Update on Dupont Circle / Farragut North Chiller Pipe Repair Project

Advisory Effective: 8/15/19 - 9/2/19

To our Dupont and Farragut North station customers:

It is no secret that the project to restore chilled air service to Dupont Circle and Farragut North stations has been beset by delays as contractors have worked to reestablish the pipe connections between the two stations and the cooling facilities located off Metro property (under Connecticut Avenue and atop a nearby office building).

While this update contains some positive progress, it is still not the news our customers have been waiting for: a date for full restoration of chilled air service.

Update as of August 15, 2019:

  • Earlier this week, contractors completed installation of all underground pipes below Connecticut Avenue NW.
  • While those pipes passed hydrostatic tests, the tests revealed the presence of additional leaks within the chiller plant itself. Metro crews are on-site now and will work through the night to assess the situation and make repairs. Because this requires the demolition of a concrete wall, we do not yet know the extent of the problem and are not able to report the impact on the project schedule.
  • Once all pipes are repaired/replaced, full system leak testing will begin, a process that will take several days to ensure that the network of pipes is properly maintaining its charge. Customers will not notice cool air during this phase, as the purpose of the tests is only to ensure that all leaks have been fixed.
  • Successful leak testing will be followed by a 3-4 day process of programming, preparing the pumps, and charging the chiller system.

Our goal remains to restore chiller service to the stations as soon as possible, including having crews working around the clock if necessary. Metro will update customers when we have confidence in a restoration date. (Note: Due to warm air entering via tunnels/entrances, as well as the volume of air within Metrorail stations, it will take several days for the chiller system to reduce the temperature to its full potential.)

Metro apologizes for the unanticipated delays associated with this project, many of them due to the unique configuration of the Dupont/Farragut chiller system, Metro’s oldest, where the chiller plant and cooling tower are both located off Metro property and some distance from the stations. We are as frustrated with the pace of progress as many of our customers, and we will continue to take every opportunity to expedite the repairs. In the meantime, tunnel fans will run at all times to provide air movement in the stations until the chiller service is restored.