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Nine Stations Along A Line To Undergo Major Renovations

Paul Fleuranges: I'm Paul Fleuranges with a “Building for the Future” podcast on TransitTrax, New York City Transit's podcast service.

((Sound: jackhammers chipping concrete.))

Rehabilitation work is happening in the Rockaways, as nine stations along the A Line are in the process of undergoing extensive renovations.

Eric Jones, Construction Manager; Capital Program Management: This is not cosmetic at all; we have major structural repair to structural steel supports for the canopies, the columns beneath the station house. We have a lot of concrete repair.

Paul Fleuranges: The stations being repaired are Mott Avenue, Beach 25th, Beach 36th, Beach 44th, Beach 60th and Beach 67th Street on the Far Rockaway Branch, and Beach 90th, Beach 98th and Beach 105th Street on the Rockaway Park branch. Eric Jones of Transit's Capital Program Management Department is the Construction Manager for the project, and explains what work is going on.

Eric Jones: Generally we are going to be doing what I would say is a total rehabilitation of the stairs from the street to the mezzanine, and from the mezzanine to the platforms. On the platforms at most of the stations we are going to be either doing a total replacement of the platforms; that is: pouring a new concrete slab, totally new rubbing boards. The interior of all the mezzanines are being demolished and reconstructed. The canopy will be replaced on three of the stations and the membrane will be replaced at Mott Avenue. On the other five stations the canopy is in good condition. And at Mott Avenue, which is the end of the Far Rockaway line, we are going to be adding two elevators that will bring passengers from the control house up to the platform.

Paul Fleuranges: The project is budgeted at $117 million dollars: funding provided by the MTA Capital Program. An example of New York City Transit's efforts to upgrade the system's aging infrastructure. A Line General Manager Herbie Lambert says the renovations are sorely needed, especially along the Rockaway Park branch.

Herbie Lambert, A Line General Manager: First of all these stations have not been rehabilitated since I believe the opening of the Rockaway Branch which is at least 30 years old or more, and those stations have not had any major renovations done, so this is an opportunity now for New York City Transit to go in and completely refurbish the entire station. At the end of the day the rider will definitely benefit from this construction project. It will be more appealing, the station environment will be more appealing.

Paul Fleuranges: While the finished product will bring these stations up to a state of good repair, getting to that point won't be easy, especially when the work gets to the platform level.

Eric Jones: We have the windscreens to remove, we have the canopy steel support to repair, we have the platforms to replace, the stairs to replace. So of course we have to take that platform out of service and we are doing it at every other station.

Paul Fleuranges: During the work, traveling through the construction zone will require patience and some extra planning by A Line riders who use one of the 9 stations, according to David Erlitz of Operations Planning.

David Erlitz, Operations Planning: The service plan was designed so that each station would not be shut down completely, and allow passengers, allow customers to back ride only one station as opposed to more than one. Customers may also have to utilize shuttle buses on certain weekends when there may be a shutdown of the line.

Paul Fleuranges: Subway disruptions will last through 2010. For specific information about service disruptions associated with this project, check posted notices at affected stations, or log on to the New York City Transit Service Advisory page online at www.mta.info.

For TransitTrax, I'm Paul Fleuranges. Thanks for listening and thanks for riding with New York City Transit.