Despite earlier statements to the contrary, the MTA-owned lot on East 15th Street between Avenue Y and Avenue Z is now being used as a staging area for construction along the line.

The street was closed as workers prepped for this weekend's construction.

When the agency began clearing the lot of vegetation and illegally dumped garbage in early 2011, neighbors were outraged that the MTA was ripping out healthy trees and removing a natural sound barrier between the train line and their homes. The MTA shot back, saying that the removal was a response to years of requests from the same residents to keep the lot clean, and that all the trees removed were sick. When asked by Sheepshead Bites, an MTA representative adamantly denied rumors that the lot would be used as a staging area for construction equipment during the Brighton line rehabilitation.

But it turns out that the agency was not responding to years of community complaints about the lot, but may have instead used it as a cover to hide plans to do exactly what neighbors feared: fill it with noisy, unsightly construction equipment.

The lot was reopened earlier this week, and today construction crews were on scene bringing cranes, machinery and pallets of new tracks. A worker told Sheepshead Bites that they are prepping the area to use it during this weekend’s track replacement work, the cause of this week (and weekend’s) service disruption in which Coney Island-bound Q trains skip Avenue U and Gravesend Neck Road.

As for the work itself, the MTA contractor told Sheepshead Bites that they’ll spend the weekend at the site replacing tracks from the southern end of the Sheepshead Bay station to just north of Avenue Y with about 25 new segments of track. The new track uses concrete ties, which the worker noted is expected to last about 10 years longer than wooden.

After the work is completed, they’ll move northward on the line.

As of 1:00 p.m. today, East 15th Street between Avenue Y and Avenue Z was closed to traffic as construction crews prep the site. A section of the street has become a No Parking Zone to allow for MTA vehicles and machinery.

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  • nolastname

    On the up side,,,less litter on Neck Road and Avenue U. Now if the dogs only took the train. Wait, does that mean at sometime in the future the Sheepshead station will be bypassed?

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

    It appeared that they had tried to use the area earlier  for storing equipment, but the trees made it so that they were  limited to using it marginally. I might have some photos that show the north end just behind the power plant utilized in that way. I don’t think the vehicle3s were used for functions at the plant. Those vehicles were usually parked in the area south of Avenue Y. and were smaller.

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

    Yet again, the MTA held accountable to nobody, lies to the community and gets away with it with no consequences. 

    Status Quo maintained.

  • Fun

    i am part of this construction project and the paper has it all wrong. the MTA cutting down the trees has nothing to do with what we are doing there. i lived up the block from there for 30 years and it was always a mess there that’s why the MTA cleared out that lot. We are only there for a short time to repair the railroad tracks and we will be gone. 1-2 weeks at the most.

    • nolastname

      Nice of you to say, people will be happy to hear so. 
      Did you bring the crew to Bassets?

      • Fun

        I grew up on bassetts food I love that place and so does the crew. I lived on 15st from 1974-2004

    • heavy machine specialist

      I appreciate your perspective of the situation as both a former resident if I’m correct and a current MTA employee part of the crew replacing the tracks.  The tracks need repair so I support you!.  The new tracks should make our travels much faster, safer and hopefully quieter.  Work Safe and try not to make too much noise:)

      • Fun

        Yes I lived on 15st from 1974 till 2004 and the house was in my family from the 20′s . I am a trackworker and will be there this weekend. Ty for your support. Unfortunatly there will be noise but when where done it will be much safer for your travels.

    • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

      Thanks for chiming in, and I’m glad the work is being done. But I still don’t believe that the MTA cut down those trees in response to neighbor concerns, and it still flies in the face of what the MTA told me. 

      In reality, there’s no way of knowing unless I could strap the entire agency down to a lie detector. But the neighbors asked for a taller fence and to have the garbage removed occasionally – not to rip out all the trees. The neighbors also expressed serious and vocal concerns about this being used as a construction staging area. And, yet, instead of removing the garbage and installing a taller fence, they not only made it more accessible to those who would wish to dump garbage, they immediately prepped it with gravel in order for machinery to be placed there. I don’t particularly care that it’s going to be used as a staging area for the week. It makes perfect sense to me. What doesn’t make sense was the MTA’s misdirection, and I hope that when they’re done they at least install the taller fences – or turn it over to Parks so something useful can be done with it.

  • Tuth

    God damn it, they have been making noise all of last night and it looks like this night is going to be the same.  Why were we not provided complimentary hotel rooms away fro, all the noise.

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