Two sets of staircases planned for the Bethesda and Union Station Metrorail stops will be built with granite, not just concrete, the transit agency now says.
Metro is planning to spend $2 million to build staircases at the two stations to help ease congestion on the rail system. Metro officials last week said the planned stairs were concrete but now Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said officials were using concrete as “a generic term.” Instead, he said, the treads on the stairs will "likely" be granite.
Last Thursday, a board member questioned why the agency would add concrete instead of granite stairs as they degrade quickly, lasting just seven to 12 years instead of the 100 or so years of granite. The agency did not correct him then to explain that the stairs would include granite.
Additionally, when The Washington Examiner asked on Friday about the concrete staircases and whether the agency was reconsidering the plans or had any estimates of how long concrete would last, the agency said the plans were unchanged. They said they had no life expectancy for the stairs.
But Stessel said Monday that the granite topped stairs will have a lifespan “measured in multiple decades, not years.”