MTA starts repairs on Borough Hall elevators, Clark Street schedule remains unknown

The Borough Hall subway station elevator at Cadman Plaza.
The Borough Hall subway station elevator at Cadman Plaza.
Photo by Kevin Duggan

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority shut down the elevators at the Borough Hall subway station Downtown on Monday, July 13, starting a multi-month repair project of the lifts, according to the agency. 

The $6.4 million scheme is slated to wrap in spring of 2021, but civic gurus in nearby Brooklyn Heights have asked the agency to also start work on the neighborhood’s Clark Street station elevators, while ridership figures remain below normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s no reason why they couldn’t start on Clark Street while they’re working on Borough Hall,” said the association’s executive director Lara Birnback.

Transportation officials in February announced plans to shutter Clark Street station for eight months to fast-track repairs on its three elevators which provide the only access to the deep-underground stop.

The Clark Street station in Brooklyn Heights.Photo by Ben Verde

The agency didn’t give a start date at the time and the BHA, along with the president of the local Cadman Towers Co-ops Toba Potosky, sent a letter to MTA in mid-June asking transit bigwigs to begin work on Clark Street soon. 

MTA spokesman Shams Tarek said the agency has yet to award a contract for the Clark Street project, and that the cost and timeline of the scheme will be driven by the work agreement. 

“[Clark Street station] is not being done now because we don’t have a contract awarded, which is TBD,” Tarek said. 

While subway ridership numbers are increasing again, figures are still not at pre-pandemic levels and Birnback’s organization said in a recent release that now is the time to move ahead with the Clark Street station repairs.

“Given that the flow of commuters is likely to remain lower than normal until the COVID-19 crisis is over (and perhaps into the future) we continue to ask the MTA to start the Clark Street station work as soon as possible,” the Brooklyn Heights Association said in a July 10 newsletter.

Borough Hall station has suffered years of disrepair and negligence by the agency, which in 2018 led its ceiling to partially collapse, injuring one commuter.