NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Starting today, some subway platforms in Brooklyn will be closed for more than a year as part of a big renovation project.
It’s the final phase of a $395 million project to add lighting, platforms, stairs and elevators to decrepit stations on the N train’s Sea Beach line.
During the work, N trains will run express from Eighth Avenue to Coney Island, skipping the Fort Hamilton Parkway, New Utrecht Avenue, 18th Avenue, 20th Avenue, Kings Highway, Avenue U and 86th Street stations.
Riders can then transfer to a northbound N train to get back to their stop. The work is expected to last until fall 2018.
“They were really, really bad so I think a lot of us appreciate what they are doing,” one rider told CBS2’s Magdalena Doris.
The MTA is planning much more construction ahead. Chairman Joe Lhota appeared on the John Catsimatidis 990 AM radio show and says overnight closures offer the best solution.
“That’s when we can get a lot of intense work done,” Lhota said. “Just take all of the resources and plow it into one area and move down to the next station, all the way through the tracks.”
There’s been much discussion as to who will pay for an $800 million plan to revamp the entire subway system. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Mayor Bill de Blasio should foot half the bill, but the mayor is disputing that claim. On WNYC Radio’s “Ask the Mayor” program, he said it’s the state’s responsibility.
“We gave them $2.5 billion of capital money two years ago and very, very little of that has been used,” de Blasio said. “So I think the bottom line is that the MTA has had a management problem for a long, long time.”
While the dispute over funding continues, Lhota says the money for repairs won’t come from customer’s pockets. There are no fare increases on the horizon.
“I don’t want this problem to be on the back of the customers, on the back of the riders,” Lhota said. “You know, that’s not the fair way to do it.”
But some customers aren’t so certain.
“That sounds like a lot of money. I don’t think that’s going to happen,” said Hamza Ali of Mapleton.
For more information about changes on the N line during the renovation project, click here.