As the marrow-level dread of the fast-approaching L train shutdown begins to set in, the MTA is hustling to finish a portion of improvements at the Bedford Avenue L train station, including a new set of stairwells intended to ease crowding and eventually a set of ADA-accessible elevators. As such, the area has been a hot, dusty mess for months now, with construction machinery overtaking much of the surrounding streetscape. Occasionally, a few large chunks of cement may fall onto the mezzanine below, in the general vicinity of commuters who are just trying to survive their already challenging mornings. Do not worry, says the MTA. These things happen.
A tipster tells us that he witnessed such a scenario on Thursday morning, as an excavator broke through the pavement at the northeast corner of N. 7th Street and Bedford, sending bits of heavy debris plunging into the station below. "An MTA worker was like, 'Oh my god I can't believe they busted through the ceiling. Holy shit, someone could've been killed,'" our witness recalls. He then tentatively walked down into the station, where he said the bits of crumbled ceiling had been cordoned off by tape.
Asked about the situation, an MTA spokesperson assured us that no one was ever in danger, because the area in question had been closed to the public. The sidewalk happened to be tied to the roof in that area, he explained, so yes, some of the outside fell into the inside. But despite the MTA contract worker's exclamation, the appropriate protocols were being followed all along.
So, that's comforting, we guess. Not nearly the worst time that bits of dislodged ceiling have fallen into a busy subway station in recent months. Still, probably wouldn't hurt to add some more obvious signage or netting to the area. Maybe we get a busker to stand there playing Kenny Loggins covers in the meantime?
As a reminder: the L train will not be running between Myrtle/Wyckoff and 8th Avenue this weekend, or any other weekend this month, or on nearly a dozen other weekends between now and April, at which point all service between Bedford Avenue and 8th Avenue Ave will shut down for 15 months. You'll miss this, sooner than you think.