In an effort to alert and gather support from N train riders, two south Brooklyn pols took to the streets near the N line’s Kings Highway station on Thursday, January 14 to give out petitions and inform commuters about the more than two-year-long closures and service changes most of them will face while nine stations receive an overhaul.
Eighth Avenue, Fort Hamilton Parkway, New Utrecht Avenue, 18th Avenue, 20th Avenue, Bay Parkway, Kings Highway, Avenue U and 86th Street are the nine stations slated for a 14-month renovation on the Manhattan-bound side, followed by an additional 14-month renovation of the Coney Island-bound side, according to the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).
“For the MTA to cancel service and not provide any accommodations for the community is an injustice,” said Assemblymember William Colton, who spearheaded the effort at the Kings Highway station alongside District Leader Nancy Tong. “We are asking the MTA to provide free shuttle buses to connect the stations at least. Hopefully, they will take into consideration our plan, which includes adding temporary platforms at the Avenue U, Kings Highway and 18th Avenue stations.”
“As we were telling the public about the upcoming closure on the Manhattan-bound side, a majority of them were shocked,” added Tong. “Assemblyman Colton and I wanted not only to inform the public of the upcoming station closures, but also to demand the MTA provide accommodations during the long 14 months of planned work.”
During the total 28-month renovation, work will include improved platforms and overpasses; new stairways and handrails; repairs to canopies and columns; painting and rehabilitation of historic head house station entrances and fare control areas; enhanced safety features; and upgraded communication systems, according to the MTA.
According to the MTA, the $395.7 million contract to renovate these N stations was funded under the 2010-2014 Capital Program, explaining that, while the contract for these nine stations “pre-dates Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s recently announced plan for rapid redesign and renewal of an additional 30 subway stations,” the MTA will “work with the contractors involved to push for greater efficiency in the renovation process.
“Once these renovations are complete, customers will be greeted by modern amenities including new lighting, Help Point Intercoms and station artwork that will greatly improve their trips along the Sea Beach Line,” said Wynton Habersham, acting senior vice president of the Department of Subways. “We appreciate our customers’ patience while we complete this important project, and regret the inconvenience this work may cause. In order to ensure that our customers are well-informed of these station closures and alternative travel options, notices will be posted in stations and on trains, and announcements will be made on all N trains.”