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Metro recommends riders use alternatives to the Dupont Circle station, like the Farragut North Metro station or the Metrobus, during escalator renovations to prevent crowding. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Tiana Pigford.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority shut down the south entrance of the Dupont Circle Metro station Wednesday, starting an eight-month renovation process that will add three new escalators.

The upgrade, part of a $150 million overhaul across the rail system, will uproot and replace the station’s three narrow escalators that were custom-built and installed in 1997 to fit into the space normally allotted to two units.

Riders are encouraged to use the Farragut North station to lessen crowding at the Dupont Circle station – one of Metro’s busiest – during the upgrades.

Workers will operate three separate cranes to maneuver each escalator, forcing the closure of the entrance for safety and efficiency purposes.

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A woman fell while on the escalator at the Foggy Bottom Metro station Monday afternoon, prompting officials to shut down the moving staircase for a routine inspection.

Escalators are always shut down for an inspection following any injury, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said. He added that technicians are on their way to Foggy Bottom to check the escalator, which will likely be up and running again in two hours.

Individuals can still walk up and down the unmoving escalator. Stessel said the woman who fell was transported to GW Hospital.

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Repairs to the Foggy Bottom Metro station that began in January are estimated for completion in 2012.

The upgrades include replacements of all three escalators at the station, as well as installation of a staircase and canopy. The Hatchet reported in January that Metro officials estimated the project would take about a year to complete, but a sign posted at the station said repairs would take until May 2011.

Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel said Friday that the 2012 estimate is the most accurate time line the transit authority can offer at this time.

Taubenkibel said throughout the renovations, Metro will continue to keep two escalators in service while the third is being replaced.

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Metro will begin updating the Foggy Bottom Metro station as part of a $177 million rehabilitation of Metrorail’s Red Line this fall, the Washington Post reported last week .

Plans include adding a stairwell, new escalators and canopy to the entrance of GW’s Metro stop on the Blue and Orange Lines.

A Metro spokesperson told The Hatchet previously that the plans were included in the Red Line phase of Metro projects, rather than the Blue Line phase, due to frequent escalator breakdowns.

The Washington Post reports that the Red Line project is slated to be finished in the summer of 2013. Rehabilitation projects are also planned for the other Metrorail lines in coming years.

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The escalators at the Foggy Bottom Metro station, which have often been out of service in the past year, will be renovated next year. Shown above, commuters wrapped around the block in November as only one escalator was in service. Anne Wernikoff/assistant photo editor

The escalators at the Foggy Bottom Metro station, which have often been out of service in the past year, will be renovated next year. Shown above, commuters wrapped around the block in November as only one escalator was in service. Anne Wernikoff/assistant photo editor

The Foggy Bottom Metro station will receive new escalators, a staircase and a canopy over the entrance as part of a $177 million Red Line rehabilitation project.

Though the station is not on the Red Line, the updates were included because of necessity, said Metro spokeswoman Taryn McNeil. The Blue Line phase of the Metro overhaul won’t take place for another three to four years, McNeil said.

“We’re adding it to the Red Line phase instead of waiting for the Blue Line phase because the escalators are breaking down,” McNeil said.

The project is slated to begin early next year, spokesperson Candace Smith said.

The Foggy Bottom escalators have often been out of service in the last year, and Metro spokespersons have previously said they are hard to fix because replacement parts are hard to come by.

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