WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — The long-delayed renovations at two uptown subway stations on the 1 line will begin this summer, the MTA said — but straphangers will have to endure the stations being shut down 53 times over the next two years.
The 168th Street and 181st Street stations will have to be out of service for 40 times overnight and 13 times over weekends while the authority repairs them through the fall of 2015, said MTA representative Marcus Book.
The repairs are tentatively scheduled to begin later this year, he said.
"With gain there's always pain, and there will be pain associated with this project," Book said at a town hall meeting Thursday night.
The shutdowns will not be consecutive, allowing the MTA to spread them out over the course of the 29-month renovation project.
Repairs to the crumbling 168th and 181st Street subway stations — which suffer from crumbling platforms and tiles, failing elevators and dangerous ceilings — have been postponed several times since 2010. In April, transit watchdog We Act and Community Board 12 joined forces in calling for action from the MTA.
In March, the MTA awarded a contract for the $42 million renovation to Cinalta Construction Corporation. An MTA spokeswoman told DNAinfo New York that repairs would begin in the spring, but Book said on Thursday the contract wouldn't be fully mobilized until the end of June.
"You should be looking at work beginning some time in July," Book said, declining to explain the cause of the delay.