MTA Press Releases

Press Release
July 21, 2020
MTA Announces Major Acceleration of New Elevator Installations at Brooklyn Subway Station

MTA Taking Advantage of Low Ridership & Overnight Closure During COVID-19 Pandemic to Advance Installation of Elevators at 59 St nr by 11 Months, to October 2020  

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board is voting this week to ratify a contract modification to advance the installation of elevators at the 59 St nr subway station in Brooklyn almost 11 months ahead of schedule. The MTA is taking advantage of low ridership and an overnight subway closure during the COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate the project and minimize inconvenience to the public while completing the project far sooner than originally planned.

This timeline modification allows the MTA to accelerate the in-service date of three new elevators, as well as all work in the north mezzanine and all work associated with providing a fully compliant ADA accessible path of travel at the 59th Street station, to October 2020. 

“We’re determined to get a lot of projects done faster and cheaper while ridership is low,” said Janno Lieber, President of MTA Construction & Development.  “Here, finishing the project almost a year early will deliver millions in overhead savings – savings that will offset most of the cost of the extra personnel and longer hours necessary to accelerate construction.”

“Expediting the project will allow more customers in Brooklyn to more easily access this station far sooner than expected, and that’s a huge win for the community,” said Alex Elegudin, NYC Transit’s Senior Advisor for Systemwide Accessibility. “This acceleration is a clear signal that the MTA is steadfast in its commitment as it works to make more of the subway system accessible as quickly as possible.” 

The project includes one mezzanine-to-street elevator and two mezzanine-to-platform elevators, as well as an expanded north mezzanine.

The project also includes the following work, to be completed by the end of January 2021: 

  1. Reconfiguration of two street stairs and two platform stairs 
  2. Rehabilitation of one street stair and two platform stairs 
  3. Reconfiguration of the fare control area 
  4. Construction of new ADA-compliant toilet facilities, and back-of-house support spaces
  5. New ADA-compliant sidewalk curb cuts

The costs associated with accelerating this work – $3.5 million including an incentive for early or on-time completion of the elevators, the entire ADA path of travel and all mezzanine work – are partially offset by projected savings of approximately $2.65 million from shortening the project timeline. 

The acceleration was enabled by adding additional overnight and weekend shifts to take advantage of current overnight system closure, and lower ridership, during the COVID-19 pandemic.