Foggy Bottom Metro renovations to begin this week

Long-awaited renovations to the Foggy Bottom Metro station, including the installation of three new escalators, a staircase and a canopy to cover the station’s entrance, are slated to begin this week.

The upgrades will begin Jan. 24, and will take place gradually over the next year, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced last week.

The escalator and canopy upgrades are in response to a report issued last fall by an outside agency commissioned by WMATA, which reviewed the chronically malfunctioning escalators at the Foggy Bottom and other Metro stations across the city.

The escalator upgrades were originally set to begin last November. The addition of a canopy over the station’s entrance was also slated for completion last year, but was never started.

The renovations are intended “to improve passenger flow and increase capacity to move people through the station,” Metro General Manager Richard Sarles said. When escalators are out of service, as is the case frequently at the Foggy Bottom station, lines build up in and out of the station, as walking up or down the escalator stairs causes congestion.

Only one escalator will be replaced at a time and Metro hopes to have two escalators in service while the renovations are taking place, according to a news release.

WMATA Public Affairs Officer Angela Gates said there is no specific end date for construction as of now, but customers can expect a fully renovated station later this year or early in 2012.

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