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Major Federal Grant Given to Update Elevator System

Walter Reed Medical CenterIt’s hard to forget about the rash of elevator outages that took place last summer across the country, especially you live in a major metropolitan area. Last summer, Manhattan residents were hit with some massive power outages, leaving some stranded in apartment buildings and public transit stations. Another city that has consistently had problems with lift systems is Washington, D.C., which not only deals with power outages, but some seriously problematic elevator systems in its own public transit stations. Luckily, this summer hasn’t been as bad and there’s even more good news on its way for the nation’s capital.

According to The Washington Examiner, the Defense Department is giving $40 million in grants to ad in a relocation project at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The money has been granted on top of another $28 million for some massive changes:

“[The money is] needed to build a pedestrian tunnel and high-speed Metro elevators to ease the pain of the massive relocation of thousands of workers and patients to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. The money, on…will fund the work to make it safer for about 7,000 pedestrians who cross state Route 355/Rockville Pike daily to get to Walter Reed from the National Institutes of Health side of the street.”

One of the other benefits from this project, the article says, is an ease in slowdowns for motorists travelling in the area. A primary reason for the project was a large increase in traffic from workers and visitors to the medical center, up 33% and 50% respectively. The new elevators being planned are high-speed, to facilitate the increase in foot traffic:

“The three planned high-speed elevators will take transit riders from the medical center side of the pike directly down to the platform level of the Medical Center Metro station, eliminating the need to cross the street.”

Although originally expected to be finished in 2016, these elevators will not be completed until 2017.


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