Rhea Titus: I’m Rhea Titus, and you're listening to an "In the News" podcast on TransitTrax, New York City Transit's podcastservice.
After a long two year wait, full service has finally been restored at Brooklyn’s Smith-9 Sts station for F and G trains. Fernando Ferrer is the acting MTA Chairman.
Fernando Ferrer: This station has been an important hub for the convergence of five historic Brooklyn neighborhoods for as long as this station existed. When it was out for about two years getting fixed, people missed it.
Rhea Titus: The newly reopened station was honored with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. In attendance were MTA officials and community leaders including acting New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco.
Carmen Bianco: We’ve created something the community could be proud of and we made this entire line better, safer, and more user friendly. I hope you all agree that it was worth the wait. I find this is all really exciting and I’m proud to be here, to be a small part of it, and to salute the men and women of New York Transit who really made this all happen.
Rhea Titus: The project was particularly rigorous. At approximately 88 feet, Smith-9 Sts is the highest elevated station in the world. CPM Construction Manager Chris Velenovsky.
Chris Velenovsky: It basically starts with demolition. We have to remove all the canopies, lead paint on the walls, then we demolish the platform topping, the platform edge. Then we start reconstructing from the top down.
Carmen Bianco: You could tell it was a huge challenge because of the complexity of this station. This station has all new platforms, it has new canopies, new wind screens, new public address systems. Everything in this station has been modernized. It’s a full rehabilitation, this is one of our very best, so we’re very happy.
Rhea Titus: Besides renovated escalators, an updated waiting area, and a new agent booth, there are new distinct features that make this station splendid.
Chris Velenovsky: On the lower mezzanine you have, it looks like a beehive on the corner of the lower mezzanine with all the glass, that’s one of the most custom things we have in this system. You won’t find that anywhere else in the system.
Carmen Bianco: Artist Alyson Shotz working from her studio in Red Hook, has created an incredible series for this station using as her inspiration the rich maritime history of Red Hook and the Gonwanus Canal.
Rhea Titus: The Smith-9 Sts station provides the neighborhoods of Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, and Gowanus an opportunity to thrive.
Customer: It’s good for the community, it’s good for the people that drive this train to go to work and stuff like that.
Customer: It’s much more convenient with the station open, I couldn’t wait for it to open, it makes it much more easy with transportation.
Customer: The job that the TA and the City have done on this station – unbelievable.
Carmen Bianco: It gives the folks that live around here chance to have a train in their neighborhood. They don’t have to walk the significant distances to the other stations, there’s just no downside. And it helps businesses, it just makes the economy vibrant in the area.
Rhea Titus: Some may say that 80 years old is over the hill, but with this new complete makeover Smith-9 Street doesn’t look a day over 20.
For TransitTrax, I’m Rhea Titus. Thanks for listening and thanks for riding with New York City Transit.