WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — It took several years of delays, but badly-needed repairs to two uptown subway stations are finally under way.
The renovations to the 168th Street and 181st Street stations began last weekend, Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeswoman Deirdre Parker told DNAinfo New York.
Parker added that work done thus far included lead removal, minor demolition and painting at 181st Street and scaffolding and decking installation at 168th Street.
The repairs, which are being handled by Cinalta Construction Corp., are estimated to last 29 months. No. 1 trains, which run through the stations, will be shut down over 50 times during the course of the renovations.
The first shutdown stretched from July 12 to July 15 and stopped service between 137th and 242nd Streets in the Bronx, according to the MTA. Parker said additional shutdowns were scheduled for Sept. 7 to 9, Oct. 5 to 7 and Oct. 26 to 28.
The crumbling conditions at the two subway stations — ranging from scaffolding to unreliable elevators to crumbling tiles to dangerous ceilings — have been there for years. In 2009, a section of the ceiling at 181st Street collapsed onto a passing train.
Repairs to the stations, which will focus mainly on their brickwork ceilings, have been delayed numerous times since 2010. The postponements eventually led transit watchdog We Act for Environmental Justice to join with Community Board 12 in calling for action from the MTA.