Home Asides Transit finally announces late April opening for Smith-9th Streets

Transit finally announces late April opening for Smith-9th Streets

by Benjamin Kabak

It’s not quite the first quarter of 2013, but it will have to do. Barring an earthquake, alien invasion, Godzilla or some other act of God, the Smith/9th Sts. station on the Culver Viaduct will reopen during the week of April 22nd, Transit announced tonight. The station, which has been closed for the better part of two years, has undergone extensive renovations, and although some elements which do not impact overall functionality remain unfinished, the F and G trains can begin stopping there again soon.

“This has been a long and complicated project but we are grateful for the community’s patience while we performed this necessary work,” Thomas F. Prendergast, president of MTA New York City Transit, said in a station. “This station will be 80 years old this summer and this rehabilitation will see it reach that milestone with a much improved appearance and functionality.”

The elevated station — the highest in the system, in fact — spans the Gowanus Canal and serves as the subway gateway to Red Hook. The rehabilitation project has been reconfigured and delayed numerous times, and the 22-month station closure has impacted accessibility in transit-poor parts of Brooklyn. Its return in a month will be quite welcome indeed.

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Matthew March 22, 2013 - 12:13 am

That’s not bad that they only missed the re-opening by a few months. It was originally supposed to be closed for 18 months.

Andrew March 22, 2013 - 7:18 am

If only. It’s over a year late.


Alex C March 22, 2013 - 12:27 am

Great to finally see it open. With the bus extensions and this, Red Hook and Carroll Gardens folks should be pretty happy. Also, I really like the lighting and railing design they did in the renovation.

Someone March 22, 2013 - 8:47 am

I don’t really like how the MTA failed to install elevators in the station, though. Is it really that hard?

But it’s great to see it open, anyway.

Chris C March 22, 2013 - 9:58 am

Yes it really can be hard (and expensive) to install elevators – not every station is suitable for them to be installed at. I

BBnet3000 March 22, 2013 - 1:19 pm

Then make it suitable. It was closed for 2 years, and way longer than it was supposed to be. I guess elevators would have meant 5?

Full accessibility is a very long term goal, but we will NEVER get there if we dont do it when stations get a major overhaul of this type.

Im surprised they even got away with it.

Someone March 22, 2013 - 3:11 pm

The elevators could have been installed while the station was still open, you know.

Andrew March 22, 2013 - 6:09 pm

The station entrance isn’t below the platforms. Where would the elevators go?

Full accessibility will never happen. Elevators are simply not feasible at many stations.

A description of NYCT’s approach to ADA compliance is in here, a bit over halfway down.

ahblid March 23, 2013 - 2:20 pm


Agreed, the entrance isn’t below the platforms, in fact it’s not even close. So traditional vertical elevators could not be used unless a second entrance was built in a new location.

However, they could have used elevator technology that moves both vertically & horizontally. There is an underground station in Dallas on their DART light rail system that has such an elevator, as if it were to move only vertically it would have popped up in the middle of a major roadway.

I have no idea how much more expensive such a system would cost, but it is technologically possible.

John Paul N. March 24, 2013 - 9:53 am

The 34th/11th 7 line extension station is said to have such an elevator installed, so the MTA will be operating such a system.

But in the case of Smith-9th, if I remember the layout correctly, at least two of those kind of elevators would have to be installed, plus an elevator for each platform. To accommodate the vertical/horizontal elevators, the widths of the passageways would have to be widened (cost-prohibitive) or the available space for escalators and stairs would have to be narrowed (traffic flow issues). Both are unsavory choices.

Nathanael March 24, 2013 - 2:45 pm

A new entrance would be cheap, easy, even trivial to build, by comparison to problem stations like Bleecker St. This is an elevated station and the platforms are located largely over *parking lots*.

Had NYCT been making the slightest bit of effort to comply with the spirit of the ADA, it would have tried. They didn’t try.

Ryan March 24, 2013 - 7:07 pm

It’s kinda hard to buy, install, and put in 90-foot-tall elevators.

Nathanael April 25, 2013 - 6:45 pm

Not really. They’re off-the-shelf items. It’s little tiny elevators which are custom jobs.

Ryan March 24, 2013 - 7:07 pm

Actually, it was mentioned on one of Ben’s earlier posts. But no one knows for sure if there truly is going to be a funicular installation at the station.

The elevators would have to be installed in a non-traditional way, as well. Or we can just have multiple elevators between landings.

Ron April 12, 2013 - 11:47 am
Nathanael March 24, 2013 - 2:40 pm

The document you linked to does not contain an ADA compliance plan. Perhaps this is because NYCT’s approach is to violate the ADA at every opportunity.

What that lists is the key stations plan. Which is all very well, but there is a *separate* requirement in the federal law regarding major renovations.

The design of major renovations must include ADA-accessibility as part of the design. NYCT has been acting as if this requirement does not exist. It’s really irresponsible.

If NYCT doesn’t do major renovations, it’s allowed to leave non-key stations inaccessible indefinitely. But it *IS* doing major renovations on non-key stations.

Andrew March 24, 2013 - 8:15 pm

The title of the document I linked to is “AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT COMPLIANCE.” It’s an ADA compliance plan, whether you like it or not.

NYCT couldn’t simply not renovate this station. It was falling apart. As far as I know, the staircases and elevators were replaced in kind.

Ryan March 24, 2013 - 8:33 pm

I read the document and I agree, ADA compliance is not necessarily the same as installing ADA-accessible ramps/elevators.

The station got exactly what it deserved, due to deferred maintenance.

Nathanael March 24, 2013 - 2:33 pm

“Im surprised they even got away with it.”

They shouldn’t have. Expect lawsuits.

Nathanael March 24, 2013 - 2:32 pm

Actually, the MTA failure to install elevators in Smith/9th is what’s known as “illegal”.

This is new construction, guys. It’s subject to the ADA.

martindelaware March 22, 2013 - 6:22 am

Did the MTA’s announcement actually reference Godzilla?

Benjamin Kabak March 22, 2013 - 11:45 am

No. It didn’t. It should have, but it didn’t.

JMB March 22, 2013 - 9:27 am

Speaking of Red Hook’s (lack of) transit, I was on the Broadway BMT heading out of Whitehall last night and noticed two stub tunnels on the righthand side of the train (with the first one being noticeably longer than the second). Anyone know if these were for some type of planned service/extension to Red Hook?

Curious minds are curious 🙂

BoerumBum March 22, 2013 - 10:00 am

Did you actually see the end of the tunnels? If not, they could be associated with the Nassau Street connection.

JMB March 22, 2013 - 1:14 pm

Yep, they are totally stubs, the first one loses its concrete track bed a little ways in and the second one ends abruptly from the main tunnel aproximately (15ft)

Someone March 22, 2013 - 3:12 pm

They were actually for a connection to a never-built East River tunnel south of the Montague Street Tunnel, going towards the proposed DeKalb Avenue bypass.

Someone March 22, 2013 - 3:12 pm

The Nassau Street connection is the other pair of tunnels, a little farther from the station.

asar March 25, 2013 - 8:31 pm

Ugh!finally!weve been waiting 4 2years! It really shouldnt have took that long!the mta was really messed up to have carrol gardens &red hook residents wait that long! I heard that buissbesses were closing in red hook because of the smith 9sts rehab because of tax they were paying 2 the mta. Poor bussnisses that deserved to thrive:(


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