2008-06-27 / Top Stories

Rockaway Subway Repairs Survive MTA Cuts

By Nicholas Briano

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has released an amendment to their capital projects plan for 2009 that will delay subway station improvements for a wide range of platforms throughout the city.

If you are a Rockaway subway rider worried that the change will impact your commute, however, don't worry, be happy because, surprisingly, Rockaway's $142 million in repairs survived the capital plan cuts.

The expanding budget gap and rising construction costs was cited as the main reason for the amended plans, according to MTA CEO Elliot Sander, who added that the amendment to the plan includes delaying 19 subway station overhauls until after January 2010. The MTA confirmed last November that it would begin a $141.8 million restoration of the Rockaway subway line beginning this summer.

Improvements to the dreadful conditions along the peninsula's subway platforms and elevated support structure will include an overhaul of the Mott Avenue station with the installation of an elevator, Braille directional signage, and platform upgrades that will reduce the gap between the platform and the train doors.

Also in the plans are repairs to the stations between Beach 25 Street and Beach 105 Street. Work at these stations will include replacing corroded stairs and columns and rehabilitating the mezzanine and track drainage systems. At all stations, new lighting systems will be installed to improve security. New platform canopies will also be installed at the Beach 90, 98 and 105 Street stations for weather protection.

The repairs are expected to take nearly two years to complete with limited service interruptions, according to the MTA.

The nine stations along the peninsula are at least 50 years old. Train service above the Rockaway Freeway began in 1956. In 1958, the route was extended to include Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway at the eastern end of Rockaway.

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