After numerous delays, the MTA has announced that the Smith-9th Street Station in Gowanus will finally reopen toward the end of April. The complicated rehabilitation project began almost two years ago, in May 2011, and the station was previously expected to reopen at the end of December 2012. That date was pushed to April 1st, and then pushed back again. "The contractor is behind schedule on this project due to problems with sub-contractors and the challenges associated with the unique design of the station," an MTA rep said earlier this year.
Now the MTA promises that F and G trains will begin making regular stops at the station—which is the highest in the entire transit system—during the week of April 22nd. Once reopened, commuters will enjoy "a new and expanded street-level control house, a new architectural metal panel escalator enclosure and rehabilitated stairs and platforms." There will also be new lighting, state-of-the-art public address and CCTV systems, as well as a 14-foot-tall mosaic. Hopefully they remembered to fix the escalators, too.
According to the MTA, the steel and concrete Culver Viaduct, which supports the station and was built in the '30s, was desperately in need of repairs due to water damage and general wear-and-tear. The deterioration got so bad that black netting was fastened under the viaduct to prevent debris from falling on streets below (this is where they shot that creepy exterior scene from Goodfellas when Jimmy tells Karen to take a dress and she gets really freaked out).
"Construction on some finishes and elements that do not affect passenger functionality will be ongoing," the MTA said in a statement, "but the station is being opened to better serve our customers."