Work begins on R line renovations that will close 3 stations in Brooklyn

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Eyewitness News Reporter Diana Rocco reports on the renovation timeline

Thousands of Brooklyn commuters will have to change their route as work begins on the first of three R train stations, part of a $72 million project.

The stations will each be closed for six months for renovations, the first of more than 30 across the system that will be modernized under an initiative from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Construction on the 53rd Street station began Monday, to the surprise of many riders.

"It is going to be an inconvenience, particularly to the business owners who depend on the people who come in and out of these stations, so if they can keep to the schedule and try to do it within six months, we've got to bite the bullet and deal with it," rider Delvis Valdes said.

The Bay Ridge station will shut down late next month, and the Prospect Avenue station will close on June 5.

Those stations will get new flooring, service information screens, countdown clocks and cell phone charging stations, along with a new entrance and new turnstiles.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the MTA to use design-build procurement for these renovations in which a single contractor handles all the work, the first time that NYC Transit is using this method for delivering construction projects.

"These first three stations to be renovated represent the start of a new age for our subway system. By using the design-build method, we are putting the onus on one contractor to get the work done seamlessly and on time," MTA Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim said.

During the closures, customers for all three affected stations are encouraged to use nearby subway stations, the B37 bus route or the B63 route, which run on Third and Fifth avenues run parallel to the R line in the area.

Volunteers pitched in for a one-day shuttle to take those who were caught off-guard Monday morning to their next stop.
Related Topics:
subwaycommutingmass transitBay RidgeNew York City
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