Construction at Ave U train station - Q train in Sheepshead Bay

Just one month shy of the first-year anniversary of construction at the Avenue U and Gravesend Neck Road train stations, the sites reek of the failures soon to ail the rest of the line.

Artist's rendering of completed station rehabilitation at Neck Road. The station will have wider platforms, larger stairwells, more exits, newer windscreens that are easier to clean, and vision panels.

Artist's rendering of completed station rehabilitation at Neck Road. The station will have wider platforms, larger stairwells, more exits, and vision panels.

For those who don’t take the train often, above is a photo of the Avenue U train station taken from the platform. They began putting up new frames that will hold the walls here and at the Neck Road train station earlier this week. Work began on the two stations in December 2008, and the MTA said that they finish the Coney Island-bound sides by the end of 2009. Then they’d switch to the Manhattan-bound side, polishing off the project in 2010.

Well, that was the original plan. The MTA changed the Brighton Line Rehabilitation website to reflect the fact that these sites ain’t gettin’ done on time. The tentative date for completion for the Coney Island-bound side is now “Early 2010″, and the full project will be done in “Early 2011.”

If you haven’t noticed, this is the same “Two year plan” that has been extended to the rest of the local stops between Newkirk Avenue and Kings Highway. One year work on the Coney Island side, then one year on the Manhattan side. Gee, you think they’ll honor those schedules?

By the by, for anyone keeping track, the MTA has not yet responded to our leaders’ requests for more information. Politicians and organizers for the area met with MTA officials a month ago to ask for alternatives to the work and guarantees of the timetable. MTA told them they would be in touch in a few days after they had gathered relevant data. Apparently there are delays on that, too.

(Photo courtesy of Pamela Amri)

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  • Linda

    I’m furious about this, but I’m in no way surprised. It’s just another example of MTA stupidity and incompetance. I ride the B train every day and all through last spring and summer (whether it was morning or afternoon), most of the time I would never see anyone working or doing anything at the Avenue U/Neck Road stations. By the time September rolled around and those stations didn’t even have new platforms, I knew there would be a delay as this was not going to be finished by their original December 2009 date. What on earth have they been doing for the past year? And you just know this will also happen with all the other construction/track work on the B line over the next 2 years. Mark my words, it’s going to take them much longer than 2 years to complete this!

  • Linda

    I’m furious about this, but I’m in no way surprised. It’s just another example of MTA stupidity and incompetance. I ride the B train every day and all through last spring and summer (whether it was morning or afternoon), most of the time I would never see anyone working or doing anything at the Avenue U/Neck Road stations. By the time September rolled around and those stations didn’t even have new platforms, I knew there would be a delay as this was not going to be finished by their original December 2009 date. What on earth have they been doing for the past year? And you just know this will also happen with all the other construction/track work on the B line over the next 2 years. Mark my words, it’s going to take them much longer than 2 years to complete this!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    I thought that the start date was last September.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001/ Lisanne!

    I thought that the start date was last September.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Maybe that was preconstrutution.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001/ Lisanne!

    Maybe that was preconstrutution.

  • gene

    what a surprise… and i thought they would be done ahead of schedule….. NOT

  • gene

    what a surprise… and i thought they would be done ahead of schedule….. NOT

  • http://www.flickr.com/paypaul Paul

    Vision panels?? Someone’s vision is a bit cockeyed! Typical of the way the neighborhood is going. It’s a wonder the TA doesn’t put some LUXURY condos on top of the whole ferschimmeled mess! Are they going to have wide screen plasma TVs on the platforms and waiting areas showing the latest cable offerings too? How about a Starbucks just past the turnstiles? I wonder who really wanted this crap?

    This reminds me of the downtown Manhattan Fulton Street Hub. They had such grandiose plans and it’s way behind schedule. How come the MTA can spend $28 million plus and keep raising the fare and wasting our time. Every day in every way they waste time. They must have a protocol manual entitled: “101 Ways To Waste The Customers Time”. That’s the MTA. Going your way! Where? They don’t know!!

  • http://www.flickr.com/paypaul Paul

    Vision panels?? Someone’s vision is a bit cockeyed! Typical of the way the neighborhood is going. It’s a wonder the TA doesn’t put some LUXURY condos on top of the whole ferschimmeled mess! Are they going to have wide screen plasma TVs on the platforms and waiting areas showing the latest cable offerings too? How about a Starbucks just past the turnstiles? I wonder who really wanted this crap?

    This reminds me of the downtown Manhattan Fulton Street Hub. They had such grandiose plans and it’s way behind schedule. How come the MTA can spend $28 million plus and keep raising the fare and wasting our time. Every day in every way they waste time. They must have a protocol manual entitled: “101 Ways To Waste The Customers Time”. That’s the MTA. Going your way! Where? They don’t know!!

  • http://www.chickenunderwear.com/ Chicken Underwear

    Why didn’t they just shut down Ave U, fix it then get rid of Neck Road. It woulda been much faster and think of all the $ the MTA would have saved with out the Neck Rd station. It is is probably one of the least used stations.

  • http://www.chickenunderwear.com Chicken Underwear

    Why didn’t they just shut down Ave U, fix it then get rid of Neck Road. It woulda been much faster and think of all the $ the MTA would have saved with out the Neck Rd station. It is is probably one of the least used stations.

  • Ray Johnson

    No, no. Please, not the Neck Rd station. That station is a movie star station. Did you know it was in a scene of “A Bronx Tale”?

    As for the vision panels, they are for watching the train you just missed go by.

  • Ray Johnson

    No, no. Please, not the Neck Rd station. That station is a movie star station. Did you know it was in a scene of “A Bronx Tale”?

    As for the vision panels, they are for watching the train you just missed go by.

  • http://whitetrashbbq.blogspot.com/ BrooklynQ

    Some of us use the Neck Road Station daily Chicken Underwear. You’d be surprised how many folks get off there.

  • http://whitetrashbbq.blogspot.com BrooklynQ

    Some of us use the Neck Road Station daily Chicken Underwear. You’d be surprised how many folks get off there.

  • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

    You know how many days I drive past Ave V, and Neck Road, and Ave U underpass and there is NO WORK being done?

    I want to know what their justification is for that. Why the hell is the work not ongoing 6-12 hours a day? There is NO EXCUSE for any of this. None.

  • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur B

    You know how many days I drive past Ave V, and Neck Road, and Ave U underpass and there is NO WORK being done?

    I want to know what their justification is for that. Why the hell is the work not ongoing 6-12 hours a day? There is NO EXCUSE for any of this. None.

  • http://www.chickenunderwear.com/ Chicken Underwear

    Brooklyn Q

    It looks like 3,700 a day use Neck road.

    http://www.nycfuture.org/images_pdfs/pdfs/TransitOverload.pdf

    Ave U is not that far.

    Beverly Rd and Cortelyou Rd and on other ends of the same block.

    But none of them are going away.

  • http://www.chickenunderwear.com Chicken Underwear

    Brooklyn Q

    It looks like 3,700 a day use Neck road.

    http://www.nycfuture.org/images_pdfs/pdfs/TransitOverload.pdf

    Ave U is not that far.

    Beverly Rd and Cortelyou Rd and on other ends of the same block.

    But none of them are going away.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    No they won’t. And you know, there was a Neck Road station when Avenue U merely existed in the minds of city planners. The original station opened in 1878. Avenue U station didn’t open until 20 years later.

    3,700 people may not sound like a lot. But when Neck Road station opened in 1907 its likely that the amount of people using that station was much less. And that number does seem suspiciously low to me. Does everyone nearby drive to work?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001/ Lisanne!

    No they won’t. And you know, there was a Neck Road station when Avenue U merely existed in the minds of city planners. The original station opened in 1878. Avenue U station didn’t open until 20 years later.

    3,700 people may not sound like a lot. But when Neck Road station opened in 1907 its likely that the amount of people using that station was much less. And that number does seem suspiciously low to me. Does everyone nearby drive to work?

  • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

    A lot of people go to Kings Highway or Sheepshead to catch the express and avoid Neck road. I’d figure only the people that live within 2 or 3 blocks would use neck road.

    Everyone else would use U or Sheepshead or Kings Highway because they link to buses.

  • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur B

    A lot of people go to Kings Highway or Sheepshead to catch the express and avoid Neck road. I’d figure only the people that live within 2 or 3 blocks would use neck road.

    Everyone else would use U or Sheepshead or Kings Highway because they link to buses.

  • Roberto

    The TA’s unannounced plan will delay the completion of the B line work until early 2014. They have rebid certain portions of the job to cut the cost and the long project period will avoid overhead that the City cn not afford to pay. The details will be shortly announced, now that the election is over.

    Source of data is a high ranking Transit Authority Office staff member

  • Roberto

    The TA’s unannounced plan will delay the completion of the B line work until early 2014. They have rebid certain portions of the job to cut the cost and the long project period will avoid overhead that the City cn not afford to pay. The details will be shortly announced, now that the election is over.

    Source of data is a high ranking Transit Authority Office staff member

  • Anonymous

    I live on Ave W and people walk from Nostrand Ave to the Neck Rd station.
    People do drive their cars to the subway also. With the repair work most will park in the Sheepshead area.
    Ray was that when they painted a broken line down Neck Rd to make it look like it did 40 years ago? I remember when it was 2-way. There was an i
    Italian bakery between 15 and 14 street,a deli (I think it was Yummy’s) and a pizza place across from the Neck Rd. entrance.

  • clare

    I live on Ave W and people walk from Nostrand Ave to the Neck Rd station.
    People do drive their cars to the subway also. With the repair work most will park in the Sheepshead area.
    Ray was that when they painted a broken line down Neck Rd to make it look like it did 40 years ago? I remember when it was 2-way. There was an i
    Italian bakery between 15 and 14 street,a deli (I think it was Yummy’s) and a pizza place across from the Neck Rd. entrance.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Clare, The Italian Bakery was Altino’s. Yummy’s was the grocery store next to it. Before it was Yummy’s it was Dave’s.

    Altino’s had a large sign on the roof.

    I remember it as a two way street also. It was barely wide enough for two cars to pass.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001/ Lisanne!

    Clare, The Italian Bakery was Altino’s. Yummy’s was the grocery store next to it. Before it was Yummy’s it was Dave’s.

    Altino’s had a large sign on the roof.

    I remember it as a two way street also. It was barely wide enough for two cars to pass.

  • Kismet

    This is a huge peeve of mine! It’s true that when you are standing on the platform, you RARELY see any work being done. Talk about milking a job, these guys are proffesionals at it. No wonder why the job is behind schedule…these workers are not putting the time in! I’m assuming there day is done at like 3-4 because I don’t see anyone there at that time. I need a job like this seriously.

    I actually love getting on at Neck Road. I hate Avenue U with all the bus people and extra traffic. But the pro’s of getting on at U are that there is a coffee shop where at Neck Road there is nothing like that. There used to be though once upon a time.

  • Kismet

    This is a huge peeve of mine! It’s true that when you are standing on the platform, you RARELY see any work being done. Talk about milking a job, these guys are proffesionals at it. No wonder why the job is behind schedule…these workers are not putting the time in! I’m assuming there day is done at like 3-4 because I don’t see anyone there at that time. I need a job like this seriously.

    I actually love getting on at Neck Road. I hate Avenue U with all the bus people and extra traffic. But the pro’s of getting on at U are that there is a coffee shop where at Neck Road there is nothing like that. There used to be though once upon a time.

  • http://whitetrashbbq.blogspot.com/ BrooklynQ

    Walking to Avenue U or Sheepshead Bay would add another 10 minutes each way to my commute and it’s long enough now. Leave my station alone

  • http://whitetrashbbq.blogspot.com BrooklynQ

    Walking to Avenue U or Sheepshead Bay would add another 10 minutes each way to my commute and it’s long enough now. Leave my station alone

  • Kismet

    Who can we write to about the lack of progress at the stations? Does it even make a difference?

  • Kismet

    Who can we write to about the lack of progress at the stations? Does it even make a difference?

  • bagels

    I’d like to say you should go directly to the top and write to Bumberg, I mean Bloomberg, but I think he would be too busy trying to come up with new ways to further screw the middle class.

  • bagels

    I’d like to say you should go directly to the top and write to Bumberg, I mean Bloomberg, but I think he would be too busy trying to come up with new ways to further screw the middle class.

  • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

    Kismet: As for who to write to, I suggest CB15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, your state senator and your state assemblyman. Your councilman is also useful as far as coordinating meetings and advocating with the MTA on your behalf – but unlike the state reps, they have little power over the MTA.

    You can find their e-mails on the original post here: http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2009/07/goodbye-b-train-express-goes-local-for-2-years/

    You can find out who represents you here: http://gis.nyc.gov/doitt/nycitymap/ (after typing your address, click “show additional information” in the sidebar. There will then be a pulldown for elected representatives.

    Be sure to include your address (or at least nearby intersection) so they know you’re a voter in their district. And if you’ve noticed days/hours where there is no work going on, include that and be as specific as possible.

    As for whether it makes a difference? It’s hard to tell. The MTA has almost no accountability – but at the same time there have been very few projects in the outer boroughs that were followed to closely by independent media, and that had people writing, calling, and complaining. It may very well be effective this time around. We’ll have to wait and see.

  • http://www.NedBerke.com Ned Berke

    Kismet: As for who to write to, I suggest CB15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, your state senator and your state assemblyman. Your councilman is also useful as far as coordinating meetings and advocating with the MTA on your behalf – but unlike the state reps, they have little power over the MTA.

    You can find their e-mails on the original post here: http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2009/07/goodbye-b-train-express-goes-local-for-2-years/

    You can find out who represents you here: http://gis.nyc.gov/doitt/nycitymap/ (after typing your address, click “show additional information” in the sidebar. There will then be a pulldown for elected representatives.

    Be sure to include your address (or at least nearby intersection) so they know you’re a voter in their district. And if you’ve noticed days/hours where there is no work going on, include that and be as specific as possible.

    As for whether it makes a difference? It’s hard to tell. The MTA has almost no accountability – but at the same time there have been very few projects in the outer boroughs that were followed to closely by independent media, and that had people writing, calling, and complaining. It may very well be effective this time around. We’ll have to wait and see.

  • jo

    wow… delays and the mta? big surprise…………. they suck

  • jo

    wow… delays and the mta? big surprise…………. they suck

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