Brooklyn subway stations on R line facing six-month shutdowns

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s glassy subway station makeovers are hitting Brooklyn — and they come with lengthy closures.

Six-month shutdowns will begin on Monday at the first of at least 30 stations set for design overhauls that Cuomo announced last January.

The first three stations on tap — 53rd Street, Bay Ridge Avenue and Prospect Avenue — are each 102 years old. Their renovations will bring new architectural flourishes, like canopies over station entrances and new granite tiling.

Painted metal cages flanking turnstiles will be replaced with glass barriers. Digital wayfinding screens will be installed at street level and LED lighting will brighten the mezzanines and platforms below.

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

Sunset Park’s 53rd Street station will close first, on Monday, March 27, and won’t open again until the fall. The Bay Ridge Avenue station is scheduled to close on April 29 for six months; and the Prospect Avenue station is scheduled to close on June 5 for six months.

The three station makeovers will come at $72 million, led by a joint venture between the Citnalta Construction and Forte Construction corporations.

“The emphasis is on giving them complete access to the stations and the ability to get in, get done and get out as quickly as possible,” Hakim continued.

The MTA expects to issue a request for proposals soon for the second group of stations in line for redesigns: the Broadway, 30th Avenue, 36th Avenue and 39th Avenue stations in Queens.

The closures have upset Brooklyn Councilman Carlos Menchaca, who believes the MTA poorly notified the public of the work. He will be rallying outside the 53rd Street station Thursday morning, calling for the agency to provide earlier outreach with better language accommodations. 

“Advance notice of 53rd Street station’s six-month full closure was posted on just two signs in English only and without sufficient lead time,” Menchaca said in a statement. “My district is culturally diverse. Lack of service disruptions notices in multiple languages is unacceptable.”

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