Shizelle Small: I'm Shizelle Small with a “Building for the Future” podcast on TransitTrax, New York City Transit's podcast service.
The Brighton Line in Brooklyn is a bee-hive of construction activity, as New York City Transit undertakes a multi-million dollar project to rehabilitate the structure, accessibility, and appearance of several subway stations along the B and Q lines. Construction work is scheduled for Avenue U and Neck Road stations as well as the complete rehabilitation of five other stations. Jim Leopard is the B and Q Line General Manager.
Jim Leopard, B/Q Line General Manager: It involves the rehabilitation of seven stations along the Brighton corridor and those stations are Avenue U, Neck Road, Newkirk Avenue, Avenue H, Avenue J, Avenue M and Kings Highway station. Those are the ones that are being rehabilitated, those seven stations. What we’re doing is we’re doing a complete reconstruction of these stations, actually from the ground up. I think it’s important because the platforms are very, very narrow at Avenue H, Avenue M. These are stations that are certainly in need of reconstruction and need to be brought back to a state of good repair. It is a true investment for the community, for the customers, and all would agree that it’s something that is definitely needed.
Shizelle Small: Customers who use these stations can look forward to improvements to station platforms, the installation of ADA compliant elevators, and new fully equipped station booths. As Leopard explains, additional fare entrances and un-staffed control areas will be built as well.
Jim Leopard: Customers will see that we will be replacing and widening the stations platforms. We will be replacing and adding windscreens and canopies. There will be an ADA compliant elevator that will be installed at the new Kings Highway station. You will see new station booths for the station agents. There's going to be the restoration of the historic station house at the Avenue H station, which is very important to the community there. There will be additional entrances at Avenue H and there will be two new fare entrances: the north-bound platform area at Avenue J and Avenue M stations. All of the stations under rehabilitation will get new station lighting, and there will several enhancements to the architectural treatments as well as the installation of a new public address system.
Shizelle Small: These major investments in the stations along the line has been in the pipeline for quite some time, and the project has been a subject of discussion with the surrounding community as plans have progressed over the last four years.
Jim Leopard: They went through a full discussion of what the timeline for this project would be, what the work actually was going to be done, what the change in service pattern, the loss of the B express, for example, with the B's operate local.
Shizelle Small: But as the saying goes, there's no gain without some pain, and for riders, that means service diversions.
((Sound: “Stand clear of the closing doors please.”))
Between Fall 2009 and Fall 2011, all service for the B and Q line will operate on the local tracks. During the work, traveling through the construction zone will require patience and some extra planning for riders who use the affected stations. Judy McClain of Operations Planning shares important traveling service information.
Judy McClain, Operations Planning: In order to facilitate the rehabilitation of several stations along the Brighton Line, all B and Q trains will be making the same stops. They won’t necessarily be stopping on the local track per se, but they will be making the same stops and in some cases they will have to bypass certain stations so we can do the rehabilitation work.
Currently we have just started bypassing Avenue H and Avenue M in the south-bound direction, the Coney Island-bound direction. We have a temporary platform at Avenue J so all trains are stopping there and riders who need to access this station in the south-bound direction now need to go to Kings Highway or Newkirk Avenue to back-ride to reach their final destinations.
This service plan will be in effect for approximately a year, then we will switch to the Manhattan-bound side and we’ll be closing that side of Avenue H and Avenue M. I would just suggest that riders refer to the posters that are in the station, and to minimize the inconvenience—we understand that it is an inconvenience to our riders when we have to get this work done and that it’s going to take them longer to get to work in the mornings, to get home at night—but there will be a real benefit at the end of this project.
Shizelle Small: For specific information about service disruptions associated with this project, check posted notices at affected stations, or visit us on the web. Or you can pick up a copy of a new brochure designed to keep you up to date on the project. You can also use Trip Planner to get customized directions, by logging on to www.tripplanner.mta.info.
For TransitTrax, I'm Shizelle Small. Thanks for listening and thanks for riding with New York City Transit.