The real F-ing mess starts next week

MTA switching tracks; F express on the table
The Brooklyn Paper / Tom Callan

Beginning next week, a subway ride to and from some parts of Brownstone Brooklyn will be a real F–ing pain.

Long-anticipated station closures and diversions to accommodate the rehabilitation of the crumbling Smith-Ninth Street station finally begin Jan. 10, with Queens-bound trains skipping that stop entirely until May 2011.

For service to and from the station, riders can use the G train, which will stop at a temporary platform on the elevated portion of the Coney Island-bound route.

The ongoing work along the so-called Culver Viaduct will also force the Queens-bound F to skip the Fort Hamilton Parkway and 15th Street-Prospect Park stations through May 2011, according to an advisory posted on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority website.

To access those stations, straphangers will be forced to travel past their stop and then double back using the F or G trains, which will stop on the express tracks at Seventh Avenue stations.

The entire project will cost $275 million and will conclude, mercifully, in 2012. More stations along the line will be affected in the future.

Transit spokeswoman Deirdre Parker said renovations are a necessary evil.

“The Culver Viaduct was constructed in 1933 and we really need to do these repairs, and replace steel and concrete,” she said. “We apologize for the inconvenience, but this is work that really needs to be done.”

In the short term — this weekend, Jan. 7–10 — there will be no F service between Jay Street and Stillwell Avenue. The train will be replaced by free shuttle buses.

That said, Mother Nature may grant a one-week reprieve: NYC Transit may cancel the weekend work if there is snow this weekend. At press time on Wednesday, the agency had not made a final decision.

And the F line shuttle buses return this weekend.
The Brooklyn Paper / Tom Callan