By Helen Klein
The rehabilitation of five stations along the Brighton line is moving forward, with the goal of completing work on the southbound side by September.
Jim Steers, project manager for Granite Construction Northeast, the contractor doing the project for New York City Transit, told members of Community Board 14’s Transportation Committee, gathered at the board office, 810 East 16th Street, for their January meeting, that work was on schedule at Avenue M and Avenue J, ahead of schedule at Kings Highway, and behind schedule at Avenue H and Newkirk Avenue. Approximately one third of the work has been completed, Steers said.
Nonetheless, said Steers, he anticipates completing the work involved with revamping the stations on the southbound side on time. They would then be reopened, and the southbound side stations will be shut down, for about eight months, until May, 2011.
In addition, once the shift is made to the northbound side, there will be two weekends in September when the line will be shut down in its entirety and shuttle buses will be utilized to move passengers.
After the stations on the northbound side reopen, Steers said, “We should be back to a four-track system,” even though, he told the group, work on the project will continue for approximately three or four more months.
The delays at Avenue H have two causes, Steers said. For one thing, he explained, workers discovered utility lines “that we didn’t know were there.” In addition, Steers said, the TA is doing a certain amount of redesign of “some of the structures that we are building.”
The delays at Newkirk Avenue are related to the condition of the steel substructure, Steers said, explaining that “It turned out that about 30 percent more steel needed to be replace than in the original contract.”
In addition, Steers said, “The winter was a little tougher than we expected.”
Despite this, he told the group, both sides of the plaza should be “opened up by Memorial Day,” with finishing work done in stages subsequently.
“That’s about two months behind where we hoped to be,” Steers acknowledged.
Once work shifts to the northbound side, the landmarked station house at Avenue H will be tackled. This is being done by a subcontractor, Arteco & Design Restoration Corp., whose President, Witold Karwowski, said that the goal of the work would be to “preserve as much as we can. Authenticity,” he stressed, “is even more important than appearance.”