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The Pentagon City Metro station is getting a second elevator.

On Saturday, the Arlington County Board voted to award a contract to W. M. Schlosser Company for the construction of a second station elevator on the west side of S. Hayes Street, near the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.

Designs for the elevator were first approved early last year and the contract for managing the construction was approved this past summer.

The second elevator will eliminate the need for pedestrians to cross six lanes of traffic on S. Hayes Street, two parking lanes, and a bike lane to reach the one elevator currently in operation on the other side of S. Hayes Street, near the Pentagon Centre shopping center.

“For those with mobility issues, this is a big step forward so that we can serve everyone well,” said County Board Chair Matt de Ferranti at the meeting.

Construction is expected to start in the spring and be completed within a year, by spring 2022.

The Maryland-based W. M. Schlosser Company previously was awarded the contract to rehabilitate Arlington House in 2018 and completed streetscape projects for the county in Crystal City and Potomac Yard.

The total cost of the elevator contract is about $6.5 million, which actually exceeded the initial estimate by about double. Changing market conditions and the risks involved with such a complex project are “likely reasons” for the higher costs, according to Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokesperson Eric Balliet.

Funding for the project is a combination of federal ($2.4 million), state ($2.1 million), and local funds ($2 million).

The Pentagon City Metro station has one of the highest riderships in Northern Virginia, according to the staff report. The station averaged about 12,500 entering riders in 2019, though that number has been cut by more than two thirds in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The elevator will add to the two escalators that already lead to the station at street level on the west site of S. Hayes Street.

“Providing entry to the station from the west side of South Hayes Street improves ADA access as well as access for passengers with strollers and luggage,” reads the report.

Additionally, it will provide redundancy if — or when — one of the elevators goes out of service for any reason.

The County approved this item as part of its consent agenda, meaning it was non-controversial and was acted upon by a single vote. The County Board also approved, as part of the consent agenda, an increase in the contract for the eventual inspection of the elevator’s construction.

The Pentagon City Metro is also getting four new escalators as part of a $179-million, seven-year system-wide project to replace and install new heavy-duty escalators. That project will begin in May.

Photo courtesy of Arlington County

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Arlington County could soon embark on a $1.8 million effort to replace four elevators around Courthouse.

The County Board will vote at its meeting this weekend on a plan to fully overhaul two elevators in Arlington’s Court Square West building (1400 N. Uhle Street) and two more that connect to the Courthouse Metro station underground.

All four elevators have “reached the end of their useful lives,” according to a report prepared by county staff.

The elevators in Court Square West, a building that holds some county offices, travel seven stories each. The Metro station elevators travel just two stories, and are located at each end of an underground access tunnel linking to the station — one is at 2200 Clarendon Boulevard, the other at 2111 Wilson Boulevard.

The County Board is set to vote to award a contract for the work on Saturday (May 19), as part of its “consent agenda,” which is generally reserved for noncontroversial items that are approved all at once.

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A malfunctioning elevator at the Ballston Metro station made for an unpleasant morning commute for a woman at the Ballston Metro station Thursday.

The woman was trapped inside the station’s elevator at ground level after the doors would not open.

The Arlington County Fire Department was called and firefighters used the “jaws of life,” a heavy-duty hydraulic tool, to pry open the elevator doors. The started passenger was then able to squeeze out of the gap between the doors, where she was evaluated by paramedics.

ACFD posted a video of the incident on its Twitter account.

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Arlington County ambulance (file photo)Medics rushed an elevator repair worker to the hospital this morning when an accident partially amputated his hand.

Around 9:45 a.m., an emergency call came in for an elevator worker who somehow got caught in an elevator pulley system at 1300 17th Street N. in Rosslyn. By the time emergency workers arrived at the scene, the man’s co-workers had already untangled him from the cables and pulley.

Emergency workers reported the worker’s hand was partially severed at the palm. The man, who is in his 60s, was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University hospital.

No additional information is available regarding his condition.

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Morning Notes

Pentagon City Elevator Contract Approved — The Arlington County Board has approved a contract to design a second elevator for the busy Pentagon City Metro station. The estimated $5.1 million elevator construction project has already received $4.5 million in federal funding. [Arlington County]

Arlington’s Roads Rate ‘Poor’ — More than one third of Arlington County’s 974 mile street network is in “poor” condition, based on the county’s own assessment. The reason for the poor road conditions may lie with spending. The county has been spending significantly less on paving than the amount recommended by its top streets official. [Patch]

Board Considers Solar at Supermarkets — County Board members say they’ll consider a Green Party proposal to either force or encourage supermarkets to install solar power arrays on their roof. The solar power could help refrigerate food during power outages. [Sun Gazette]

Maywood Neighborhood Profiled — The historic Maywood neighborhood of Arlington is “endearing and peaceful” and “extremely friendly,” according to a radio profile. [WAMU]

Renovations Revealed at Crystal City Hotel — Last week the 343-room Crystal City Marriott officially unveiled its $7 million redesign, which included new common areas like a new bar/restaurant and a new fitness center. [Marriott]

Flickr pool photo by Lifeinthedistrict

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On Saturday, the Arlington County Board is expected to approve a contract to begin preliminary engineering for a new elevator at the Pentagon City Metro station.

With about 36,000 combined entries and exits per weekday, the Pentagon City station is the second busiest station in Northern Virginia — second only to Rosslyn — and the 10th busiest in the entire Metro system.

A study conducted by WMATA in 2010, at the request of Arlington County, concluded that a new elevator should be built on the west side of S. Hayes Street, near the Pentagon City mall, and across from an existing elevator on the east side of Hayes.

In a report, county staff says a second elevator will help improve access to the station for those with disabilities and for those with strollers and luggage, by eliminating the need to cross S. Hayes Street in order to use an elevator.

“Additionally, it will provide redundancy, in accordance with current WMATA design criteria, when one of the elevators is out of service for any reason,” staff added.

The contract for the initial engineering is worth $358,359, and is scheduled to be voted upon by the Board on Saturday. Once the preliminary engineering is completed, the county plans to proceed with a design-build construction process in order to save time and money.

The budget for the entire project includes $4.5 million in federal funds, $400,000 in state funds and $200,000 county bond funds.

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We may have discovered an entirely new genre of video on YouTube.

Crystal City’s elevators and escalators have been extensively chronicled on the video sharing site. There are at least two dozen such videos on the site, posted by at least three dedicated elevator enthusiasts. The videos feature commentary and often a critical review of the elevator’s aesthetics and function.

“Look how big that indicator is!” the young man in the video below gushes. “That indicator is quite a sight.”

“They’re very fast for hydraulic, yet it’s very hot in here,” he added, mixing praise with criticism.



Most of the videos feature elevators, but there are also a few escalator videos.

See a few more examples of the genre after the jump.

Read More

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Elevator Woes For Metro

Half of Arlington’s ten Metro stations are experiencing elevator problems this morning.

Elevators are out in the Rosslyn, Courthouse, Ballston, Pentagon, and Crystal City stations.

One person became trapped in the Courthouse elevator this morning after it experienced some sort of mechanical problem. Paramedics were dispatched to the scene after it was reported that the individual inside was having trouble breathing, but he or she refused treatment upon being freed from the elevator.

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