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Enhanced 53 St R Subway Station Opens in Sunset Park

A reimagined subway station has opened in Brooklyn.

MTA New York City Transit has opened the new 53 Street station in Sunset Park, Brooklyn ahead of schedule. Completed in less than six months, the new station is the first of 33 to undergo extensive, accelerated renovations as part of a broader program aimed at improving the New York City Transit system. The MTA is undertaking component and renewal work at more than 170 other stations. The new 53 street Station includes countdown clocks at each of its five entrances, enhanced LED lighting, WiFi connectivity, new digital displays throughout the station, USB ports, and an upgraded security system. In the fare control area, glass barriers have replaced metal bars, enhancing sightlines and allowing more light to enter the station. A pair of the station’s entrances feature new canopies. Other upgrades include wayfinding floor tiles for the visually-impaired, new handrails, stair treads, wall tiles, granite flooring, and light rail fixtures.

The station was completed under a design-build contract which designates a single team to be responsible for the design and construction of an entire project. Design-build ensures seamless coordination between all contractors on a project and that work is completed in the shortest possible time frame. The MTA is utilizing design-build for all 33 stations that are a part of this initiative.

“We got the job done quickly and efficiently. Our teams worked day and night to complete work on this extensively renovated station in just a little over five months,” said Ronnie Hakim, Managing Director, MTA. “As a result, customers who use the station will now have a wide array of new tools to manage their commutes, including digital screens, countdown clocks located before the turnstiles and on the platforms, USB ports, and Wi-Fi connectivity. And this is just the beginning – we look forward to opening enhanced stations at locations across the city.”

The station also includes a new mosaic art installation from Mickalene Thomas, an internationally renowned Brooklyn artist. The collage-like design juxtaposes textile patterns with the imagery of plants found in New York, bringing the beauty of nature and domestic interiors into the station. A repeating geometric pattern of emanating concentric rings carries throughout the piece like a photo flash or solar flare. The mosaic was commissioned by MTA Arts & Design.

The project was awarded on November 30, 2016 along with two other stations, Prospect Avenue Station and Bay Ridge Avenue Station, as part of a fast tracked design build project. In order to accelerate the project, the 53 Street Station was closed on March 27, 2017, giving the contractor the ability to complete the work in the shortest possible time frame.