March 15, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Elevators will be installed at the Greenpoint Avenue (G) train station under a new MTA project, the agency announced earlier this week.
The project, presented at Wednesday’s Community Board 1 meeting, will see a total of three elevators installed at the station—one at ground level and two others below ground at the bi-level station, said Andrew Inglesby, Assistant Director of Government and Community for NYC Transit. Construction is expected to start in the third quarter of this year, or sometime in the summer or early fall.
The outdoor glass elevator will stand 14 feet tall above ground and be located along Manhattan Avenue between Greenpoint Avenue and Kent Street. The MTA will also work with the Department of Transportation to extend the sidewalk in the vicinity by eight feet, meaning the elevator will not be placed on the existing sidewalk.
The street level elevator will also be surrounded by several bollards. The door to the elevator will face Kent Street.
Below ground, the MTA will install elevators two at the mezzanine to allow passengers to access the northbound or southbound side of the platform below. The agency will modify the fare control area at the mezzanine and relocate two platform stairs to make way for the elevators. One platform stair will also be refurbished, while another will be replaced.
At the platform level, new tactile warning strips will be installed and ADA boarding areas will be constructed.
Inglesby said construction will take approximately 28 months, meaning that the elevators will likely open in the third quarter of 2020. The MTA is scheduled to award the project contract in the second quarter of this year.
Inglesby said that several factors explain the long duration of the project. Workers will have to complete construction on both sides of Manhattan Avenue, but will do so one side at a time to minimize the disturbance to traffic. Coordinating with the DOT to expand the sidewalk also adds time to the project.
The MTA added that the work may require some closures, but the station will otherwise remain open during construction.
“As far as subway service, it’s not going to be impacted,” Inglesby said. “Once the contractor comes on board, we will have a more definitive schedule. People should not leave here today thinking the G will be affected.”
Some attendees at the CB1 meeting raised concerns about the location planned for the elevator. They claim that the stretch along Manhattan Avenue is congested, and that the elevator could cause safety and quality of life issues.
But for Jeremy Rosen, who owns the Bread Brothers Bagel Cafe— the store that will be directly in front of the street level elevator— the MTA’s project presents a massive problem.
“You’re blocking right in front of my store,” Rosen said. “That’s going to affect business.”
Rosen is also concerned about the Canarsie Tunnel, connecting the L line to Manhattan, scheduling to close for repairs next year. He owns several bagel shops along the L line, and said business in 2019 “is going to go straight down the garbage.”
“You couldn’t put it in front of McDonald’s?” Rosen said of the elevator. “How big is my frontage?”
Inglesby said the agency took an extensive look at possible locations for the elevator, and that the planned location is “the most appropriate for many reasons”.
The MTA said they will continue to reach out to affected property owners, businesses, and residents during construction. The agency will also provide updates to CB1 and local elected officials during construction.