WASHINGTON — For the third straight summer, the chiller system that is supposed to cool Metro’s Dupont Circle and Farragut North stations will not be working, WTOP has learned.
Instead, Metro, the D.C. government and the Business Improvement District for the area are working on plans to truck in equipment “as early as June” that could work to cool both stations. If the connections hold up, that addition this summer would provide the first relief for riders on the Dupont Circle and Farragut North platforms since the summer of 2015.
The single system that cools both stations has been crippled by apparent leaks in the lines used to circulate the chilled water. The lines connect the stations, a plant beneath the median of Connecticut Avenue, and a cooling tower on the roof of a building at Connecticut Avenue and L Street Northwest.
“Since 2015, Metro and its contractors have made multiple attempts to repair the pipes, including identifying and patching individual leaks, followed by a complete relining of the pipes from within. Unfortunately, none of the repair strategies applied to date has been successful,” Metro spokesman Richard Jordan said in an email.
A Metro contractor is still trying to determine the best way to permanently fix the problem, a process that began last year.
That fix could involve digging up Connecticut Avenue to completely replace the original pipes, which could cause significant traffic problems.
“The independent engineering review will identify solutions and strategies that minimize this impact to the extent possible, and we will continue to work with DDOT, Golden Triangle BID, and other stakeholders throughout the project,” Jordan said.
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