DAVENPORT, IOWA (March 17, 2021) — In a case of patience and persistence, KONE Corporation has landed a major contract to provide 130 new energy-efficient escalators across the Washington DC region.
KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry with operations in the Quad Cities, recently won a $179-million, seven-year contract from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to modernize and replace escalators in 32 Metrorail stations. The company’s escalator plant in Coal Valley will produce equipment for the project, which is expected to be completed by April 2027.
“As the second-busiest rapid-transit system in the US, Metro is a vitally-important component of the Washington region’s transportation infrastructure,” said Ken Schmid, Executive Vice President, KONE Americas. “KONE is proud to play a part in this project, which will help improve the flow of urban life throughout the metropolitan area.”
KONE’s Coal Valley site employs more than 100 people and expects growth based on this project.
“This is great news for KONE and will certainly make a positive impact on KONE operations in the Quad Cities area,” said Unit Director Brian Krzyaniak, who manages the facility.
Paul Rumler, President and CEO of the Quad Cities Chamber, said the achievement speaks volumes about the world-class team at KONE and the Quad Cities region.
“This is about how our economy will recover in 2021,” he said. “We know in the Quad Cities that workforces have been impacted by layoffs and furloughs. It’s exciting news to have a multi-year contract that will provide a full and expanded workforce at a major, well-known manufacturing facility.”
KONE had hoped to receive the contract last July, but it was delayed by pandemic and other factors. The company, headquartered in Lisle, Illinois, booked the order in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The contract marks the second KONE has won as part of WMATA’s decade-long capital-improvement project to replace and restore the oldest and least-reliable escalators in Metro’s system with heavy-duty, transit-grade escalators.
When the latest contract is complete, KONE will have produced more than 50% of Metro’s 618 escalators. In addition to escalators, KONE will install 27 unique controller cabinet enclosures to complement the stations’ traditional architecture.
KONE’s win will also help the Chamber in its efforts to recruit new companies to the region. “We’re really proud of the Quad Cities workforce,” Rumler said. “The fact KONE has the confidence to be here and produce these highly technical and specialized machines should tell the world of the Quad Cities’ capabilities.”