Mark Groce: I'm Mark Groce and you’re listening to an "In the News" podcast on TransitTrax, New York City Transit's podcast service.
((Sound: “Last stop Smith and 9th Street))
Beginning on July 5th, that familiar announcement at the Smith and 9th Street station will be replaced with another. Next stop, 4th Avenue/9th Street, as the G will be extended 5 stops from its current terminal in Gowanus to the Church Avenue station. Judy McClain from Operations Planning explains why the line is being extended.
Judy McClain, Operations Planning: We need to reconstruct the Culver Viaduct, and we need to work on all of the tracks so we're taking out two of the tracks, the middle tracks, and therefore we can no longer relay the G train, turn it around at 4th Avenue so we are extending it down to Church Avenue.
Mark Groce: The Culver Viaduct is located between the Carroll Street and the 4th Avenue/9th Street station and includes the Smith/9th Street station. It has a high point of 90 feet as it spans the Gowanus Canal. It opened in 1933 as part of the IND system and it hasn't been rehabilitated since, as John O'Grady from New York City Transit's Capital Program Management Department explains.
John O'Grady, Capital Program Management: The viaduct is in a structurally deficient condition, the structure is delaminating and essentially what we need to do is go in and fix the top of the structure first. There is water infiltration through the existing track deck that is causing the deterioration of the structure below so we're actually going to be rebuilding the structure from the top down.
Mark Groce: The viaduct is currently wrapped in netting and black tarp to prevent concrete from falling to the ground below. In order to bring the viaduct up to par, New York City Transit will be spending $257.5 million on an engineering and construction project to completely renovate the structure.
John O'Grady: So this project will be removing the existing track, exposing the existing concrete deck, patching and repairing that deck, water proofing the deck and reinstalling new track and signals. At the end of the process at track level there will be four completely new tracks, the structure will be water proofed, and we will be in a position of being able to fix the underside of the structure.
Mark Groce: During this work, the G will be operate, and be extended 5 stops south.
Judy McClain: Now we're going to be stopping at 4th Avenue, 7th Avenue, 15th Street/Prospect Park, Fort Hamilton Parkway, and Church Avenue.
Mark Groce: And by making these additional stops, the G will provide riders with new, direct connections to several other lines.
Judy McClain: This will make it a lot more convenient for riders, because, south-bound G riders instead of having to transfer to the F to go further south into Brooklyn, they'll be able to just stay on the G to reach Windsor Terrace and Kennsington neighborhoods. In addition, G riders can now take the F or the G to transfer to services at 4th Avenue, the M and the R or at Hoyt-Schermerhorn, transfer to the A and the C.
Mark Groce: As a result of extending the G, it’s estimated that on a typical weekday, 8,700 riders will save an average of three minutes. The G will operate to Church Ave through 2013, the scheduled completion date for the Culver Viaduct project.For TransitTrax, I'm Mark Groce. Thanks for listening and thanks for riding with New York City Transit.