Manhattan-bound R trains will skip several stations this weekend starting tonight for maintenance and asbestos-removal.
Starting 11:45 pm on Jan. 13 and ending at 5 am on Jan. 16, trains will pass:
• Union Street
• Fourth Avenue–Ninth Street
• Prospect Avenue
• 25th Street
• 45th Street
• 53rd Street
Workers will continue to remove more than 1,230 square feet of asbestos-containing mortar from the 53rd Street station — enough of the cancer-causing material to cover two average-sized subway platforms.
Officials wouldn’t say whether the other stations also had asbestos, when the asbestos was discovered, or what they used it for in the station. It is typically used for tile installation and structural repair.
The transit authority is taking precautions to prevent exposure to the cancer-causing mineral while it conducts the work, said an official.
“This material will be removed within a sealed containment,” said Amanda Kwan, a spokeswoman with the transit authority. “We will also have full-time oversight to monitor the containment and ensure that the work is being performed properly.”
Industrial air pumps will suck up airborne asbestos particulate and maintain lower air pressure inside work zones so it does not float into publicly accessible areas, according to Kwan.
Several of the stations are slated for temporary closure for upgrades this year. The Prospect Avenue and 53rd Street stations will get new entrances, countdown clocks, and wifi, though officials have not released a timeline.