Thursday, May 18, 2017

'Reimagined' subway stations up next as MTA issues RFP for renovations

Written by  Stuart Chirls, senior editor, Railway Age
A rendering of New York City subway station renovations. A rendering of New York City subway station renovations. MTA

Just a day after announcing an aggressive initiative to fix delays, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) issued a Request for Proposals as part of a program to dramatically renovate subway stations in Manhattan.


The stations – 163rd Street, Cathedral Parkway (110th Street), 86th Street, and 72nd Street – will undergo extensive renovations under private design-build contracts, part of a larger program to "reimagine" 33 stations across the city.

"These four stations are part of an initiative that represents a fundamental transformation for how the MTA does business, and deals with its customers," MTA Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim said. "Rather than doing a few component repairs, and stretching the work out over nights and weekends, we are taking a new top to bottom approach, renovating stations to bring customers a dramatically enhanced experience, and providing them with the tools they need for a better commute."

Renovations will add countdown clocks, wi-fi, USB ports, more intuitive way-finding to guide passengers, and LED lighting. The work will take place under rapid timeframes, with temporary station closures to enable contractors to complete work as quickly as possible.

Other enhancements include improved signage; digital, real-time train arrival information at subway entrances; informational totems at street level, and dashboards in control areas and on platforms. Cellular phone connectivity and security cameras will be upgraded, and new art installed.

Other improvements:

Terracotta tile and LED handrails at entrances;

• LED handrails at entrances;

• A new canopy at street level and granite flooring on the mezzanine at the 110 St Station;

• New tactile warning strips at platform edges;

• Glass barriers at fare array;

• Removal of paint from ceilings at all stations.

The agency will consider the architectural legacy of each station during renovations, considering historical elements during redesign.

The renovation will also involve state-of-good-repair renewals of concrete, steel, waterproofing, paint and repair of existing entrance railings and refurbished stairs.

At the start, minor construction activities will be performed while the stations remain operational. To fast-track renovations, the stations will be temporarily closed; MTA said contractors are incentivized to keep closures as short as possible but did not provide details. All major construction will be completed during the closures, and a contractor's ability to limit the duration of closures will be a major factor in awarding contracts.

Work at all four stations is slated for completion within 14 months of the date of award.

The station project began March 27 at 53rd Street in Brooklyn. Other stations in the program include Prospect Avenue and Bay Ridge Avenue in Brooklyn, and Broadway, 30th Avenue, 36th Avenue, and 39th Avenue stations on the Astoria Line in Queens.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the redesign plan in July 2016 and MTA issued a Request for Proposals for the first three stations in the program, Prospect Avenue, 53rd Street, and Bay Ridge Avenue. At the completion of the project, the station enhancements will be distributed across the five boroughs.

The lead design consultants on the stations are Grimshaw Architects and Arup, both of which have offices in New York City.