Home MTA Construction A look at the Bleecker St. renovations

A look at the Bleecker St. renovations

by Benjamin Kabak

For decades, the subway stop at Broadway-Lafayette St./Bleecker St. has been the source of transfer-inspired madness. Due to the oddities of original construction, eventual station expansion and system integration, the complex — the only in-system transfer point in Manhattan between the IND Sixth Ave. line and the Lexington Ave. IRT line — has sported a unidirectional transfer. Passengers can go between the downtown IRT and the IND platforms without exiting but must utilize an out-of-system transfer and an above-ground walk to travel between the uptown IRT and IND platforms.

In 2005, before the days of Second Ave. Sagas, the MTA proposed fixing this annoyance. The plans — which I explored in 2007 — include extending the uptown IRT platform southward by 300 feet so that it will align properly with the downtown platform and IND transfer point. The mezzanine connecting the IRT with the IND will be extended east, and the entire station will be made ADA-compliant. In 2009, as the project got off the ground, I went in depth on the design of the renovated station. These renovations were a long time coming.

Today, as part of its glimpse at weekend work, New York City Transit, via its Twitter account, posted some photographic updates of the work in progress. According to Transit, the $94 million renovation project is 35 percent complete and is still scheduled for a late 2011 completion date.

As for the photos, the shot above shows Transit contractors working to extend the uptown 6 station southward. After the jump, photos and a video of the work in progress. All come courtesy of the MTA and New York City Transit.

Shown here is the steel frame for the uptown platform extension.

At street level, workers are installing the ventilation and roofing infrastructure.

This video from the MTA’s new YouTube account features an overview of the project from those working on it and some more scenes from the construction site.

You may also like


Josh K February 8, 2010 - 5:32 pm

This is one of the ways that cut and cover construction on the original subway lines makes improvements like this easier. If this were a deep station, this project would have cost 4 times as much.

Tom H February 8, 2010 - 5:46 pm

Thanks for covering this project. I remember reading about it in 2005 but hadn’t heard anything else. Glad to see it’s underway — it will help considerably in easing crowding at uptown transfer points and it getting from Brooklyn B,D, and F lines to the midtown and upper East Side.

Does anyone have any information on the status of the Lawrence Street-Jay Street transfer?

digamma February 8, 2010 - 5:56 pm

Couldn’t they make this a Metrocard transfer by, like, pushing a few buttons on a computer?

Benjamin Kabak February 8, 2010 - 5:59 pm

It’s already been a MetroCard transfer, but it’s an above-ground MetroCard transfer that requires people to walk about a block or so and swipe back in. The station was due for an ADA upgrade anyway, and this project made sense. This is the 25th most popular station in the system, and thousands of people a day will benefit from this more convenient transfer.

Andrew February 8, 2010 - 6:08 pm

It’s not a MetroCard transfer.

MetroCard transfers are generally only instituted to compensate for lost transfer opportunities when trains are rerouted (hence the transfers instituted in 2001 at the then-new north terminal of the G and the then-new out-of-system transfer point between the F and the 6). Especially in a neighborhood like this, the revenue loss (among people visiting the area and reentering the system for free, deliberately or not) would be considerable.

I’ve made this “transfer” with an unlimited MetroCard, and it’s a pain.

Benjamin Kabak February 8, 2010 - 6:09 pm

Oh, I see what you mean by MetroCard transfer. That terminology confused me.

But yeah, not a MetroCard transfer in that sense as it is at 59th/63rd Sts. with the F and N/R/W/4/5/6.

Sara Nordmann February 12, 2010 - 3:15 am

Can you explain the difference between a “MetroCard transfer” and the other thing you’re talking about? I’m confused.

Kai B February 9, 2010 - 9:26 am

MetroCard transfers confuse people greatly. Often when I get out of the G-Train at Court Square, confused passengers are standing by the HEETs to the 7, horribly confused. They think MetroCard transfer means they have to swipe their MetroCard again. Granted if the signs read “Free”, this would be mitigated (although I think some people never will grasp the concept that the turnstiles are “smart” enough).

Nevertheless – this in-system transfer makes sense.

Katie K February 8, 2010 - 10:33 pm

It’s inaccurate to say that Broadway Lafayette is the only place the IND and the IRT connect in Manhattan. They also connect at 53rd Street and Lex.

Larry Littlefield February 9, 2010 - 11:05 am

The project was planned in the 1990s and an approved part of the 2000-04 capital plan. When that plan over-ran, it was eliminated — but then put back in the 2005 to 2009 capital plan. It should have been open in 2004.

katiebakes February 10, 2010 - 1:58 pm

Great pictures and update.

You know what REALLY irritates me about this subway renovation?

Before it began, they had JUST finished the Houston Street Reconstruction Project in the Bowery to Broadway area. This had been going on for years and years. Finally it was completed, and quite lovely: smooth streets, Greenstreets islands in the middle of the road with big old trees, etc etc.

Literally a few weeks after we Nolita/Noho residents began to enjoy the peace and quiet and all that, I walked out of my apartment and men were CUTTING DOWN THE GIANT TREES. A week or so later, they dug back up everything that they had just put down.

Cripes, do any of these agencies communicate with one another? What a colossal waste of time and resources.

Jessica P April 15, 2010 - 10:29 am

I live at 298 Mulberry St (corner of Houston) and while there’s been a lot of construction on Lafayette and Houston since I moved in a year ago, now it’s directly on Mulberry. This is a huge hinderance to just getting around, not to mention the noise and huge eye sore that I now call my home. Do you know how long the construction is going to actually be ON Mulberry St? Also I just resigned an 18 month lease and now I’m worried that this construction is going to ruin my entire time there. I’m furious that the property manager did not mention this AND even had the nerve to jack our rent $300 a month! Do you have any further information for things tenants can do?

Does anyone have any information?

wendy May 28, 2010 - 11:15 am

Hi. I am looking to move into this building (298 Mulberry) but I am fearful it will be too noisy. I have trouble sleeping and need a quiet apt. Do you feel the apt is noisy? do you like the building? thanks


Leave a Comment