This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Julie Alderman.
Dupont Circle’s second Metro stop reopened Sunday following an eight month, $12 million renovation to upgrade its notoriously unreliable escalators.
The 19th Street exit, which has been closed since February, includes three high powered escalators to replace ones that had been some of the least functional across the District.
“This project represents one of the largest and most complex escalator projects ever undertaken by Washington Metro,” Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles said at the station’s grand re-opening.
During the renovations, riders used the north entrance on Q Street and the Farragut North Metro stop at L Street and Connecticut Ave.
The closure of the entrance also burdened local businesses. Karen Balela, manager of Panera Bread in Dupont Circle, said daily revenue dropped from over $10,000 to about $7,000 while the entrance was closed. Anticipating to soon see a rise in customers, she said she has already rehired some of the staff she was forced to lay off during the slow months.
Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans, who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, said the renovation represented signs of future expansion for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
“I’ve been a big proponent from the first days on the Council of expanding Metro. Metro needs to grow,” said Evans, who has called for more inner-city lines and WMATA partnership with the federal government and the governments of Maryland and Virginia.