MTA commences two-year-plus project to install elevators at Brooklyn Museum station

Down for construction: An entrance to the Brooklyn Museum subway station was closed to accommodate construction of new accessibility features.
Brooklyn Paper
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Contractors this week kicked off a two-year-plus project to install elevators and make other handicap-accessible improvements to Prospect Heights’s Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum subway station.

Workers with the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Jan. 7 closed an entrance to the 2- and 3-train station on Eastern Parkway opposite the Brooklyn Museum, ahead of installing new stairs and railings compliant with federal accessibility laws as part of the 26-month makeover’s first phase, which is set to wrap in September, according to Authority spokesman Andrei Berman.

Contractors also cordoned off the Prospect Heights–bound Eastern Parkway Service Road between Washington and Underhill avenues to use as a staging area for construction, which required the elimination of several parking spots and narrowing the traffic lane on that block.

Department of Transportation documents show the staging area is permitted through March 21, but a worker at the site on Wednesday said contractors would obtain additional permits as necessary to use the block beyond the current expiration date.

The sudden arrival of construction outfits came as a surprise to some locals who live along that stretch of Service Road, however, one of whom accused the Authority of giving no notice of the renovations.

“It would have been nice to know,” said Heather Paul, a 40-year resident of Eastern Parkway’s Turner Towers.

A doorman at her building told this reporter he handed out fliers to residents in advance of the project, but Paul claimed she never saw or received any such notices.

Berman assured that the Service Road’s traffic lane, while narrower, would be open to vehicles at all times throughout construction, but barricades made of caution tape and traffic drums completely blocked off an entrance to it near Washington Avenue when this reporter stopped by, forcing a United Parcel Service employee to park his truck on the avenue and walk packages to their final destinations.

“They wouldn’t let me go through,” said the delivery man, who declined to give his name, citing company policy.

A contractor with the Authority, who also declined to give his name, said workers at the site closed the roadway to ensure their safety, but Berman only reiterated his claim that the Service Road would remain open to vehicles when told about the blocked entrance to it from Washington Avenue.

Future phases of the years-long station renovation call for installing a street-to-mezzanine elevator on the Brooklyn Museum side of the hub, along with two more lifts from the mezzanine to both the Brooklyn- and Manhattan-bound subway platforms, and new elevator-machine rooms and handicap-accessible boarding areas outside the lifts, Berman said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 10:41 am, January 16, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy says:
#CoumosMTA should've done this several years ago. What a shame.
Jan. 11, 2019, 6:44 am
Kristen Jellybrand from Troy says:
Two years? LOL
Jan. 11, 2019, 7:57 am
Pablo from Sunset Park says:
Shouldn’t we fix the signals first?
Jan. 11, 2019, 8:24 am
David Weinkrantz from Downtown Brooklyn says:
Now why will it take more than two years to install elevators in one subway station? Could it be done in a shorter duration of time? A structural steel contract was awarded on January 12, 1930, with excavation of the site beginning ten days later on January 22. Excavation was nearly complete by early March, and construction on the building itself started on March 17, with the builders placing the first steel columns on the completed footings before the rest of the footings had been finished. During one stretch of 10 working days, the builders erected fourteen floors. This was made possible through precise coordination of the building's planning, as well as the mass production of common materials such as windows. The Empire State Building was structurally completed on April 11, 1931, 12 days ahead of schedule and 410 days after construction commenced. The Empire State Building officially opened on May 1, 1931, forty five days ahead of its projected opening date. So why will it take two years for the MTA to install elevators at one subway station? I have a better idea.
Jan. 11, 2019, 10:42 am
Master Clinton Hill from The Hill says:
Two years to build one subway!? What is going to cost? $250 million???
Jan. 11, 2019, 10:43 am
Mathematician from Brooklyn says:
Probably. The jazzing up of Prospect Avenue, 53rd Street and Bay Ridge Avenue on the R line cost $72 million and they didn't even get elevators.
Jan. 11, 2019, 11:46 am
Master Clinton Hill from The Hill says:
Correction: elevator
Jan. 11, 2019, 12:36 pm
Tricia Poobuhtt from Mahwah says:
This is laughable! The mahwah New Jersey transit bus depot has had an elevator since 1993. I won’t be “holding my breath” until this one is finished. Sorry felicia , not sorry!
Jan. 11, 2019, 5:09 pm
Andrew I. Porter from Brooklyn Heights says:
There used to be an entrance to that station near the Brooklyn Public Library, closed off for many years. You can still see where the exit onto the street was, on the south side of Eastern Parkway. With all the nearby residential construction, it would be nice to reopen that as well.
Jan. 12, 2019, 11:11 am
Murn from Prospect Heights says:
I hate that the only entrance open right now is the lesser used one near the museum. In the evening it can lead to a made scramble across Eastern Parkway while Washington has green and motorists turn onto Eastern. As Andrew pointed out, there is a western mezzanine at this station and I am glad to know that I am not the only one who would love to see that reopened. It would be nice to access the stairwell that used to be on the developed side of the street while the other stairwell on this side is under construction. If only this were possible.
Jan. 14, 2019, 1:34 pm

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