Once back-of-house stairways are open, riders will be able to use them during all Link light rail operating hours. One important note: work on back-of-house stairs will occur one stairwell at a time, with follow-on work happening for a while. This means after we open BOH stairs, riders may notice some stairways closed while work continues.
When it opened on March 19th of 2016, Capitol Hill Station was born with only emergency stairs connecting to its arrival and departure platform. It was designed to be accessed by escalator or elevator with the emergency staircase to be put to use in, well, only emergencies.
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But later this spring the back of house stairs will be there for you when the fragile conveyance systems are out of order or if you you feel like getting in a climb.
The work comes after decisions made last fall by Sound Transit in the wake of repeated access failures on Broadway and at UW Station. Sound Transit did not adopt the “Mitch Hedberg principle” — An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs — but, instead, decided take on the expense of building entirely new staircases at UW by 2022.
On the Hill, the much faster and cheaper BOH will have to do. Note to Capitol Hill Station’s escalators and elevators: You are not off the hook. Many riders will still depend on you so try to stay on the job delivering riders 65 feet below Broadway to the platform, OK?
Work underway to prepare for the new access using the stairs that connect from the mezzanine level to the platform involves the installation of safety and security systems, Sound Transit says.