Businesses feeling pinch of Brooklyn subway renovation

May 7, 2012 4:53:41 AM PDT
The renovation and repair of the Smith-9th Street station in Carrol Gardens is behind schedule, and the neighborhood is definitely feeling the pinch.

The $275 million project began in June of 2011 and was supposed to be completed in March. Instead, the completion date has been bumped to the fall, and businesses nearby are struggling to survive.

At 87.5 feet, the Smith- 9th Street station is the tallest subway station in the world, and it's renovation is turning out to be very complex. The completion date has been pushed back by six months, and the MTA is vague about exactly when it will open - the signs simply say fall 2012.

Commuters are taking buses to nearby subway stations and seem to be taking the changes in stride, but the businesses in the area are taking a real hit. Line Bagels is usually bustling with activity in the morning, but ever since construction started, things have changed.

"It's been very bad, around 50 percent (of business lost)," Luis Sanchez said. "It's very slow."

It's the same story at 9th Street Deli, where the owner doesn't know if he can hold out until the fall.

"We can't hold it," Salah Hussen said. "It's too much loss."

The upgrade is part of the Culver Viaduct Rehabilition Project and will include new lights, a public address system and fixed platforms and stairs.

The station first opened in 1933, so you can imagine that the concrete needs work. They also plan to restore the historic arch and add a nautical mosaic.

Business owners say they just want to see the project done as quickly as possible.

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