Construction is part of renovations along N line
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Straphangers who have to transfer from the N train to the D train at New Utrecht Avenue station in Borough Park probably feel like they’re climbing Mount Everest.
The subway passengers have to walk up roughly the equivalent of five flights of stairs from the below ground level platform of the N train up to the elevated platform to catch the D train.
But that will change within the next five years.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is making plans to construct an elevator at the station. The new elevator “will take passengers from the street level to the N and D levels,” MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
The elevator construction is part of a large scale MTA capital improvement project that will transform nine Brooklyn N train stations from dingy, poorly lit corridors to sparkling new transportation hubs for the tens of thousands of riders who use them every day.
The following stations will be renovated: Eighth Avenue, Fort Hamilton Parkway, New Utrecht Avenue, 18th Avenue, 20th Avenue, Bay Parkway, Kings Highway, Avenue U and 86th Street.
The work is expected to begin at the end of 2014, Ortiz said. It will take the MTA at least 48 months for complete the ambitious project, he said.
“The project is in the design stage,” Ortiz said, adding that a price tag hasn’t been put on the work yet.
In addition to building the elevator at New Utrecht Avenue, the MTA will reconfigure another station, Eighth Avenue to bring the subway stop into compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, a law that mandates that the physically disabled be provided with equal access to public transportation.
The plan calls for wheelchair ramps to be constructed at the Eighth Avenue station.
The MTA’s website states that the agency currently operates 120 stations that contain elevators or ramps.
The mezzanine area in each of the nine stations will get new windows, canopies, and lighting. The rooftops will be rebuilt and waterproofed. Artwork will be installed in each station. The stairs leading from the mezzanine to the subway platform will be replaced in all of the targeted stations.
Work will also be done on the subway platforms and walls.
“The track wall will be waterproofed and grouted,” Ortiz said.
In an analysis of the N line, StationReporter.net reported that most of the stations in southwest Brooklyn first opened in 1915.
The construction project was a topic of discussion at a Community Board 11 meeting on Oct. 10. Eight of the nine stations are located in Board 11’s coverage area. The exception is Eighth Avenue, which falls into the neighboring community board, Board 10.
Laurie Windsor, chairman of Board 11’s Transportation Committee, said that repairs will also be made the parapet walls located above the subway platforms. The parapets, which are located at street level, sit next to homeowners’ backyards, she said. “The MTA will reach out to those homeowners,” she said. The agency will contact homeowners to inform them of them of the project.