New York Construction Report staff writer
Another fully accessible subway station, Grand St L station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has been completed – the fourth across the transit system in 2023.
“The Grand St L station is the most recent example of our hard work to ensure that no New Yorker has to worry about whether they can safely access public transportation,” said Governor Kathy Hochul. “The MTA shares our commitment to delivering accessibility improvements across New York City and will continue to strive to make transit accessible to all.”
The pace in which the MTA is awarding contracts for accessibility projects is five times what it was before 2020 with contracts for 13 stations in 2020, 10 stations in 2021, 13 stations in 2022, and previously announced its plan to award contracts for 17 stations by the end of the year.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when ridership significantly decreased, the MTA prioritized expanding accessibility improvements in the subway by completing 15 accessibility projects.
There are now 142 accessible stations and 30 stations in construction for accessibility upgrades, eight of which are expected to be complete by the end of 2023:
- 181 St
- Tremont Av
- E 149 St
- Lorimer St
- Metropolitan Av
- 7 Av
- Beach- 67 St
- New Dorp
MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, “When it comes to accessibility, the MTA is delivering on an unprecedented commitment – both in terms of dollars or number of stations – and we are going to keep going at the same pace and level of investment until we achieve full accessibility.”
“Newly-accessible stations like Grand St L are the fruits of our efforts to execute projects better, faster, and cheaper through innovative delivery methods such as contract bundling,” said MTA Construction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer. “We are on track to complete this particular eight-station package of ADA upgrades, which will greatly improve accessibility not just in Williamsburg but throughout our transit system.”
In June, as part of the station’s accessibility design-build package, MTA Arts & Design announced new mosaic artwork commissioned by artist Glendalys Medina, Gratitudes Off Grand. The resulting work is comprised of vividly colored geometric forms–circles, diamonds, squares, and rectangles reflecting the artist’s practice inspired by Taíno, hip-hop and Latino cultures and music. Medina’s art also focuses on the way humans create sense out of the world such as the way brains organize patterns. For more on this piece, click here.
The 2020-2024 MTA Capital Plan includes 45.2 billion to make 67 subway stations ADA accessible, more than any capital plan in the MTA’s history and more than the last three capital plans combined.