New Bethesda Plaza Entrance Stairs

Advisory Effective: 1/17/22 - 10/1/22

In January 2022, Metro will begin a major capital project to replace the street level entrance escalator at Bethesda with a new staircase. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) code 17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators requires the installation of canopies over exposed escalators to protect them from precipitation and ensure safer and more reliable operation. Unfortunately, a canopy cannot be installed at the plaza location for several reasons, including:

  • Installation would require major alteration and possible demolition and rebuilding of the existing fountain
  • Space constraints and ownership of the property at the plaza entrance

For these reasons, the escalator must be replaced with a staircase. Through the Canopy Installation Project, Metro will be installing nine new canopies at rail station entrances and addressing station entrance infrastructure that is not up to current code standards. This infrastructure investment is part of Metro’s ongoing commitment to ensuring its systems remain in a state of good repair.  

How will this work affect my trip?

The entrance between Wisconsin Ave and the plaza will be closed during construction. Signs will be posted directing customers to access the station from the east side of Wisconsin Ave and East West Highway and at the plaza level (bus bay area) via Edgemoor Lane. The elevator located on the west side of Wisconsin Ave at Montgomery Lane will remain open. Customers should follow all posted signs and avoid the construction area. 

How long will the project take?

The removal of the escalators and installation of the new staircase is expected to take approximately eight months.

How can I stay informed about the project?

Additional information can be found on the Escalator, Canopy and Elevator Project page. Customers are also encouraged to sign up for MetroAlerts text or email messages to receive service information or contact Customer Service at 202-637-7000 with additional questions.