Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman E. Virgil Conway and MTA New York City Transit President Lawrence G. Reuter were joined by elected officials and community leaders in the dedication and reopening of the completely rebuilt Franklin Avenue Shuttle in central Brooklyn three months ahead of schedule.
The $74 million project boasts rebuilt stations, new disabled accessible elevators and ramps, tracks, structural bridges, retaining walls, signals, power supplies, communications links and even MetroCard Vending Machines. It also includes a brand new free transfer at the Botanic Garden Station to the Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5 lines.
Chairman Conway said, "We are here today to witness the rebirth of a vital link in the Brooklyn community. The conditions once found at the Franklin Avenue Shuttle may have been the system's worst, but today are the newest and the best. This impressive reconstruction of the shuttle and its stations stands to show the best of the MTA's Capital Program."
NYC Transit President Lawrence G. Reuter said, "Tearing away and replacing elevated tracks, stations and signals as well as redesigning track layout makes the Franklin Avenue Shuttle more customer friendly. It is essentially a new subway line and will remain vital to the people of Brooklyn for many years to come."
The Franklin Avenue Shuttle is a 1.4-mile long structure with four stations. It connects the A and C lines at Franklin Avenue to the D and Q lines at Prospect Park and now the Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5 lines at the Botanic Garden Station. About 10,000 daily customers use the Shuttle and it serves many important Borough institutions including the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Prospect Park, the Interfaith Medical Center as well as the Prospect Heights and Clara Barton high schools.
Since July 1998, train service along the shuttle was suspended to allow for the extensive demolition and reconstruction project. Free shuttle buses were provided in the interim.
Two of the stations on the line were completely rebuilt. The bright and airy Franklin Avenue Station was restyled with a stucco exterior and has a new elevator to the shuttle level. The refurbishing highlights include stained glass windows and decorative ironwork, tiles with geometric design and an elevator for the disabled and elderly.
The Park Place Station also was completely rebuilt with new entrances and access provisions for the elderly and people with disabilities. The Botanic Garden Station underwent extensive renovations including the construction of an enclosed free transfer between the Shuttle and the Franklin Avenue Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 lines.
Construction work on the project began on September 1997.