MTA Opens New Entrance At Columbus Circle

The MTA has opened a new entrance at the 59th Street-Columbus Circle station on the A Train, A Train, A Train, A Train, & A Train lines. The new entrance located at 60th Street & Broadway is part of the ongoing 42-month $108 million station rehabilitation project. Here is the press release:

The 59th Street-Columbus Circle ABCD1 subway station, a major mid-town stop on Manhattan’s west side, is undergoing a 42-month $108 million station rehabilitation. As part of this on-going project, MTA NYC Transit is opening a new entrance on the northwest corner of 60th Street and Broadway. Executive Director and CEO of the MTA, Elliot G. Sander, NYC Transit President Howard H. Roberts, Jr. and local elected officials were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony today. The opening coincides with the closing of the Broadway Island control area for renovation, scheduled to reopen in May 2009.

The new 60th Street control area cost $14 million and was carved out of solid rock made up of the well-known Manhattan schist while a vast array of street utilities were suspended from the decking beams. Those utilities included 20-inch and 32-inch city water lines, a 20-inch Con Ed steam line as well as numerous smaller electric, gas and fiber optic lines. The entrance, which includes two new street-to-platform level staircases and a MetroCard Vending Machine, was newly constructed under concrete decking, which minimized the disruption to street traffic on southbound Broadway.

“Funding for transportation is a scarce commodity, but we are doing everything we can with the resources we have available to improve the experience our customers have with us,” said Elliot G. Sander, the Executive Director and CEO of the MTA. “Whether it is a much needed new subway entrance or the initiation of Select Bus Service, we are committed to improving customer service.”

“This station rehabilitation project and particularly this new entrance are examples of the difficulties NYC Transit faces when upgrading what is an aging system,” said NYC Transit President Howard H. Roberts, Jr. “Despite the complexities of the construction, we have delivered to the customers who use this station a new, modern entrance which will provide additional egress capacity for the more than 69-thousand people who use the station daily.”

With the addition of the two new staircases and control area, customers will have better access to the station, particularly to the southbound 1 platform. When the Broadway Island reopens next year, there will be an additional staircase south of the current stair. Customers will then have three new points of entry from Broadway.

The full 59th Street-Columbus Avenue project will see the rehabilitation of the 8th Avenue ABCD and the Broadway/Seventh Avenue 1 parts of the station, installation of a new street elevator on the west side of Central Park West and other ADA-compliant amenities and will renovate employee facilities at the complex. Also included are upgrades to the communications, lighting and electrical systems. Artwork by the late Sol LeWitt will be installed. Restoration of the complex is in accordance with historic preservation guidelines, as required.

I am not sure why they felt a need to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony. While it is a new entrance, it is still just an entrance. The ribbon cutting ceremony should take place when they actually complete the work at that station which is a total nightmare to straphangers who have to navigate it. The end to the nightmare would be a real cause for celebration in my book!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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