Pershing Square escalator replacement project reaches first construction milestone

From the desk of project manager Wilbur Babb:

Replacement of the Pershing Square escalator replacement project’s first escalator has been completed today. The escalator at the Red/Purple Line Pershing Square Station 5th Street entrance is now open to the public.  The newly constructed escalator unit requires a period of testing and will be operated intermittently in both the up and down direction for a period of one week.  During this one week period, the existing “up” escalator will remain operational.  Upon completion of testing, the new escalator will be placed in service in the “up” direction and the second escalator will be closed for a period of four months for replacement. 

Over the years, Metro has adopted a system-wide initiative to progressively replace all escalators as they come to the end of their useful lifecycle with heavy duty escalators that meet the design guidelines developed by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).  The five mezzanine-to-surface escalators at Pershing Square are among the oldest in the system and are exposed to high rider demand, crush loading at peak ridership periods, periodic misuse and adverse weather — canopies were not installed over the two portals until 2012. All of which led to the decision to replace the five mezzanine-to-surface Pershing escalators as soon as possible.

As part of the project’s scope, the contractor will replace five escalators within the three portals at Pershing Square Station.  Additionally, the contractor will install and integrate new electrical and communication systems between the new escalators, video surveillance system, existing auxiliary power rooms, and train control and communication rooms. The project scope had included plans for a new canopy at the 4th Street east entrance, but that has been changed to allow for a proposed residential development which will partly cover the 4th Street east Metro plaza. An Overhead Protection Structure (OPS) will be constructed above the 4th Street east entrance prior to opening the new escalator to the public.  The OPS will provide temporary cover over the escalator as well as fall protection during construction of the development project above the entrance.  All of the work will be staged so customers will be able to continue to use the portal.

Work crews will soon begin the second phase of construction at the 5th Street entrance by replacing the adjacent escalator unit. The work is scheduled for completion in February 2017.


5 replies

  1. Whatever happened to putting canopies over all of the escalators? I remember them saying it was to lessen repairs from rain. Not like we get any, but I still wonder if this would ever be completed since it really does improve the exits.

  2. Great. Now *please* fix the escalator at 7th/Flower, at the system’s busiest station. That escalator has been out since mid-summer. Every month the “estimated completion date” sign gets updated with a new date, but nothing actually gets done.

    • Factual! Except that this escalator is now turning into the largest trash bin in the Metro system.

  3. Interestingly, none of the elevated stations of the Expo Line has escalators!