Anyone who has ridden Metro during the summer knows that stations can get hot, and the problems are especially bad at Farragut North and DuPont Circle.

Cooling systems haven’t worked properly there for years, due to aging and leaky pipes. And a new report from The Washington Post suggests that a permanent fix will not come quickly or easily.

The Post reports that Metro officials acknowledge that temporary, stop-gap solutions haven’t been working. Metro first tried to patch leaky pipes, then used a temporary—and unpopular—chilling tower. Ultimately, they have acknowledged that pipes must be replaced, necessitating a disruptive, $5 million digging up of Connecticut Avenue.

“It should come as no surprise that digging up Connecticut Avenue was a last-resort option — something we would consider only after other repair options were exhausted,” Metro spokesman Dan Stessel told the Post. “This project extends beyond Metro property and requires coordination with DDOT, the Business Improvement District, among others. . . . Unfortunately, none of these less intrusive options were successful, and the decision was made last year to install new pipes.”

There’s no indication the work will commence or be completed before Washington’s sweltering summer. A temporary cooling tower could be in place later this spring, though officials are trying to decide on a location that’s less disruptive to area businesses.


Metro just given $15.5 billion over a decade to fix the system. But three years later, it still can’t repair the chillers. (The Washington Post)

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