Home Manhattan Little clarity into Bleecker St. transfer delays

Little clarity into Bleecker St. transfer delays

by Benjamin Kabak

The signs are in place but the Bleecker Street transfer is not open yet.

Nothing it seems has captured the attention of a certain group of commuters quite like the Bleecker St./Broadway-Lafayette rehab. The construction — well over budget and at least seven months behind its initial schedule — promises to deliver a key transfer between the uptown East Side IRT local and the IND Sixth Avenue line, thus streamlining commutes for many.

As recently as February, the MTA had vowed to open the transfer by the end of June, but the end of June has come and gone. There is no transfer, and there is no real date yet of an impending ribbon-cutting. Over the past few weeks, I’ve tried to gain some clarity into the situation but few details have emerged.

What I do know is that some departments at the MTA seems to giving out certain information through certain channels while an official opening has yet to be determined. Last week, I caught wind of a July 2 opening and posted it on Twitter. Officials denied that opening date to me on the record, and I never posted here it here as it ended up being poor information.

Yesterday, a Subchatter reportedly received an email from MTA Customer Serivce with an August opening date. Again, though, Transit spokespeople denied such a date. The August date is incorrect but officials “havenโ€™t determined” an exact launch. A recent photo shared by Kris Arnold on Twitter shows work still in progress. With one department at the MTA saying one thing and another saying something else, the left and right hands do not appear to be working together.

So we’re left still waiting. It’s now taken longer to rebuild and properly connect this station than it did to build the entire first part of the IRT in the early 1900s. At some point this summer, the transfer will open, but for now, an ongoing delay continues to plague the project.

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Anon July 3, 2012 - 2:09 pm

Didn’t realize the IRT was built in the 1990s…system shows a lot of wear and tear after 12 short years ๐Ÿ™‚

Benjamin Kabak July 3, 2012 - 2:14 pm

I’m glad someone is proof-reading my stuff around here.

Kid Twist July 3, 2012 - 3:19 pm

And while we’re at it, it’s the IND Sixth Avenue line. ๐Ÿ™‚

Jerrold July 3, 2012 - 3:50 pm

That’s right, only the OTHER mistake was corrected.

While I’m “talking” here, I might as well add that another date that seems to be impossible to get any information about is the topping-off date for 1 World Trade Center. First they were saying something about July 4, then something about some time in August.
Sound familiar?

Al D July 5, 2012 - 12:24 pm

Yes, must be the same PR people!!

Alex C July 3, 2012 - 2:22 pm

This tends to happen when the same mob contractors win all the contracts.

Jerrold July 3, 2012 - 3:41 pm

Yes, it is truly aggravating how even the small transit projects drag on and on for very unclear reasons. The other glaring example of this phenomenon is the new entrance to Grand Central on 47th St. east of Park Ave.

alek July 3, 2012 - 3:44 pm


Just a friendly reminder to post on the site that “Fastrack” will hit the D line this friday July 6th-23rd. No D service between Stillwell ave and Bay Parkway. Plus to add more headaches no D service between 62nd street all way to stillwell on the weekend.

I think the MTA made a bad decision to do the D fastrack in middle of the summer when people are trying to get to Stillwell from the Bronx.

Andrew July 4, 2012 - 10:20 pm

D riders from the Bronx have an easy transfer to the F in Manhattan or to the N in Brooklyn to get to Coney Island.

The lower West End serves John Dewey High School. Closing that portion of the line while school was in session would have been seriously problematic.

Jim July 3, 2012 - 3:45 pm

Come on. Lhota should FIRE most of the people who are causing this garbage delay. Enough is enough already.

Clint Guyon July 3, 2012 - 4:34 pm

And when they do “finish” a project on time, it is decidedly unfinished, like the Court Square 7 platform. Plywood instead of colored panels in several spots, construction lighting where the canopy ends, holes in the platform for lighting poles, and all exterior metal channels in between the wall panels are marked up with measurements and waiting for some sort of finishing material…

Benjamin Kabak July 3, 2012 - 4:42 pm

Or, you know, the disaster at South Ferry that seems to be leaking water all over the place.

Jerrold July 3, 2012 - 5:16 pm

You mentioned the construction of the original IRT earlier today. Even though the old South Ferry station only accommodated half of a modern train, it did not seem to have all those water leaks. It seems that a century earlier, they knew how to build subways not only faster but better.

Peter July 3, 2012 - 11:47 pm

You’re no doubt right, but I will grant that the new South Ferry station is deeper underground, and thus presumably, more prone to leaks from a high water-table.

Still, as in so much of what they do, pathetic.

lawhawk July 3, 2012 - 9:58 pm

And that was over budget, late, and buggy (the leaks abound as is the blame and recriminations. The contractor says that MTA didn’t require 360 degree waterproofing at the site per the contract, and the MTA says that the contractor didn’t properly waterproof.

My guess? It’s both. The MTA didn’t properly spec out 360 waterproofing, and the contractor screwed up what it was supposed to do, leaving an eyesore in their collective wake.

Andrew July 4, 2012 - 10:22 pm

“Open to the public” is not synonymous with “finished.”

Court Square was closed just long enough to accommodate the work that couldn’t take place while the station was open. I think most riders prefer to have an open station with work going on than to have the station remain closed until all of the work is completed.

When the Broadway-Lafayette transfer is opened, there will probably still be work going on.

Randy Bobandy July 20, 2012 - 9:05 am

Of course, you need to keep the “work” going on as long as possible.

AlexB July 3, 2012 - 5:10 pm

The funny thing is that they can tell the public any completion date they want and no one will really get upset. If they thought it would be June, why not tell everyone September so that when it opens in August we’d all be happy instead of disappointed. I would be fascinated to learn how these contracts are written and how the MTA (mis)manages this stuff.

Larry Littlefield July 3, 2012 - 5:17 pm

The contracts go one for books and books and books. Every time the contractors rip the MTA off oen way, they add more to the next contract. It goes on and on.

Larry Littlefield July 3, 2012 - 5:20 pm

Understand, moreover, that if they can’t keep getting the MTA to borrow more money for existing work, all the contractors will be out of a job when the MTA capital plan collapses due to existing debt.

Alex C July 3, 2012 - 5:30 pm

The contractor bosses will be retired and living in villas on the coast by then, so not a problem for them.

Nathanael July 11, 2012 - 3:18 am

Global warming will flood their coastal villas, if it’s any comfort….

Alex C July 11, 2012 - 11:23 am

The sea-level rise part of that will take decades to be felt, so not a problem for them as they’ll be dead by then.

Randy Bobandy July 20, 2012 - 8:58 am

Speaking of dead by then, do you think they would use union labor to build said villas?

BrooklynBus July 3, 2012 - 5:35 pm

Little cooperation between departments and conflicting info is typical of the MTA. Try to get info about SBS on the website. Once I found three different dates for the start of the B44 SBS. You have to hunt o find SBS info and some of the links are broken. You have to go in a certain way and I always forget which way. They updated the website recently and it still is horrible. For most things you don’t know whether the info is under MTA or you first have to go to NYCT or go to the bus or subway section. And it seems whenever I try a search, it searches the entire Internet, not the MTA website. Why? If they can’t get the website to work smoothly, there is little hope for everything else.

Nathaniel July 3, 2012 - 9:55 pm

I agree that this transfer needs to happen pronto. You know a transfer project has gone on too long when they’ve even made a mark on the map showing its inaccessible.

Andrew July 4, 2012 - 10:26 pm

What mark? Every map since the southbound transfer opened has indicated that it’s only a southbound transfer:


Jerrold July 5, 2012 - 8:36 pm

Wow, does that link bring back nostalgic childhood memories! That 1959 map must be identical to (or very close to) the 1961 map that I remember so well.

The Sea Beach Line of the BMT, the 15-cent tokens that were smaller in size than a penny. And a penny was all you needed for a piece of Dentyne or California Fruit gum from those vending machines on the platform. On the down side, those subway cars with the wicker seats would have been stifling on a day like today, with the only cooling coming from those “Casablanca-style” ceiling fans.

alek July 3, 2012 - 11:11 pm

Maybe after the BDFM fastrack they might open the transfer. My guess is after the fastrack

Johnathan July 4, 2012 - 9:16 pm

Yeah, I live near the soon to be connection and been eyeing it all of June. once July hit I was scratching my head as to why it wasnt open

Randy Bobandy July 20, 2012 - 8:56 am

Because union.

Al D July 5, 2012 - 12:28 pm

I would have liked to use this transfer today, so quite a timely read. The automated announcement clearly stated 6 Downtown only, but that of course might not have been updated. So when the train rolled into B’way-Lafayette this morn’, and no clearly visible signs announcing the connection and parts of the station still wrapped in blue painted wood panels, I decided just to stay on to Midtown.

Subutay Musluoglu July 5, 2012 - 12:42 pm

I’m going to go out on a limb here – but the last time I looked a week ago, the escalator from the northbound IND platform up to the IRT does not appear to be anywhere near done. Nor do any of the elevators throughout the complex, though they can probably open the transfer without those. The escalator is critical – the single stairway would not be able to cope with the anticipated morning flows of transfers of Brooklyn and LES originating passengers that are heading up the East Side.

Today’s Headlines | Streetsblog New York City July 6, 2012 - 9:01 am

[…] When Will the Bleecker Street Transfer Finally Open? (2nd Ave Sagas) […]

Anthony July 29, 2012 - 2:22 pm

I’m REALLY praying this transfer will be open before September. I’m going to be moving to a new Apt on the F line by the Manhattan bridge and I’ll need to go to Union Square every Sunday. If this station isn’t open by then I’m going to have to take a longer, more inconvenient ride to get up there.

throcko July 6, 2012 - 3:56 pm

I also heard the Aug 13 date, but I’m not holding my breath.

Randy Bobandy July 20, 2012 - 8:55 am

So long as the union workers are being paid well for their slow, slow work, they will work slower still. I cannot blame them, those are the incentives. Does anyone remember back in the ’90’s, it took three years to refurbish and reopen a subway entrance/exit at Whitehall Street. Given the tools and the materials, I could have done the job myself in six months.

Randy Bobandy July 20, 2012 - 9:00 am

Give me the materials and a dozen Salvadorans and this job is done by the end of the month.


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