Manhattan subway station set to close for elevator repairs

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan (WABC) -- New York City Transit President Andy Byford is assuring subway riders that major renovations to a station in Washington Heights won't cause them commuting headaches.

Beginning Saturday, the 168th Street station on the 1 line will shut down as four elevators and machine rooms will be replaced over the next year.

Extra service is being added to accommodate riders, and the A/C subway lines will continue stop at 168th Street.

The repairs are a part of the city's Fast Forward plan and includes major elevator replacement projects at five separate stations in Washington Heights.

The work will replace the existing elevators and upgrade communications, security and fire alarm systems, marking the first time that the elevators and component systems at the stations have been replaced in their entirety.

The other stations set to undergo elevator replacement work include the 181st Street A station, the 191st Street 1 station, the 190th Street A station and the 181st Street 1 station.

When completed, the elevator doors at 168th Street 1 station will open at both the front and rear sides at the lower mezzanine level. The rear passageway behind the elevators at the lower mezzanine level will be reopened in order to improve customer flow.

The overall scope of work also includes improvements to the current emergency stairs, including a lighting upgrade, concrete repair and the installation of new handrails.

M5 bus service in the area will be enhanced during the construction, and customers may use the free MetroCard transfer on the M3, M4 or M5 buses between 157th and 168th streets. Customers are encouraged to use the 168th Street A/C service, which will remain available while work is being done on the 1 line portion of the station.

Customers may transfer between the 1 and the A/B/C/D lines at the 59th Street-Columbus Circle station. There will also be temporary free out-of-system transfer between the 1 at 215th Street or 207th Street and the Inwood-207th Street A station.

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