the station,” said Jane Fairweather, chair of the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce’s Metro Improvement Task Force.
Metro plans to replace 128 escalators by 2020. It has already installed new escalators at Foggy Bottom, Dupont Circle, Pentagon, Van Ness, Georgia Ave-Petworth, Glenmont, Columbia Heights, Friendship Heights and Mt. Vernon Square.
Metro’s Bethesda station opened in 1984 and currently serves nearly 11,000 riders on a typical weekday.