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Metro reopens Bethesda elevators

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Local,Transportation,Kytja Weir,Metro

Metro commuters can use the elevators at the Bethesda station again after the transit agency finished a months-long closure for an extensive rehabilitation.

The transit agency announced the re-opening via Twitter at 6 p.m. Wednesday. "Thank you for your patience during the rehab," the agency wrote. "We know the longer wait to return was frustrating."

The two elevators were supposed to be finished in October, after both were closed this summer. But Metro said it was missing key parts, then had to update the elevators to meet new state codes. In recent weeks, they remained closed as Metro officials said they were awaiting a state inspection.

The two elevators serve as a lifeline for wheelchair users but also help many other riders at the station, which has the system's second-longest escalators after Wheaton. When the escalators are down, many riders flock to the elevators to avoid the 212-foot climb between the faregates and the street.

Metro plans to replace the three escalators that run to the street, but the work isn't scheduled to begin until 2014.

kweir@washingtonexaminer.com

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