Notice anything different about the Van Ness Metro station?
WMATA told us Friday that the stairs at the closed west entrance would reopen today, and remain open for the next four to five months. The entrance will close again in February or March.
Metro is replacing the three long escalators inside the station, and the shorter one at the west entrance.
The west entrance closed in June so it could be used to move parts of the first long escalator out of the station and bring new sections in. The entrance will remain open while installation work is under way. Once that’s done, the entrance will close again and work will begin on a second escalator. WMATA’s latest press release offers a more detailed timeline.
- Stairs open – October 19 through February/March 2016
- First new escalator in service – February/March 2016
- Stairs close February/March until May 2016
- Stairs open May through November 2016
- Second new escalator in service – November 2016
- Stairs close November 2016 through January 2017
- Stairs open Spring 2017 for remainder of project
- Third new escalator in service – August 2017
Metro also says the three-year project is on schedule so far. If it remains so, the west entrance will be closed just eight to nine months of those three years, including the four months since it first closed in June.
If this had been Metro’s intention all along, it certainly was not communicated in its initial announcement, made just two weeks before work was originally scheduled to begin. Metro intended to start on May 4th, but after our Advisory Neighborhood Commission and other community leaders pushed back about pedestrian safety concerns, the project did not start until late June.